Robin Yassin-Kassab

A Syrian

with 5 comments

I met a Syrian whose identity will be revealed at the time of revealing. The Syrian, who is a revolutionary and someone who knows, reassured me of the final outcome. There are two options, the Syrian said. Either the regime goes or the people go. The people say: let’s say there’s been an earthquake. Let’s say a million of us have been killed. Now let’s go out and bring down the regime.

The Syrian said the businessmen of Aleppo in recent weeks have sent their capital into Turkey. Aleppo will rise, the Syrian said.

The Syrian has suffered. The Syrian is not a child. Almost enough clues.

While we were talking the Syrian heard that another friend had been detained. A woman. A professional.

The Syrian is an Alawi. When the Syrian visits working class Sunni areas the Syrian is received with great honour. The Syrian has no problem with the bearded and hijabbed. If they’re too strict it’s because their lives are too difficult, but they aren’t too strict, because they consider all free Syrians their brothers and sisters. There are many Alawis among the revolution. The sectarian revolutionaries live abroad, not at home. Sectarians do not thrive in the new environment. Yes, there are some Salafis running around with guns, but they’re the same Salafis the regime sent to Iraq, the same ones the regime collects in its prisons when it chooses. The Syrian visits areas in the suburbs which the Syrian would never previously have visited. The Syrians are discovering each other, the Syrian said. The sects are cooperating, and the religious and the secular, and the country’s cities and villages chant each others’ names. And One, One, the Syrian People Are One.

Who is with the regime? Sectarians, the corrupt, the guilty. A minority. That’s what the Syrian said.

Regime supporters explain the revolution thus: the people of Dara‘a are tribal and backward; the people of Deir ez-Zor likewise; the Hamwis are Muslim Brotherhood terrorists; the Homsis are Salafists and stupid; in Qamishli they’re all dirty Kurds and separatists; in the Damascus suburbs they’re all flip-flop wearing scum. The Syrians are a filth that must be cleansed. There is no god but Bashaar.

The Syrian described the Syrian people as a phoenix. Every day it dies, shot or bludgeoned or stabbed or strangled, and every day it returns to life, from its own ashes. Funerals are new births.

Written by Robin Yassin-Kassab

September 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Posted in Syria

5 Responses

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  1. I truly hope this Syrian is correct. The persistence of the uprising certainly gives reason for hope, even if the regime’s sectarian provocations give warning of the dangers that must be avoided at all costs. Even if the true heart of the protestors are exactly as this Syrian says, one need only look to Bahrain, Iraq, Saudi, Lebanon etc. to see cases where regimes and outside meddlers like the US government can cause great damage via sectarianism. But if this Syrian is right, there is great hope.

    Non-Arab Arab

    September 14, 2011 at 5:58 am

  2. “Who is with the regime?”Is that the question now? if there is no one with the”regime” ((I prefer to call it :goverment)),and sure there is(not as he said : “Sectarians, the corrupt, the guilty. A minority” becuase I AM NOT ONE OF THEM),but at list day after day we discover that those who called:Peaceful demonstrators are worse than our biggest fear
    There is no hope at all if there a lot of people think in tha same way …There is no Hope.


    September 14, 2011 at 10:30 am

    • Your English is not good so I’m not sure what you’re saying. But you think that the criminals who are murdering and torturing the Syrian people deserve to be called ‘government’. There is something wrong with you. Perhaps the slave mentality, perhaps sectarian or class hatred. Perhaps you are being paid to propagandise. In any case. there is no hope for your obscene world view. Don’t bother replying. I have no more desire to allow this space to be used by asadist propagandists than by zionist racists.

      Robin Yassin-Kassab

      September 14, 2011 at 10:35 am

  3. Robin,

    I love what this Syrian is saying. I just hope it is not because it is what I want to hear but rather because it is a true reflection of the reality on the street.

    Abu Kareem

    September 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

  4. Robin,
    This is the most reassuring post I have read in a while. I have to agree that the sectarians live outside. It is what I want to hear (sorry Abu Kareem) and at the same time, it is consistent with much of Syria’s history.


    September 16, 2011 at 6:51 pm

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