Archive for the ‘Strategy for Liberation’ Category

Italian protest (No War = Pro Assad)

Italian protest (No War = Pro Assad)

by Fouad Roueiha, translated by Mary Rizzo
On the pages of Facebook, we find ourselves often reading the analysis on the situation in Syria. The writers want to appear that they have at heart freedom, justice, peace. Here a post that passes itself off as No-War but instead is something different and sinister. In this case the author is the “foreign policy” voice of Rifondazione Comunista, an Italian “armchair and cocktail party left party”. Thank goodness there are people that are able to answer in a correct manner, in this case Fouad Roueiha, an Italian-Syrian.

The Post: FA writes: “Here we go again.  Imperialism has found and presented to the world the casus belli to justify a new aggression. We are dealing with a curious case of self-fulfilling expectations.  Obama has been talking about chemical  weapons for months.  It is likely that the same were used to justify the war against Iraq. The  Syrian civil war is full of horrors, like every civil war. To feed into that there has been the contribution of many, among them, precisely the usa, gb and france, together with their allies of the oil monarchies, that fund and train the rebels, avoiding any kind of  political solution. In Syria there is a proxy war between powers, regional and international, that  are destabilising the entire area, as the recent attacks in Lebanon show.  We are opposed to any aggression by the united states, nato, gb  or france against Syria. Italy better say out of this umpteenth  neo-colonial adventure.”

The Response: Fouad Roueiha You have left us alone, in silence, when inspired by the shout of freedom of our brothers, also our voices filled the streets and our only weapons were hope, dignity and desire for democracy. Our chants for democracy, for unity and for non-violence filled the spaces of our squares that saw history be born, while the ancient pavements of our streets were coloured with our blood. For 6 months no one responded to he provocations, to the fierce repression, to the siege of entire towns deprived of water and electricity in the middle of the summer heat. Then, when the cheeks to turn simply were no more, when our freedom fighters (like yours did) ascended on the mountains risking not only their lives but also those of the their loved ones, then you have condemned us. When we were under overpowering superiority of hostile fire, fed by the men, arms and fuel of Iran, Russia, Lebanon, Iraq and even Europe, you did not lift a finger to hinder this flow of death towards our land, clearly those forces are the Empire of Good. But if crushed by lead, explosives and MiGs of The Good, our freedom fighters have accepted the (anything but disinterested) help of the antagonists of the Empire that pleases you, finally able to give substance to the defamatory accusations that since the first hour you have directed towards us. And don’t show me maps and statistics, analysis and numbers, those work well ” in society”, in your posh meeting places, but not for those who have heard the words and the chants of those who have taken to the streets… now isn’t that odd, in Syria the children do not ask themselves which international power benefits the most from their protests; they come down to the streets for their right to a future, to have the dignity of choosing their own destiny, to demand democracy, slogans that i recall having heard in many other places, even right next to yours in Piazza San Giovanni (traditional meeting place for the Italian left protests and meetings, translator’s note) or under Montecitorio (seat of the Italian Parliament), although Italy seems like a paradise of democracy compared with our land.

Syria protesters in Baba Amr (Pro-freedom = Anti-Assad)

Syria protesters in Baba Amr (Pro-freedom = Anti-Assad)

Calm down “comrades”, the States (that Italy welcomes with open arms, when the nazi-fascists raped the lands) will not come simply because is not their interest therefore without too much effort you will obtain the result wished by “peaceful” Fabio… but the 1500 dead of Ghouta, that must be added to 100,000 lives broken from Assad and companions, are not a casus belli, but a disgrace for humanity and for you particularly, you that love to pose as champions of the oppressed and of the have-nots but you are deaf if the enemy of those oppressed is not that “traditional” one, if what happens does not answer to your narrative of the world.

Dear lazy or know-it-all judges of other people’s history, do us a favour if you can: do not come to cry over our children, do not shed a tear at the funeral of our nation, you are not invited. 

p. s.

A special thanks to all those who (how it always happens in these occasions), in response to what I have written and from on high of their knowledge of my person, of my land, of the realpolitik and of the international geopolitics,  want to define me as a rat, jihadist, throat-cutter, spy on the mossad payroll… your contribution will be really precious.

No-War? Non proprio!

Ecco sulle pagine FB, ci troviamo spesso degli analisi sulla situazione in Siria. Devono sembrare che chi li scrive ha a cuore la libertà, la giustizia, la pace. Ecco un post che si spaccia per No-War ma invece è qualcosa di diverso e di sinistro. Menomale che ci sono persone che riescono a rispondere in modo corretto.

Il Post: FA “Ci risiamo. L’imperialismo ha trovato e presentato al mondo il casus belli per giustificare una nuova aggressione. Si tratta di un curioso caso di aspettative auto realizzatesi. Obama è da mesi che parla di armi chimiche. É probabile che siano le stesse usate per giustificare la guerra all’irak. La guerra civile siriana è piena di orrori, come ogni guerra civile. Ad alimentarla hanno contribuito in molti, fra cui proprio usa, gb e francia, insieme ai loro alleati delle petromonarchie, che finanziano e addestrano i ribelli, evitando qualsiasi soluzione politica. In Siria si sta combattendo una guerra per procura fra potenze, regionali e internazionali, che sta destabilizzando tutta l’area, come dimostrano i recenti attentati in Libano. Noi siamo contrari a qualsiasi aggressione da parte di usa, nato gb o francia contro la Siria. l’Italia stia fuori da questa ennesima avventura neocoloniale.”

La Risposta: Fouad Roueiha Ci avete lasciati soli, nel silenzio, quando ispirati dal grido di libertà dei nostri fratelli anche le nostre voci hanno riempito le strade e le nostre uniche armi erano speranza, dignità e voglia di democrazia. I nostri canti per la democrazia, per l’unità e la non-violenza hanno riempito l’aere delle nostre piazze che hanno visto nascere la storia, mentre i selciati antichi si tingevano del nostro sangue. Per 6 mesi nessuno ha risposto alle provocazioni, alla feroce repressione, all’assedio di intere città private d’acqua ed elettricità in piena estate. Quando poi sono finite le guance da porgere, quando i nostri partigiani (come fecero i vostri) salirono sulle montagne rischiando non solo le loro vite ma anche quelle dei loro cari, allora ci avete condannato. Quando eravamo sotto la soverchiante superiorità del fuoco nemico, alimentato dalle uomini, armi e carburanti di Iran, Russia, Libano, Iraq e persino dell’ Europa voi non avete mosso un dito per impedire il flusso di morte verso la nostra terra, evidentemente quello è l’Impero del Bene. Ma se schiacciati dal piombo, l’esplosivo ed i mig del Bene i nostri partigiani hanno accettato il (tutt’altro che disinteressato) aiuto degli antagonisti dell’Impero che piace a voi, finalmente avete potuto dar sostanza alle infamanti accuse che fin dalla prima ora ci avete rivolto. E non mostratemi cartine e statistiche, analisi e numeri, quelli van bene “in società”, nei vostri salottini, ma non per chi ha sentito le parole e le voci di chi è sceso in piazza… pensate che strano, in Siria i ragazzini non si chiedono quali potenza internazionale tragga vantaggio dal loro manifestare, scendono in piazza per il loro diritto al futuro, per aver la dignità di scegliere il proprio destino, per pretendere la democrazia, slogan che mi sembra di aver sentito da tante altre parti, anche da parte vostra in Piazza San Giovanni o sotto MOntecitorio, nonostante l’Italia appaia come un paradiso di democrazia confrontata con la nostra terra.

Tranquilli “compagni”, gli States (che l’Italia accolse a braccia aperte, quando i nazi-fascisti ne violentavano le terre) non interverranno semplicemente perchè non è loro interesse quindi senza troppi sforzi otterrete il risultato auspicato da tovarish Fabio… ma i 1500 morti di Ghouta, che si aggiungono alle 100.000 vite spezzate da Assad e compagni, non sono un casus belli ma una vergogna per l’umanità e per voi in particolare, voi che amate atteggiarvi a paladini degli oppressi e degli ultimi ma siete sordi se il nemico di quegli oppressi non è quello “tradizionale”, se quel che avviene non risponde alla vostra narrazione del mondo.

