Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Perhaps the best invention to come out of Facebook is the clicking on “like” to express admiration, appreciation, love, compassion, and acknowledgement or to show courtesy or all these combined. This small link, the “like”, can be used for a “page”, a person, a cause, a book or an event as well as when coming across a photo or following reading a comment or post, or even a comment on a comment or a post. It becomes addictive after getting used to it as one feels an urgent desire to have such a tool in hand, clicking it in secret and suddenly bringing it out if he/she likes something or someone or a voice or a speech or any scene whether he/she is walking down the street, at home, university, a café or any other place. Furthermore, one can imagine a society armed with the “like” links which can be clicked left, right and centre, and released in celebrations which convey “on the ground” a communal sense of unity in emotions and excitation.
Since the start of the Arab revolutions, the “like” has become a political “obligation”. One has to join pages and support them and he/she has to encourage written posts and notes and build support for them. More importantly, he has to adapt the meaning of his “likes” to the nature of the topics which he/she follows. With the Syrian revolution, this adaptation has become a difficult, almost impossible, issue. News of that glorious and defiant country are presented everyday on both public and private pages instigating emotional charges, and those pages need a dense spray of “likes” to publicise their contents. For example, there is no “like” that is sufficient to express the amazement by the courage of the people of Daraa, Banyas, Douma, Deir Ezzor, Daraya and Idlib as they face tanks with cries for Freedom. No “like” can convey the magnitude of pride and delight in the people of Homs and Hama. No “like” can convey the love of friends living in Syria or abroad waiting for the victory of their people, with Syria alive in their minds and hearts. No “like” can convey the admiration of the sarcastic spirit as it deconstruct the tyrant’ authority and brings down all the prestige he created for himself and which “his” intelligence services enforced. Further, no “like” is able to contain the happiness felt when a detainee is released, that detainee who has become so familiar as a result of so many friends posting his/her photo on their pages or “profiles”, and one cannot but feel a kind of friendship with him/her and a right to celebrate his/her freedom…
So this is the “like”. Since at least April 2011 it has become strongly associated with Syria, with that country whose sons and daughters cling to the will to live, and with those whose names have turned into synonyms of Freedom… Freedom that not only deserves a “like”, but millions of “likes”.
Original article in Arabic: