Swingers before and after the revolution

Zaiton Magazine *

Issue 63

24 May 2014

* A weekly cultural intelectual Magazine issued by the free youth of Idlib (Facebook page, ISSUU site).

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Abdul Kareem Anees

Any close observer cannot ignore the radical changes to those figures that have lived through the successive events of the revolution; whether it was the denial of it in the beginning or the belief in it during one of its various stages.

These figures can be simple personalities, neither popular nor known among observers, but the variables, twists, and turns in the track record of these ordinary figures should be read, and we should invest in understanding the changes in their personalities to enable observers to best evaluate and study the origins of the revolution and its dependency on individuals, in the midst of its historic turning points.

The Revolution began strange in a domesticated society. Its pioneers had variable reasons to join, whether those reasons stemmed from a purpose or an end aim.

It is necessary to identify the most important purposes of those belonging to the revolution especially under the state of shock that had affected the criminal Syrian regime, who was only accustomed to marches of loyalty to the idol of fetish power, the country’s president.

Initially, we can talk about those who ignited the revolution. It could be argued that those who chanted to the revolution joint it for several reasons; the most important of which is the awareness of and attempt to find a state of law and justice that applies to all. These two were legitimate and repressed dreams under the criminal regime, which plunged the country and the Syrian state into the fold of dependency and loyalty to the security services, disreputable among the majority of Syrians.

Among those who came out in demonstrations were the relatives of former detainees of the painful events of the eighties, especially those who had long been displaced, humiliated, had their honours’ stained, and had been deprived of their properties and rights. Getting death certificates for their loved ones was almost a dream that could have provided them closure. They were deprived of a simple right, which we may not appreciate its value and essence, the right of death declaration. They need this to be able to continue their lives, and to hold the shattered pieces of themselves and their families who suffered from decades of separation, or in the hope of meeting with what is left of their families.

Others joint the Syrian Revolution in solidarity with demonstrators whom they saw as vulnerable, subjected to beatings, humiliation, detention, torture, and even murder and lynching before the whole world. The public watched photos of those who came out alive of detention, speaking of the scale of horror and complete disregard for the principles of human rights and citizens’ rights under a suppression machine aimed at everyone who thinks to oppose or dissent. The talk among Syrians about the martyrs in prisons [deaths under torture] fuelled a state of anger and suffocation on the ground. They realized that they must not remain silent about the tyrants of the new era.

Some outlaws went out to demonstrate mainly to proof themselves and to appear brave in a state of challenge to a regime that had practiced against and with them all forms of oppression in exchange for some illegal concessions which it granted them; concessions which implied their subordination to a State Security branch, and through which they assaulted citizens or their properties. In this case, they simply wanted to be “free” through insubordination to any regulation or law, considering this behaviour as “revolutionary” against their former partner. Honestly, some of them repented and became straight and good after a long intentional estrangement with people and God alike.

Some rebels who took on the regime are honest people who were in the womb of the Syrian state and its institutions and were well aware of the extent of corruption within it. They wanted to be among those who initiated change, after their objections were devoured through muzzling, harassment and the threat of dismissal and deprivation of livelihood. They were saying: “our livelihoods will not be more important than the continued violation of rights and shedding of blood by raising salaries and buying our conscience to remain silent.”

Most of those who joined the Syrian revolution experienced major shifts. Some back-flipped [to become supporters of the regime], others made money out of the revolution, and some considered that to persist with the revolution, in light of international abandonment, to be an act of madness. Yet others continued on and even won the honour of martyrdom. The worst people in the revolution are those who began as peaceful activists and ended up in ISIS. They became extremists who reject the basic principles which they had initially joined the revolution for. They now call for small states, intimidate and threaten, speak aloud of swords and the slaughter of the other components of a nation weakened by ignorance and lack of religion, conscience and morality for many decades.

I know many of those who shifted their positions at different stages of the revolution. Some denied it in the beginning and then ended up adopting all its demands. Some believed in all its causes. Others are aware and determined to repair its mistakes. Some were harmed by the revolution and paid all they owned for it. Others were forced by circumstances to abandon staying in the field. We have anything but friendly feelings towards all those people, but as the revolution prolongs, it can be credibly stated that the revolution is not for its vanguards but belongs to those who are patient and sincere.

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