Cari ignavi o saputelli giudici dell’altrui storia, fateci un favore però: non venite a piangere i nostri bambini, non versate lascrime al funerale della nostra nazione, non siete invitati.

p.s.

Un ringraziamento particolare a tutti coloro che (come avviene sempre in queste occasioni), a seguito di quanto ho scritto e dall’alto della loro conoscenza della mia persona, della mia terra, della real politic e della geopolitica internazionale vorranno definirmi ratto, jihadista, tagliagole, spia al soldo del mossad…. il vostro contributo sarà davvero prezioso.

Sheik Moaz Al Khatib, capo della nuova costituzione Coalizione nazionale siriano per l’opposizione e le forze rivoluzionarie

11 novembre 2012, Qatar

Il popolo siriano è il prodotto di 10.000 anni di civiltà. Il grande popolo della Siria si trova ad affrontare ogni giorno, una guerra di sterminio programmato e distruzione selvaggia. Si può tranquillamente dire che non c’è un cittadino che non è stato danneggiato da questo regime. Molti partiti hanno esercitato molto sforzo per tirare questo regime fuori dalla sua primitività, la sua ferocia e la sua stupidità, ma sono stati messi fuori dalla sua testardaggine e la sua arroganza.

Il regime ha distrutto tutti gli aspetti della vita normale e ha trasformato la Siria in una rovina;  ha adoperato per 50 anni per negare la volontà del popolo e di giocare sulle sue contraddizioni che li utilizzano per lacerare la nostra gente. Dopo una lunga lotta, numerosi gruppi patriottici sono ora uniti come una sola per fermare il massacro a cui il nostro popolo è stato sottoposto ogni giorno, mentre il resto del mondo ascolta passivamente e guarda.

Il nostro compito primario è quello di fornire assistenza umanitaria d’emergenza per il nostro popolo e di fermare il torrente di sangue che scorre giorno e notte, come ci uniamo i nostri ranghi per rimuovere questo regime tirannico con tutti i suoi simboli e costruire una società giusta fondata sulla giustizia e la dignità che è un dono da Dio ad ogni essere umano. Vorrei avvisarvi di determinate questioni, anche se leggermente spostato rispetto delle norme del protocollo diplomatico. Il primo problema è che la nostra rivoluzione è una rivoluzione pacifica che dal suo inizio alla sua fine ed è il solo regime che ha la responsabilità morale e legale, perché è il regime che ha costretto la nostra gente a ricorrere alla resistenza armata per difendersi, la loro famiglie, la loro cose e la loro religione.

In decine di città, fiori erano portanti durante le manifestazioni di migliaia di giovani uomini e donne. Portavano fiori e acqua fredda per dare ai membri delle forze di sicurezza per chiedere il loro diritto, semplicemente di esprimersi. Questo mostruoso regime ha risposto con arresti, carcere e la tortura e poi ha proceduto a distruggere la struttura fisica, sociale ed economica del paese, dopo aver distrutto il suo tessuto intellettuale e morale negli ultimi cinquant’anni.

Salutiamo la lotta di questo grande popolo, uomini, donne e bambini e salutiamo il loro leggendario coraggio di fronte all’oppressione e distruzione come ci troviamo con rispetto in memoria delle anime dei nostri martiri. Salutiamo anche con fedeltà tutti i combattenti dell’Esercito Siriano Libero che difendono la rivoluzione di fronte alla tirannia.

Il regime ha distrutto il nostro popolo, il nostro paese e il nostro esercito che onoriamo e proviamo il dolore alla vista di ogni bara di un soldato morto. Questo è l’esercito costruito dal lavoro duro del popolo, dal loro sudore e lacrime, per difendere il nostro paese, e lo abbiamo visto essere trasformato dal regime come una forza contro il popolo. Le richieste della gente erano molto semplici, fratelli, tutto ciò che il nostro popolo vuole è per ogni individuo di essere in grado di andare a dormire senza paura. Questa è stata la domanda del nostro popolo, fratelli, e il regime non ha risposto a questa domanda semplice, e oggi non ci sono decisioni accettabili, se non quella della partenza del regime e il completo smantellamento della sua struttura mostruosa.

La seconda questione ha a che fare con l’islamizzazione della rivoluzione e ciò che si dice, giorno e notte, per la ferocia del popolo siriano e dei suoi ribelli. O fratelli, e mi prendo la piena responsabilità di quello che dico, ogni combattente è alla ricerca di libertà, ma alcuni sono spinti agli estremi della ferocia delle forze del regime. Gli sforzi sono in corso per consigli giuridici che regolano il comportamento dei combattenti ribelli, anche quando si tratta di rapporti con i nemici. Questa rivoluzione usa “Takbir” (il canto di Allah è grande), in tutti i suoi angoli, non esclude nessuno dei nostri fratelli di tutte le fedi sono i nostri partner. Molti dei nostri fratelli cristiani sono uniti a noi come abbiamo iniziato a dimostrare dall’interno moschee e cantato “Allahu Akbar”, di fronte al tiranno. L’Islam che ci portiamo dietro è un islam che costruisce le civiltà e onora gli esseri umani, è un Islam che abbraccia il cristianesimo nella più sacra delle terre, un Islam che unisce la gente e non li divide, un islam che ritiene che la forza è nella diversità non nel isolamento. E nella scia dei primi martiri in Douma, è stato reso molto chiaro che noi chiediamo la libertà per ogni sunnita e alawita, ogni cristiano e Durzi, ogni Ismaili e Syriani. Sentiamo il dolore di ognuno di loro, dalle ingiustizie perpetrate contro il nostro arabismo alle ingiustizie perpetrate contro il grande popolo curdo e per le ingiustizie trattati ad ogni segmento della nostra società. Che cosa è presente nel nostro paese non è solo convivenza ma vero compassione e l’amore per il prossimo.

Il nostro lavoro si concluderà, e lo dico in particolare ai nostri confratelli all’interno della Siria, non appena si svolgono libere elezioni. Ogni questione giuridica e costituzionale è sospesa fino ad allora in modo che il popolo deciderà sul loro sistema giuridico e la loro costituzione con elezioni libere dopo la caduta del regime e in un clima di totale libertà e uguaglianza.

In terzo luogo, la rivoluzione le distanze dall’idea di vendetta contro chiunque e ci saranno comitati giudiziari di tenere chiunque responsabile, che commette crimini contro cittadini innocenti. Supplico anche, sapendo che molti degli ufficiali dell’esercito siriano e soldati sono persone oneste soppressi dal ferro e fuoco come noi tutti erano, mi appello a loro di prepararsi a disertare da questo corpo corrotto e di aiutarci a costruire la Siria del futuro. La maggior parte ha sofferto e le minoranze hanno sofferto e il regime ci ha trasformato uno contro l’altro, è il momento di unirsi in amore per affrontare la lunga notte.

In quarto luogo, noi come individui e comunità, non ha giurato e non giurerà mai fedeltà a qualsiasi lato o causa che è dannoso per il nostro popolo, la nostra unità e la nostra terra e il sangue è la firma del nostro impegno. Ci impegniamo davanti alla nostra gente per proteggere i loro interessi, la loro terra, la loro religione, la loro morale, la loro libertà e dello stato di diritto. La Siria del futuro sarà per tutti i suoi figli e e sue figlie. Mi impegno personalmente davanti ai miei fratelli, per essere al servizio del mio popolo, per unirli e che ogni decisione presa nel suo interesse di riconquistare la loro dignità.

