There are several levels of approaching ISIS’s crime of displacing the Christian Iraqi citizens from their land in Mosul (and the Nineveh plains) last week.
The first of levels is the crime per se. It’s a level of uprooting and expelling a group of human beings from their country in addition to what was narrated of marking their houses with letter “ن” [the first letter of the Arabic word for “Christians”], in an act of religious discrimination towards and against them. This of course encompasses assault and a terrible collective persecution against individuals just because they belong to a particular religious group. استمر في القراءة ←
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. استمر في القراءة ←
Why do racist European right-wingers and some factions belonging to the far left find a common ground in their hostility towards the Syrian revolution?
For a while now, that same question has been posing itself on many friends shocked by the positions and comments of writers and reporters united in viciously criticizing the revolution, not out of concern nor “neutrality”, nor even as a result of their rejection of the revolution’s errors and impurities, which certainly exist and are plentiful. استمر في القراءة ←
Es difícil imaginar lo que le pasó a Fátima, y es difícil describir el silencio que se tragó las voces de los que vieron su muerte. Creo que las obras artísticas en Facebook que le devolvían su cabeza, dibujándola como un jardín de flores, una luna o un sol, intentaban compensar este terrorífico silencio y aligerárselo a Fátima, a los que la querían y a todos nosotros.
¿Qué puedes hacerle a una niña que ha “perdido su cabeza”? ¿Qué puedes decirle a una niñita que se tumbó en el suelo con su vestido y los brazos abiertos en cruz y cuyos pequeños hombros chorreantes se pegaron directamente a la pared?
It is hard to imagine what had happened to Fatima*. It is hard to describe the silence that swallowed the voices of the spectators of her death. I think the artworks on Facebook which had returned her head, portraying it as an orchard of flowers, a moon or a sun, tried hard to compensate for this horrifying silence, and to relieve Fatima, relieve her beloved ones, and relieve all of us.
What can be done for a little Syrian girl who had “lost” her head?!
What can be said to a little girl who had laid down on the ground in her dress, opening her arms, her small bleeding shoulders stuck directly to the wall..? استمر في القراءة ←
Although the author directs this article toward “elitist” and “recalcitrant” Arab intellectuals the Free Syrian Translators Team feel that the same criticism can be directed towards many international “experts” and “analysts” on the Arab region, for their lack of support of the Syrian Revolution and or “neutral” opinions.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Some Arab intellectuals have grown accustomed to contempt and disdain of their own societies as well as focusing their criticism on these societies under the pretext of their backwardness, them succumbing to tyranny, and their susceptibility to oppression. Yet as soon as these societies have risen in revolutions and uprisings (some of which are legendary by means of grit and courage) to overthrow tyranny and confront its consequences, those intellectuals have gone silent or started to dictate the conditions upon which they would decide whether to support these societies while they face the guns and knives, or remain “neutral”.
“Before my departure from this world, I hope to sit in a Damascene cafe and swear at the top of my voice at all the Syrian officials without feeling intimidated or fearing arrest.”
Born in Damascus in 1931, Zakaria Tamer lived in its traditional working class neighborhoods, where he worked from a young age in blacksmithing and hand crafts, through which he came to know his society and people, the circumstances of their lives and their varied mentalities.
In 1957, he decided to enter the world of writing and chose short stories as his literary genre.
From 1960 until 1978, and between 1994 and 2005, several collections of Tamer’s short stories were published, including the “Neighing of the White Horse”, “A Spring in the Ashes”, “Thunder”, “Damascus of the Fires”, “The Tigers in the Tenth Day”, “Noah’s Calling”, “We will Laugh”, “Sour Grapes”, “Knee Busting”, and “The Hedgehog”. In addition, he published children’s stories, most notably “Why the River went Silent” and “The Rose said to the Sparrow”.
In 1986, a year after his abduction and experiencing the barbarism he has discussed and analyzed in his writings on Syria, Michel Seurat died in the southern suburb of Beirut, the Lebanese capital which was devastated by civil war and the grip of the Syrian Intelligence services.
Today, we remember his texts that have been compiled in the second edition of his book “The State of Barbarism”, with their ingenuity and pertinence, even though it has been three decades since they were first published.
In the context of the ongoing Syrian Revolution, we can contemplate two issues he addressed in his texts: the “Asabiyya” and “The conflict between Society and State”.
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.
More than a year has passed since the start of the Syrian revolution demanding freedom, dignity and the departure of the Assad family. Over ten thousand dead, a hundred thousand injured and more than 40 thousand refugees fled to Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordon as well as about a hundred and fifty thousand citizens who were arrested, twenty thousand of them are still in detention. All this in addition to damages to property and infrastructure and the systematic destruction of many regions.
The original article in French can be read here. An Arabic text is also available here.
Tens of reports have been published by various human rights organisations including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the United Nations Council for Human Rights, and Médecins Sans Frontières documenting verified cases and eye witness accounts. All these, as well as films and interviews conducted with doctors, activists, and defected soldiers ascertain that atrocities and violations are being carried out in Syria which can be classified as crimes against humanity.