8 October 2013
The history of “Assad’s Syria” remains incomplete without recording the biographies of individuals whose lives formed a register for multitude of its events. This is so because their biographies constitute the richest and most faithful of material which can be relied on to understand the particularities of a stage that established itself upon two key characterizing pillars: crushing people’s lives and confiscating their voices.
A prominent name amongst those individuals is Faiek Almeer, Abo Ali, or “al-Amem” as known by his companions. The man originating from al-Qadmus has suffered the direct brutality of the regime and its physical violence being practiced against him and against a cross section of Syrian political activists as of the late seventies; he was arrested, beaten, and fled into hiding for a long period of time before getting caught by the agencies of tyranny. He entered prison in 1989, spending a decade on charges of belonging to the “Syrian Communist Party – Political Bureau” (that is intellectually and politically dissident from the Bakdash faction better known for being a supporter of Assad regime. It later transformed into the “Syrian Democratic People’s Party”).
After being released from prison, Faiek “met” his daughter who has, during his absence, grown up to a young lady alongside both her brother and mother. However, he was soon after separated from them once again. This time, his charge was linked to his arrival in Beirut in 2005 to offer condolences on the martyrdom of Samir Kassir, George Hawi and then Gebran Tueni. He was charged with contacting hostile foriegn parties (those accepting the condolences!) and undermining the prestige of the State. He was imprisoned for nearly two years before being released again in 2008 where he resumed his activism and then going back into hideaway. Ever since 2010 he has been avoiding the spotlight after a new arrest warrant was issued against him.
When the Syrian revolution erupted, Faiek got super engaged in its various activities and events. Then for over a year he stationed himself in the Ghota before being arrested by the regime yesterday (Monday 7 October 2013) during one of his visits to occupied Damascus.
And so Faiek Almeer and his family spent their lives enduring years of imprisonment, abscondence and fear. He then experienced the outbreak of the Syrian revolution, witnessed its intensification, and lived through the bitter armed struggle in defense of its people. He personified –as did his party- a revolutionary leftist who is in direct contact with the “people” that he claims to speak on behalf. He did not impose conditions on his people as they were getting killed. Nor did he wear any gloves to avoid touching what he refused to acknowledge or understand. He struggled from within the revolution, encountered its circumstances and hardships, and escorted its transformations, from within and around.
Today, Faiek Almeer is yet again in the hands of the regime. His biography, including the “losses” brought about by the tyranny, is indeed the biography of Syria and a chronicle of “Assad’s Syria” and later the uprising against it. It could be that the following passage, extracted from the minutes of his interrogation by the Examining Magistrate in Damascus in the presence of defense attorney Khalil Maatouk (2:40 pm, Wednesday 20/12/2006), demonstrates the clash between the “two narrations”, between two chronicles: an “official” accusing narration (that is gradually fading out) and the narration of the people whom Abo Ali represents; those determined to restore their whole country:
– “You are charged with the crime of undermining the prestige of the State and National feeling, destabilizing order and security, stirring up sedition and conspiring with hostile countries”.
When he was asked, he replied:
* “I reject the question addressed to me…My goal is maintaining national independence, liberation of the Golan Heights, ending tyranny, establishing the State of Democracy, forcing devolution of power and putting an end to monocracy.. We shall carry on with our battle for democracy and building the modern State…”
The original article was published in Arabic in NOW. media