In quinto luogo, chiediamo alla comunità internazionale, i suoi governi a onorare promesse di aiuto per la nostra gente. Il nostro popolo, o fratelli, non è un popolo primitivo o marginali, siamo i creatori di una grande civiltà e quando i diritti del nostro popolo vengono restituiti le risorgeremo di nuovo e creare una grande civiltà, dopo la caduta del regime. Chiediamo ogni le forme di aiuto umanitario, sostegno politico ed economico. A nome di tutti i nostri fratelli assenti in Siria, porgo i miei ringraziamenti al governo del Qatar e del suo popolo, l’Arabia Saudita e gli Emirati Arabi Uniti. Ringrazio i nostri partner di civiltà e di storia, i nostri fratelli turchi e dei nostri fratelli in Libia, Giordania ed Egitto. Spero che si possa lavorare insieme per alleviare le sofferenze del popolo siriano. Vorrei anche ringraziare tutti i nostri fratelli che hanno lavorato instancabilmente per molte notti di mettere insieme questa coalizione. Vorrei anche ringraziare il Consiglio Nazionale Siriano per aver collaborato con noi come fratelli, perché alla fine siamo fratelli.

Infine, vorrei salutare il nostro grande popolo, con riverenza e baciare la mano di ogni madre e padre. Voglio anche salutare la fermezza dei nostri giovani uomini e donne. Voglio salutare in particolare le donne siriane, esemplare della più grande donna su questa terra, che ha fatto gli esseri umani che conquistarono ferro e sangue. Vorrei anche affrontare i nostri figli, loro hanno il mio amore incondizionato e dire loro che ci verseremo il nostro sangue in modo che possano andare a letto felice, con un sorriso sulle labbra e con l’amore e la pace nei loro sogni. Voglio dire a tutti i siriani che se si trova bene in quello che faccio poi mi tengono, e altrimenti che mi chiedono di lasciare, io vi amo tutti e chiedo a dio per il successo, la lode appartiene ad Allah, Signore dei mondi.

http://levantdream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/translation-of-sheik-moaz-kahtibs-speech.html

(Traduzione dall’arabo: Rabi Tawil, traduzione dall’inglese Mary Rizzo)

Le facce in gigantografia che vedano tutto, anche dopo la morte

Ruth Riegler ha intervistato un attivista in Siria per comprendere la vita che si conduce nella Siria rivoluzionaria. Egli usa uno pseudonomo. Traduzione a cura di Shadi Inomad

RR: Come descriveresti la vita prima della rivoluzione? E quali credi siano state le origini della rivoluzione?

FS: Il mio nome è Libero Siriano (Free Syrian). Voglio dire al mondo perché abbiamo fatto la rivoluzione contro Bashar Al Assad e il suo regime. Tutti nel mondo sanno che si tratta di una grandiosa rivoluzione, ma in realtà nessuno sa quale sia la vera ragione dietro di essa. Te lo dirò io. Voglio che il mondo intero sappia come si viveva prima della rivoluzione e quali sono le ragioni di questa. Vivevamo in un mondo in cui abbiamo dovuto dar retta e obbedire come schiavi – qualunque cosa dicesse il padrone, dovevi obbedire e farlo, e se gli disubbidivi ti puniva o ti uccideva.

Abbiamo vissuto in uno stato di sicurezza, il che significa che siamo stati governati da un presidente e dai suoi militari, dall’intelligence, dagli ufficiali dell’esercito, dalla polizia regolare e quella militare, dagli informatori e dagli shabbiha (bande armate, sono delle milizie paramilitari a base settaria, ossia composta da alawiti, che vengono pagate profumatamente e agiscono a sostegno di Assad, ndr). Quando volevi far qualcosa, dovevi prima ottenere il loro permesso e vedere se le loro regole ti permettevano di farlo o no, il che significava che non avevi il diritto di fare nessuna cosa in modo indipendente e avresti dovuto affrontare degli ostacoli se avessi tentato. Solo il personale del regime poteva vivere liberamente e senza essere governati da delle leggi; potevano fare ciò che volevano senza chiedere, comandando ogni settore, tra cui il sistema politico, il petrolio e il gas, l’economia, le banche, il commercio, i militari, l’agricoltura e l’istruzione. In effetti, si consideravano degli dei.

I siriani erano proibiti dal toccare la loro terra: l’esercito israeliano, addirittura faceva esercitazioni.

Abbiamo vissuto sotto questo regime, che rivendica di essere anti-sionista, ma in realtà questa è solo un’altra menzogna perché per 47 anni non ha mai sparato un solo proiettile contro Israele e ha mantenuto la calma nelle alture occupate del Golan, vietando a qualsiasi siriano di sparare anche un solo colpo contro Israele o di rivendicare questa terra rubata. Chiunque lo avesse fatto sarebbe stato gettato in prigione, punito ed eventualmente ucciso.

Abbiamo vissuto come schiavi, senza alcun diritto. Ci sono stati vietati la scelta di un candidato alla presidenza, lo svolgimento di elezioni libere, la costituzione di partiti politici o la selezione di nostri rappresentanti per il parlamento. Solo ad Assad e alla sua rete di intelligence era concesso scegliere i parlamentari e scelsero le persone più corrotte, senza morale o coscienza, permettendo loro di fare i propri interessi. Se ti fossi opposto a qualunque cosa facessero, saresti stati messo in prigione e ti avrebbero fatto ogni cosa avessero voluto, perché tu non sei nulla per loro.

La gente aveva paura di opporsi o dissentire con il regime o chiunque fosse vicino ai servizi segreti: i siriani impararono a tenere la testa bassa e non dire nulla. Anche se solo avessi maledetto Bashar, sarebbero venuti a prenderti ovunque tu fossi e ti avrebbero portato alla sezione locale dei servizi segreti, senza che nessuno sapesse dove tu fossi o osasse chiedere di te o anche solo nominare il tuo nome. Se volevi dare vita a un movimento politico sarebbe successo lo stesso, perché in Siria abbiamo avuto un solo partito e tutti i siriani erano costretti a farne parte. Se tu avessi evitato il servizio militare obbligatorio e non volessi servire, ti avrebbero imprigionato per tre o più mesi per poi in ogni caso costringerti a fare il servizio militare. Se si fosse morti in custodia dei servizi segreti, nessuno avrebbe chiesto come e perché eri morto e nessuno sarebbe stato ritenuto responsabile per la tua morte, perché la Costituzione conferisce l’immunità completa al presidente, ai suoi servizi di intelligence e i suoi alleati militari. Il popolo siriano è trattato come gli insetti che sono schiacciati sotto i piedi, senza attenzione per i nostri morti.

L’oppressione non si può fotografare, ma la si può sentire ovunque.

Il sistema permetteva al presidente, alle sue forze armate e ai servizi segreti, di arrestare, torturare o uccidere chiunque, di fare quello che volevano di noi, senza che nessuno nel mondo esterno sapesse cosa stava succedendo. La corruzione, il nepotismo e il favoritismo sono la norma in tutte le istituzioni statali e la gente ha imparato a esistere solo e a badare solo ai propri interessi, non chiedendo o aiutando nessuno se non sè stessi, dove solo Assad ei suoi fedelissimi del regime avevano il permesso di fare ciò che volevano; la Siria è la sua fattoria e i siriani sono gli animali.

Vorrei anche fare un accenno sull’economia siriana. Nonostante la scoperta di riserve di petrolio e di gas nel nord-est del paese e di enormi riserve di petrolio e di gas offshore, ci chiedevamo perché questi prodotti fossero così costosi per noi e perché invece compravamo gas e petrolio dall’Iran, Iraq ed Egitto. Abbiamo scoperto che questo accadeva perché Bashar e la sua famiglia rubavano il gas e il petrolio della Siria per venderlo sottocosto alla Russia e ai paesi europei, mantenendo i profitti per sè stessi, mentre noi siriani non avevamo altra scelta che comprare gas e petrolio dalle aziende statali a prezzi elevati – sempre che riuscissimo a trovarne per tutti. Il governo aumentò artificiosamente in modo costante il prezzo del petrolio e del gas e di conseguenza i prezzi di ogni altro bene – pane, riso, zucchero, vestiti, prodotti elettronici, case, tutto – aumentò e continuò a crescere senza mai diminuire. Data la grande ricchezza di petrolio e gas del nostro Paese, questa è la situazione più assurda.

La nostra economia è una farsa. Anche se il governo ha ottenuto aiuti provenienti da altri paesi, qualunque nostra domanda riguardo dove sarebbero finiti tali fondi è rimasta senza risposta. Quando volevamo sviluppare la didattica del paese, la sanità, l’agricoltura, alcuni settori industriali o la sua rete elettrica, il governo disse che avrebbe avuto bisogno di imporre più tasse per farlo, che avrebbe avuto bisogno dell’aiuto di altre nazioni, perché la Siria non aveva le risorse.

Ogni aspetto della vita dei siriani era controllato, l’intelligenza spiava sempre. Ecco la vita sotto degli Assad.

Se un siriano, cercando di vivere una vita dignitosa, avesse voluto avviare una attività produttiva per vendere i nostri propri prodotti, o di importare merci da rivendere, come automobili, vestiti o apparecchiature elettriche, il regime non ce lo avrebbe permesso, a meno che ne avesse una percentuale degli utili e fossero pagate tangenti regolari [oltre le consuete tasse]. Se eri d’accordo, ti avrebbero concesso una licenza di esercizio, ma se ti fossi rifiutato, ti avrebbero respinto la richiesta e creato ostacoli.

Chiunque avesse voluto aprire qualsiasi tipo di negozio, sia un piccolo negozio che venda generi alimentari, o una libreria, un supermercato, un internet café o qualsiasi altra cosa, avrebbe dovuto anzitutto ottenere il permesso da parte dei servizi segreti, prima di richiedere una licenza agli organi statali competenti, e pagare tangenti ai funzionari. Per esempio, se avessi voluto aprire un internet café, avrei dovuto in primis ottnere il permesso dei servizi segreti, quindi andare al ministero della comunicazione e pagare una tangente ai funzionari perché alla domanda fosse dato il suo corso, prima di andare all’ufficio locale del governatorato, poi all’ente dell’istituzione finanziaria, e proseguire con questo groviglio burocratico per mesi prima di non arrivare comunque a ottenere niente. Anche se volevi sposarti e organizzare una festa di nozze, per farlo dovevi prima ottenere il permesso ufficiale dello stato; mi dispiace usare un linguaggio grezzo, ma è una storiella ricorrente tra siriani che anche se tu volessi fare l’amore con tua moglie era prima necessario ottenere il permesso scritto del governo.

Abbiamo anche avuto il servizio militare obbligatorio per ogni uomo di una certa età. Molti fuggono all’estero per lavorare o studiare quando raggiungono i 18 anni, o pagano tangenti per evitare il servizio militare (dai 1000 dollari americani in su, cioè lo stipendio medio annuale di un siriano, ndr). Se non potevi permetterti di viaggiare e lavorare o studiare all’estero e non avessi altro modo per sfuggire alla coscrizione, avresti potuto lavorare per loro come un servo, un autista o una guardia. Se eri in grado di pagare una tangente settimanale agli ufficiali superiori, avresti potuto esser esentato dal servizio e avresti potuto ottenere il permesso di andare a cercare un posto di lavoro o piuttosto rimanere disoccupato. Se avessi potuto permetterti di pagare una tangente maggiore come l’acquisto di un televisore per un alto ufficiale, o di pagare le loro bollette telefoniche, o riparare la sua macchina o facendo un qualsiasi altro servizio utile, avresti potuto essere in grado di evitare il servizio militare per i prossimi due anni, ma dopo ciò avresti dovuti iniziare la tua vita ancora una volta da zero.

I siriani vogliano la libertà

Queste sono alcune delle cose che ci hanno spinto a insorgere contro il regime di Assad. Vogliamo la libertà. Vogliamo scegliere noi stessi la nostra vita. Vogliamo organizzare e rafforzare il nostro paese con le nostre mani. Vogliamo costruire e produrre le nostre merci nei nostri stabilimenti. Vogliamo migliorare l’istruzione della Siria, la salute, l’agricoltura e tutti gli altri settori, che Assad ha ignorato, vogliamo essere innovatori, per costruire le prime automobili e primi treni arabi. Sì, siamo persone come chiunque altro al mondo che vuole dignità. Per tutte queste ragioni noi continueremo a combattere e non torneremo indietro; vivremo la nostra vita con dignità o moriremo come martiri. Vogliamo la libertà.

RR: Puoi brevemente descrivere una giornata tipo in modo da dare ai lettori un’idea di ciò che tu e altri siriani dovete avere a che fare?

FS: Immaginati di svegliarti in una bella mattina di sole, di lavarti il viso e poi bere il tuo caffè, sorridendo al pensiero di quel che otterrai oggi, anche se devi superare degli ostacoli introdotti da parte del governo sul tuo percorso. Quella era la vita prima della rivoluzione.

Ora riusciamo a dormire in orari normali e ci svegliamo presto, sempre che riusciamo a dormire. Tutto ciò che riguarda le nostre vite è cambiato da quando è iniziata la nostra benedetta rivoluzione, il 15 Marzo 2011 a Daraa. Ad ogni modo, lascia che ti dica cosa è cambiato nel mio programma quotidiano e nella vita in generale. Anzitutto, ho comiciato a dormire tardi oppure a mala pena non dormire affatto, svegliandomi sempre per udire esplosioni di bombe, colpi di cannone, spari oppure manifestazioni, giorno e notte. Pure le mie abitudini sono cambiate. Frequentavo un istituto locale di lingua inglese per esercitarmi nella capacità di traduzione e per sviluppare le mie competenze dopo la laurea, così come mi incontravo con un amico per lavorare in modo da trovare il miglior posto per ottenere un master in traduzione. Trovai un posto in un corso a Preston, nel Regno Unito, ma sfortunatamente non sono stato in grado di accettare l’offerta poiché non in possesso di un passaporto e poiché erano stati sospeti i corsi TOEFL al Centro Linguistico Americo nella mia città. Nonostante io abbia anche contattato il British Council per cercare di convincerli ad offrire un corso TOEFL o ILTES nel Regno Unito, non penso che quest’anno riuscirò a iniziare il mio Master e comunque ho perso la mia occasione. Questo non è stato l’unico problema che ho dovuto affrontare da quando, dopo aver cercato per un certo tempo un lavoro, me ne era stato promesso uno l’anno scorso in una società privata di comunicazioni. Tuttavia anche questo è saltato dato che la situazione qui era diventata sempre peggiore. Il fatto che non avessi svolto il servizio militare significava che non potevo lavorare o viaggiare, perché non fare il servizio militare ti preclude la possibilità di fare entrambe le cose, un altro ostacolo per lasciare il paese per fare il mio Master. Questo mi ha fatto sentire senza speranza, senza lavoro e senza la speranza di un Master stavo perdendo il desiderio per la vita e tutto il resto. In seguito il regime cominciò ad uccidere la nostra gente, in un primo momento a Daraa, dove le truppe di Assad usavano proiettili veri contro manifestanti disarmati, e in seguito con carri armati dentro le città. A noi giovani siriani ciò non piacque e cominciammo a manifestare contro questo atteggiamento. Successivamente il regime cominciò ad utilizzare delinquenti e picchiatori in borghese, noti come “shabbiha”, per terrorizzarci, e da allora ha usato di tutto contro di noi.

Prima della rivoluzione ero solito avere tre pasti al giorno, ora ne ho uno solo. Prima dormivo otto ore, ora avrei potuto al massimo dormirne cinque e spesso restavo sveglio fino al mattino. Ho lavorato per far quel che potevo per aiutare i siriani che avevano bisogno di assistenza, nascondendoli e aiutando chiunque avesse bisogno di tradurre notizie o video inviati da altri attivisti. Ricevo un sacco di notizie, le traduco e le condivido ovunque posso, parlando con amici e scambiando opinioni su cosa dovremmo fare. Gran parte delle nostre conversazioni ruotano attorno a come ogni altra nazione del mondo stia sostenendo Bashar affinché rimanga al potere perché non vogliono perdere il loro maialino domestico che protegge Israele e ne preserva la sicurezza nella regione.

Il regime ora ha collocato posti di blocco sulle strade principali in ogni paesino ed in ogni città, e ha chiuso tutte le strade che portano al suo palazzo a Damasco, così come ha posizionato cecchini ovunque, specialmente nelle zone dei ribelli. Se vuoi andare a fare shopping o in palestra, vedere gli amici o andare da qualsiasi parte, le truppe del regime ti feramo ai checkpoints e verificano che il tuo nome non sia inserito nella lunga lista dei soggetti ricercati, di quelli che identificati come attivisti o di quelli che hanno evitato il servizio militare. Se il tuo nome è nella lista, ti arrestano o semplicemente ti sparano sul posto. Ogni giorno dobbiamo passare attraverso questi posti di blocco. Un giorno, di recente, sono andato a trovare degli amici per aiutarli nel lavoro connesso alla rivoluzione. Fui fermato per una mezz’ora ad un checkpoint e cominciai a preoccuparmi. Quando un soldato del regime chiamò il mio nome, andai da lui e gli chiesi quale fosse il problema: mi guardò e mi disse “Prendi la tua carta d’identità e vattene, stai sprecando il nostro tempo alla ricerca del nulla”. Dopo questo avvenimento, decisi che ovunque sarei andato, avrei utilizzato una scorciatoria per evitare i posti di blocco. Recentemente, in un’altra occasione, andai a Barzeh a visitare i genitori di un amico di nome Salim che era stato colpito a morte da un cecchino, per portar loro le mie condoglianze. In quel momento in quella zona vi erano degli scontri feroci tra le truppe del regime e l’ESL. Mentre ero in direzione dell’isolato dove si trovava l’appartamento della famiglia di Salim, un cecchino mi sparò ma mi manco per poco. Realizzai tutto ciò solo quando uno sconosciuto mi tirò verso l’entrata e mi disse “Sei matto? Vuoi morire così in malo modo?”.

La vita sotto i cecchini

Bashar il maiale ha ordinato di piazzare cecchini ovunque e ha dato loro istruzioni di sparare a chiunque essi vogliano. Molti dei miei amici sono stati uccisi dai cecchini, mentre altri sono stati nel mirino ma sono sopravvissuti. Un mio amico di nome Anwar ch era senza paura e partecipava ad ogni manifestazione anti-regime, fu colpito alla testa. Nonostante sia rimasto nel reparti di terapia intensiva per sei mesi, Allah ha evidentemente voluto che continuasse a vivere, con il proiettile che era passato attraverso il cranio. Nonostante sia sopravvissuto, tuttavia ora è parzialmente paralizzato e ha una mobilità molto limitata del suo braccio e della gamba destre. Altri amici sono tra coloro che sono scomparsi dopo esser stati arrestati dalle forze del regime; nessuno sa dove siano o se siano ancora ancora in vita. Uno di loro, un mio caro amico che si chiama Bilal, era sempre solito venire ad ogni manifestazione per sostenere la caduta del regime. Quotidianamente sento di amici che vengono rapiti per ottenere un riscatto, mentre alcuni amici vengono rapiti per strada oppure ai posti di blocco. Alcuni chiamano i loro genitori per chiedere soldi da versare ai rapitori; a meno che il riscatto non sia pagato non gli viene detto dove si trovi il loro bambino.

E’ impossibile descrivere l’interno che stiamo vivendo, senza alcun ordine o stabilità, mentre il mondo sta a guardare e non fa nulla. Molti giovani per sopravvivere fuggono all’estero: altri si uniscono all’ESL, molti dei quali dopo aver defezionato dalle forze del regime che sono sono costretti a servire. Al momento questa è la mia vita in Siria. Ho pensato di entrare nell’ESL. A dire il vero, spesso vorrei fuggire il più velocemente possibile. Già avevo pensato di fuggire e di andare all’estero, ma come ho detto non ho un passaporto e, nonostante abbia chiesto a molti amici e conoscenti di aiutarmi ad uscire, è molto difficile farlo senza passaporto.

Alla fine voglio dire che odio Bashar Al Assad e suo padre da quando sono venuti a governare la Siria. Conosciamo tutta la storia della sua famiglia e quel che hanno fatto. Sappiamo della loro distruzione assassina e sappiamo che Hafez Al Assad ebbe supporto e copertura dei suoi crimi a Hama, Aleppo e Deir El Zour (all’inizio degli anni ’80, ndr) da parte di USA, Russia, Iran e Israele e che questi stessi paesi stanno facendo lo stesso per suo figlio Bashar.

Dopo l’ennesima invasione del campo rifugiati vicino Damasco. Carri armati che hanno devastato anche le macchine.

RR: Come rispondi a quelli che continuano ad insistere sul fatto che Assad è un’icona anti-sionista?

FS: Tutti sappiamo che Hafez Al Assad (che Allah possa maledire lui e suo figlio) ha venduto le alture del Golan ad Israele e che fu responsabile dell’uccisione di molti palestinesi in Libano e Siria per preservare la sicurezza di Israele in Libano. Ora suo figlio Bashar sta facendo la stessa cosa in maniera differente. Ha attaccato molte aree palestinesi presenti in Siria, in particolare a Damasco il campo profughi di Yarmouk, che ho visto con i miei occhi. Se credi che egli sostenga Hezbollah per combattere e sconfiggere Israele, questa è una menzogna. Tutti sappiamo che (Bashar, ndr) ha dato a Hezbollah il via libera di uccidere il leader sunnita Rafiq Al Hariri in Libano, oltre ad esser d’accordo con Nasrallah per migliorare l’immagine di Nasrallah stesso e farlo sembrare un eroe di guerra, ma la guerra del 2007 contro Israele fu un’altra menzogna, semplicemente uno stratagemma per consentire l’espansione di Hezbollah in Libano e far sì che gli sciiti avessero un maggior potere nel paese per permettere all’Iran di avere lì il controllo e realizzare il piano di Teheran per un Medio Oriente sciita, dall’Iran all’Iraq, Siria, Libano, Egitto, Arabia Saudita e Yemen. Bashar Al Assad insiste sempre sul fatto che si oppone a Israele, che egli conduce la resistenza contro Israele stesso. Al che io rispondo: allora perché improgioni, torturi e uccidi i miei amici e decine di migliaia di altre persone in Siria? Perché ammazzi i miei fratelli palestinesi e iracheni? Perché non hai fatto nulla quando gli aerei militari israeliani violarono lo spazio aereo siriano? Non cercare di mentire al popolo siriano, noi ti conosciamo meglio di chiunque altro, lo sappiamo che il tuo lavoro è quello di uccidere noi e proteggere Israele; che Dio ti maledica, figlio di un adulterio.

Homs, molte famiglie cercano il reparo durante un bombardamento

RR: Come fai fronte allo stress per vivere in quella che è a tutti gli effetti una zona di guerra?

FS: E’ molto difficile per noi garantire i nostri bisogni in queste circostanze; viviamo con prudenza e mangiamo e compriamo solo lo stretto necessario. Per me, diventa più difficile sapendo che sono senza lavoro e che mio padre mi sta tuttora aiutando finanziariamente. Vivo con i miei genitori e li aiuto; nella situazione attuale, in Siria la maggior parte delle famiglie allargate è ammassata in una sola casa, con qualcosa come dalle tre alle dieci famiglie separate in ogni casa. La situazione è molto brutta, la maggior parte della Siria, tra il 65 e il 75%, è distrutta. Cerchiamo di acquistare e immagazzinare tutto il cibo che si può, ma alcune zone sono senza niente. In aree come quella di Homs non riescono a trovare alcun cibo e niente con cui proteggersi e mantenersi al caldo. L’inverno presto arriverà, fra due mesi, e vogliamo porre fine a ciò il più presto possibile. La maggior parte delle città siriana non hanno più nulla, Assad ha bruciato la maggior parte delle colture e ha distrutto le case. Io posso mangiare quasi tutti i giorni, ma altri non possono e sono preoccupato per loro. Gli inviamo aiuti ma il regime sta assediando quelle aree, nonostante l’ESL faccia del suo meglio e lavora duramente per fornire aiuti e medicine.

Nessuno ha una minima idea della tragedia che stiamo vivendo, ma i nostri spiriti rimangono forti e tutti noi sappiamo che vinceremo perché Allah è con noi e uccideremo Bashar, inshallah. Continueremo a sostenerci l’un l’altro con cibo, medicine o qualsiasi cosa necessaria per vincere. Voglio sottolineare che il vero esercito del nostro paese è l’Esercito Siriano Libero, l’ESL, e siamo molto orgogliosi di loro. Siamo tutti parte del popolo siriano e saremo tutti uniti: come gridiamo alle nostre manifestazioni, “Uno, uno, uno – il popolo siriano è uno”.

Dov’è il mondo?

RR: Come ti senti circa l’apatia di gran parte del mondo nei confronti della rivoluzione siriana e hai cambiato opinione riguardo la “comunità internazionale”? Se sì, come?

FS: Perché il mondo intero ha benedetto le rivoluzioni in Tunisia, Egitto, Libia e Yemen e le ha sostenute, mentre nessuno ha aiutato o supportato la nostra rivoluzione inSiria o ha cercato di raccontare la verità sulla giustezza della nostra causa? Perché è stato permesso a Russia, Iran, Cina e Iraq di continuare ad aiutare Bashar e il suo regime con armi, denaro, petrolio, benzina e iniziative politiche? Perché le potenze occidentali non hanno cercato di aiutarci creando una no-fly zone, fornendoci le armi necessarie o garantire zone al sicuro per i civili?

Tutte queste domande possono sembrare senza risposta, ma noi siriani sappiamo perché: le potenze occidentali vogliono imporci la loro soluzione con le loro maniere, e questo è ciò che non accetteremo mai. Ma ti dirò quali sono le opzioni o le soluzioni che ci offrono. Vogliono farci accettare le loro condizioni, consentendo a Bashar di rimanere al potere, accordandoci una libertà apparente e dei cambiamenti di facciata creando un governo di unità nazionale. Non vogliono gente nobile o veri ed autentici patrioti così come non vogliono l’ESL; vogliono ucciderli tutti e imporci a loro volontà. Quel che più conta è che vogliono che Israele sia lasciata in pace senza che nessuno possa persino portare qualsiasi pericolo, e come la storia dimostra, Bashar è il miglior candidato per questo. Per questo motivo (le potenze occidentali, ndr) lasciano che Iran, Russia e Iraq lo sostengano inviandogli più armi e truppe per aiutarlo dopo che non avrà più siriani che compiono defezioni di massa in quanto i siriani non lo vogliono. Esse permettono a questi paesi di inviargli soldi e truppe da parte di Hezbollah, dell’Esercito del Mahdy (formazione paramilitare irachena creata nel giugno 2003 dal leader sciita iracheno Moqtada Al-Sadr, ndr) e della Quds Force (letteralmente “Brigata Gerusalemme”, l’unità delle Guardie Rivoluzionarie responsabile dell’esportazione dell’ideologia khomeinista fuori dall’Iran, è guidata dal generale Qasem Suleimani, ndr). Il loro pretesto per consentire ciò è che la questione è difficile e complessa, ma in realtà è molto semplice: vogliamo la libertà. Dateci le armi pesanti necessarie a distruggere i suoi aerei da guerra, carri armati e lanciarazzi e possiamo vincere. Essi sanno che Bashar è estremamente povero così usano anche la scusa che se ci dessero le armi, l’ESL non sarebbe in grado di controllarne l’accesso e Al Qaeda acquisirebbe potere. Ma i siriani sono tutti ben consapevoli che non esiste Al Qaeda nè in Siria nè in nessun paese arabo, e così le potenze occidentali tirarono fuori un’altra scusa: che la nostra opposizione non è unita. Ma in realtà neanchè le opposizioni che rovesciarono regimi in altre nazioni erano unite.

Le potenze occidentali non hanno fatto nulla neanche per i rifugiati siriani in Turchia, Giordania, Libano e Iraq; non hanno inviato loro alcun aiuto reale e non hanno permesso loro di fare nessun lavoro. Non li hanno nemmeno registrati presso le Nazioni Unite (come rifugiati, ndr), li hanno semplicemente lassciati nei campi situati in zone morte in Iraq e Giordania, perché vogliono che i siriani obbediscano ai loro ordini, accettando Bashar Al Asssad e ritornando a vivere sotto il suo regime e se rifiuteranno, verranno puniti lasciandoli senza cibo, acqua o i servizi essenziali. Non ci aiuteranno a ucciderlo, nessuno ci aiuterà. Abbiamo solo noi stessi e facciamo affidanmento solo a Dio, e questo è quel già stiamo facendo ora.

Momento durante un funerale per gli FSA

RR: Come vedi svilupparsi la situazione in Siria nel breve e nel lungo termine, e ti senti ottimista che si possa avere la pace dopo la caduta di Assad?

FS: La situazione si svilupperà in maniera lenta e sanguinosa se non lavoreremo sodo per risolverla. Se siamo in grado di muoverci velocemente per liberar noi stessi sarà il miligior modo per non perdere altri siriani e per salvare ciò che ancora possiamo del nostro popolo, delle nostre proprietà, infrastrutture, economia e tutto il resto. Se lo lasciamo fare ciò che lui, i suoi alleati e le potenze occidentali vogliono, perderemo altre persone e ci sarà un ulteriore spargimento di sangue. Se ciò accade, il bagno di sangue continuerà, sarà un genocidio, con altre migliaia di morti, il paese sarà saccheggiato e depredato dalle sue forze, gli edifici e le infrastrutture saranno distrutti, l’economia devastata, altre migliaia di persone che vivranno in esilio e una fuga di cervelli delle persone migliori che sono essenziali per ricostruire il paese, che sarà lasciato nel caos. Noi siriani non vogliamo nè accettiamo questo, e così lavoriamo sodo tra di noi per unire le nostre forze per ucciderlo e porre al più presto fine a questa terribile situazione. Noi popolo siriano siamo ottimisti perché Allah è con noi e siamo tutti uniti, e crediamo che prestò ci sarà la pace. Se restasse non ci sarebbe nessuna pace, solo più caos e spargimenti di sangue e vivremo nelle tenebre per sempre come schiavi. Ci rifiutiamo di accetare questo per cui preferiamo vivere con dignità oppure morire come martiri. Questa è la nostre opzione preferite, la morte piuttosto che l’umiliazione.

RR: Come vedi la pretesa ripetuta da molti mezzi di informazione che si tratti di una “guerra civile settaria”?

FS: Non vi è una guerra civile settaria: questa è soltanto propaganda usata e promossa dal regime e in altri paesi. Essi sostengono che se il regime crolla ci sarà la guerra civile e la gente che si ammazza a vicenda, ma se rimane manterrà integra la società siriana. Questa è una menzogna sfacciata; quello a cui il regime e loro (le potenze straniere, ndr) stanno lavorando è dividere la Siria in regioni autonome come in Iraq, ai Curdi uno stato nel nord-est, ai drusi uno nel sud e agli alawiti uno sulla costa siriana, mentre ai sunniti rimarrebbe il resto. Questo è il loro piano e Bashar sta lavorando duramente per realizzare la sua ambizione di uno stato alawita-sciita. Si dimenticano però che fin dall’inizio della rivoluzione il nostro moto è stato “Uno, uno, uno – il popolo siriano è uno”.

Il regime spinge sul settarismo mentre il popolo siriano la pensa diversamente

Questa nazione è per tutti: qualunque sia la tua religione, setta o gruppo tu sei siriano e appartieni alla Siria. Tutte le sette del popolo siriano rifiutano questo piano di dividere la nazione e si sono appellate all’unità. Durante la rivoluzione ho incontrato e parlato con siriani alawiti, sciiti, cristiani, drusi e sunniti e tutti hanno respinto questi piani per dividerci. Tutti invochiamo l’unità – un popolo una nazione, anche se il regime ha tentato più volte di armare sette diverse e dirigerle l’una contro l’altra, per creare divisioni tra di noi. Per quanto (il regime, ndr) si sforzi, non permetteremo di essere manovrati in questo modo, e di combattere e uccidere l’un l’altro – siamo tutti fratelli e sorelle.

Infine, voglio dire una cosa in più: prima che la nostra rivoluzione cominciasse, abbiamo tutti vissuto in pace e armonia. Io vivevo personalmente in un condominio con vicini sciiti, ebrei e cristiani. I miei amici appartengono a tutte le sette, ci amiamo vicendevolmente e viviamo assieme.

RR: Pensi che questa esperienza ti ha cambiato come persona? Se sì, in che modo?

FS: Sì, mi ha cambiato e ha accresciuto la mia consapevolezza riguardo il complotto globale volto a garantire il fallimento della nostra rivoluzione. Ho anche scoperto che l’intero mondo guarda solo ai propri interessi e non si preoccupa nient’altro che di sè stesso. Non credo più nella retorica delle Nazioni Unite e delle organizzazioni non governative, che si tratti di Human Rights Watch, UNICEF, UNICO, della Corte penale internazionale, del CJI o di qualsiasi altra cosa. Il mondo intero non è riuscito ad ideare un programma per aiutare i siriani in Siria o i rifiugiati nei paesi limitrofi o addirittura tenere una riunione di donatori. Anche la conferenza “Amici della Siria” non ha ottenuto nulla; stanno solo a guardarci e a lasciarci uccidere con il sostegno russo e iraniano.

La rivoluzione mi ha comunque dato una speranza in un modo: vuoi sapere come? Mi ha insegnato che quando si incontrano problemi o ostacoli nella vita, nessun altro se non solo una manciata di veri amici si preoccuperanno o aiuteranno te e le tua famiglia, devi fare da solo e aiutare gli altri nella stessa situazione in qualunque maniera. Mi ha reso più consapevole e orgoglioso del mio popolo e del mio paese e di cosa dobbiamo fare per porre fine a ciò. Siamo gente pacifica e abbiamo delle risorse. Possiamo ricostruire noi stessi e il nostro paese, sviluppare le nostre competenze già esistenti e imparare nuove abilità. Ora sono più responsabile di quello che ero: voglio costruire me stesso, sviluppare le mie competenze, acquisire maggiori conoscenze e condividerle con la mia gente. Voglio tramandare alle generazioni future che abbiamo combattuto e sacrificato le nostre vite per ottenere la libertà e che non dovremo mai più accettare chiunque si credi un dio e ritenga di avere il diritto divino di governarci per sempre, ma dovremo eleggere solo leader altruisti che hanno a cuore il popolo siriano e la nazione piuttosto che l’auto-arricchimento.

Voglio sottolineare che la rivoluzione è nelle nostre mani. Credo che il mondo abbia bisogno di cambiare e realizzare che tutte le persone del pianeta sono uguali e gli deve essere concesso di ottenere la libertà. Ho anche scoperto che quelli che si definiscono “leader arabi” e governano paesi arabi sono in realtà infidi mandatari di poteri esterni o sempcliemente non si preoccupano affatto degli arabi.

RR: In cuor tuo, per quanto tempo ancora pensi che la rivoluzione possa continuare e cosa pensi che sia probabile che accada nel periodo successivo alla rivoluzione?

FS: Quando iniziammo questa rivoluzione, sapevamo che non saremmo mai tornati indietro e siamo ancora consci di questo: dopo tutto quello che abbiamo passato e sacrificato, saremmo condannati se soltanto considerassimo di ritornare a come stavano le cose; questa è la nostra risposta definitiva. Tutto ciò che Bashar ha commesso contro di noi e continua a farlo senza pause, lo ha fatto con il crescente supporto di Israele, Russia, Iran e China; abbiamo dimostrato al mondo che continua a negare il loro coinvolgimento, che truppe iraniane, russe e di Hezbollah sono state catturate in ogni città siriana, con ognuno di essi in possesso di documenti comprovanti ciò. Inoltre, abbiamo ottenuto dei documenti ufficiali del regime che dimostrano che Bashar ha importato sempre più soldati sciiti da Iran, Libano e Iraq, compresi dei membrei della Guardia Rivoluzionaria iraniana, con la Russia e altre nazioni che gli inviano armi così come delle truppe. Nonostante tutto questo, tuttavia, il suo regime sta perdendo la battaglia, ma i suoi alleati e le potenze occidentali vogliono che rimanga e continuare a coprirlo in qualsiasi modo possibile. Sfortunatamente per loro, noi sconfiggeremo lui e loro e lo uccideremo presto, inshallah.

Soldati del Esercito Libero Siriano entrano in una zona di Aleppo quasi raso al suolo dall’esercito del regime.

Quindi, se mi chiedete quanto tempo ancora continuerà la rivoluzione, io dico che la continueremo fino a quando non lo avremo ucciso e cacciato Russia, Iran e Hezbollah dal nostro paese. Nessuno in Siria accetterà di farla finita ora perché ogni famiglia in ogni villaggio, paesino o città siriane ha almeno un martire, un detenuto, una vittima di un rapimento da parte delle forze del regime o un membro della famiglia spinto verso l’esilio.

Lo sai che ha annientato molte famiglie intere? Lo sai che ha distrutto la maggior parte delle città e ha arrestato più di 250 mila persone? Lo sai che ora sta punendo collettivamente ogni persona in qualsiasi area che si è opposta a lui (la maggior parte della Siria) e che le sue forze stanno avvelenando le forniture di acqua e di prodotti alimentari, anche prendendo di mira i forni per fare in modo che la gente muoia di fame? Lo sai che le sue forze stanno negando le medicine e le cure mediche, bombardando ospedali e prendendo di mira il personale medico nella speranza che questo costringerà il popolo siriano ad obbedirgli? Noi gli diciamo, vai all’inferno!

Tutto il mondo lo vede e non fa nulla, scusandosi dicendo “E’ difficile e complicato” ma in realtà è molto semplice – i siriani vogliono liberarsi dalla dittatura – e potrebbero aiutare se solo lo volessero. I siriani sanno tutto questo. Continueremo e ci sosterremo a vicenda nonché sosterremo e combatteremo per l’ESL. Qualunque cosa Bashar faccia, noi non ci fermeremo; ogni uomo, ogni donna e ogni bambino si batterà fino all’ultimo respiro. Non acceteremo quel che il mondo vuole per noi, non indietreggieremo di un passo nè accetteremo quel che ci vogliono imporre. Abbiamo cominciato questo e noi lo porteremo a conclusione. E soprattutto, lo abbiamo detto fin dall’inizio, Allah è con noi e Allah e nessun al di fuori di Allah è co noi. Non abbiamo nessuno se non Allah.

Mi stai chiedendo “cosa farai dopo la rivoluzione?” Stiamo lavorando sotto copertura, per preparare tutto e cooperare tra di noi. Abbiamo progetti in atto ma il problema è che non possiamo rivelarli per timore che le persone sbagliate scoprano ciò che stiamo progettando. Tutto quello che posso dire è che stiamo coordinandoci tra l’ESL, i consigli militari, l’opposizione e i vari partiti per garantire che la normalità e lo stato di diritto siano ripristinati una volta caduto il regime, in modo che il popolo siriano possa ritornare a condurre una vita normale. Creeremo un governo di transizione che rimarrà in vigore fino a quando una nuova costituzione sarà stata creato e saranno decisi un nuovo presidente, un nuovo governo e un nuovo parlamento.

RR: Quali sono i tuoi progetti per il periodo post rivoluzionario? Le tue esperienze di vita attraverso la rivoluzione li hanno cambiati? Se sì, come?

FS: A dire il vero, mi piacerebbe far esperienza ed essere attivamente coinvolto in questioni politiche. Voglio avere un ruolo attivo nella ricostruzione e nello sviluppo del mio paese, e aiutare a fornire ciò che è necessario come il cibo e le medicine. Mi piacerebbe essere coinvolto negli aiuti e nell’assistenza umanitaria perché, come sai, ora abbiamo molti adulti e bambini amputati che hanno perso gli arti in attacchi del regime per cui hanno bisogno di arti artificiali, così come ci sono persone che necessitano di interventi chirurgici urgenti. Tutto ciò verra a costare miliardi per cui abbiamo bisogno di raccogliere fondi o di ricevere aiuto da ospedali all’estero.

Mi piacerebbe essere coinvolto nel sistema educativo. Come sai, sono uno traduttore e mi piacerebbe aiutare a insegnare ai bambini e ai giovani in scuole, università e altre istituzioni educative. Il regime ha ucciso docenti in molti settori per cui abbiamo una carenza enorme a riguardo e dobbiamo lavorare sodo per riempire questi posti vacanti e sovrintendere all’attuazione di un piano di vera educazione per introdurre un programma di apprendimento accelerato al fine di evitare problemi futuri per quei ragazzi che hanno già perso due anni di insegnamento a causa dei bombardamenti del regime e il caos ha significato che non avrebbero potuto continuare la loro educazione.

Noi vogliamo catturare tutti i soggetti coinvolti in uccisioni, torture, stupri e sacchegghi, per giudicarli, imprigionarli e giustiziare i peggiori colpevoli. Non permetteremo a nessuno di sfuggire alla pena a causa della propria setta. Siamo stati tutti esposti senza discriminazione alla persecuzione, terrore e intimidazione, e troppi sono stati torturati e/o uccisi per cui vogliamo giustizia e dignità allo stesso modo per tutti.

Infine, voglio partecipare attivamente al processo politico per aiutare e rappresentare il mio paese a la mia gente. Ho ancora l’ambizione di ottenere un Master in Traduzione e Interpretariato, anche se il regime mi ha privato di questa opportunità fino ad oggi e ha sprecato due anni della mia vita in una guerra brutale contro il popolo siriano. Questo è ciò che ci è stato imposto ma tuttora rifiutiamo il regime.

Originale in inglese https://wewritewhatwelike.com/2012/09/22/interview-with-a-free-syrian/

Soubhi Dachan

Syria has finally earned a place in the Italian news after almost a year and a half since it began. In the eyes of the Italian public it is “another war that no one can figure out” that erupts between the usual squabbles of our politicians in our news. Opposition to the regime in Italy has its own path, but in many instances, it matches that in Syria. To help us understand this war and these oppositions that are already part of history, we interviewed a Syrian opposition figure in Italy, Soubhi Dachan. His words bring us to think that even though there are now two factions that are clearly military, this cannot be called a civil war, but rather a response to genocide born of the violent response to the peaceful popular uprising. And not only is it a declared genocide, but it uses a strong propaganda to paint itself in a different way, a genocide that is “observed” by all the powers in the region and beyond, when it is not actually being fuelled by them. 

How did the revolt in Syria begin? Who is rebelling and to what?

28 Children in Daraa. 28 Children were the fuse that sparked the revolt. 28 elementary school children who returned from school, had written a phrase written on the wall that they had seen on satellite broadcasters, taken from the huge demonstrations in the Arab world: the people want the fall of the regime.

28 children have unleashed the fury of demons in power for 40 years in the Syrian state, who have used 18 different security services to repress the people.

During the night, a unit of these services led by a relative of the tyrant Assad made a house to house raid and took all 28 children.

The lifeless body of 13 year old Hamza al Khatib, tortured and killed by Assad’s security forces

The next day, the chief of the tribe (in Daraa there is a very strong concept that a tribal chief is more respected and followed than the mayor of the city or other important figure) went to the police station where he met the cousin of the president.

The tribal chief asked him to release the children and bring them back to their families, safe and sound, and he promised to severely punish their misbehaviour and their offense and promised to pay a tax for this uncouth act.

The commander literally said: “Tell their families that their children no longer exist. Tell them to make different ones. And if the women’s husbands do not know how to do it, bring them to us, we’ll take care of getting them pregnant.”

The tribal chief who wore the white veil on his head with a black band, took the black band and put it on the table. In Bedouin language this means that there is no room for dialogue, and that children will be freed by force.

And so began the revolt.

Is it part of the wave of uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa for an ideal of freedom and change, or has it got aspects that make it different from other revolts?

When we saw the satellite broadcasters with the first Arab uprisings we erupted with joy. When we saw the first movements in Syria, we immediately were concerned because only the Syrians know the criminality of this system and how it is supported by various powers for a variety of regional / international
interests

Map by Limes Rivista Geopolitica

Is it a civil war fueled by sectarianism?

In Syria, Civil War is a card that the regime is trying to use all costs, in order to show to that the minority that the regime is their only salvation. In Syria there is no sectarian problem, unlike other countries we are talking about hundreds of years of peaceful coexistence and not just tolerance. Syria was an example of civilisation where even the Christian denominations or less persecuted people in Europe found refuge.

In Syria, there is an ongoing revolt against a tyrant where all members of civil society, ethnic and religious groups are taking part. Not for nothing in Homs, the first military formation of deserters was made ​​up of Christians, Muslims and Alawites.

Does it makes sense to talk about reforms, elections, governance systems and democracies during an uprising or war?

Not only does it not make sense, but it is a way to continue to give further legitimacy to a tyrant who has no equal in recent history. Even the tyrants of past history used their cruelty in the conquest of other peoples and not to defend the interests of some other nation, massacring its own people.

To talk about all these things is to continue to justify the genocide of the Syrian people.

The revolt is armed or peaceful, given the reason for the revolt, is there a prejudice against the nature of the uprising, does it lose its value if it ceases being peaceful?

The uprising has been the most peaceful revolt in living memory. For nine months, the people responded to gunfire and bombs with flowers. They started their protest demanding reforms, the snipers are what they got in return. They then went out more numerous in street demonstrations, demanding justice, with chants, processions, prayers. In return their unarmed crowds were shelled. For nine months the Syrian people responded to torture, abuse, rapes, kidnappings, well, the people responded with the slogan “the Syrian people are one and united, the Syrian people want freedom, the Syrian people want the fall of the regime”.

Photo by Salah Methnany

The main slogan of the revolution was and remains today “Peaceful, Peaceful, Peaceful.”

The revolution has been dubbed by opponents as the “revolution of dignity and freedom”.

After nine months of massacres, deserters and not the people have decided to take up arms in defense of the people and not as a form of attack. After 12 months of bloodshed even some sections of the people had taken up arms, exclusively in defense of their dignity, their families, their people.

And despite this, even today the rebels beg the people to continue to demonstrate peacefully, even in the refugee camps, roads, cemeteries, at every march.

Is the terminology that the mass media uses “revolt, opposition, rebel” and so on correct? What are the words to properly report what is happening in Syria?

The media has behaved in a shameful manner. They still speak of the Syrian revolution of the flowers from the mouth of the Syrian regime or its affiliates. The peaceful demonstrators were called rebels. The deserters were called armed groups. The unarmed people has been called faction in the war.

The media have contributed significantly to the massacre of the Syrian people.

Syria is undergoing a mass genocide. The puppet Assad, has strict orders not to leave power until Syria will no longer have an army, it will have no more security, no more facilities, infrastructure, civil and military institutions etc. .. In Syria the cancellation of a civilisation is taking place, the destruction of churches and mosques, the systematic violation of human rights, of international conventions.

In Syria there is an ongoing genocide. Mass rapes, slashing the throats of people, women, elderly and children. Destruction of everything, cultivated fields, houses, monuments with thousands of years of history. In Syria there is the destruction of humanity.

Who is the SNC and what role does it have in the revolt?

The SNC is the Syrian National Council. It was born after about 6 months from the start of the uprising with the aim to give a voice to the Syrian people in all its facets and not be merely a show entity. This is because the word opposition in Syria has remained a taboo for 40 years, the only form of opposition that has remained for 40 years has been the Muslim Brotherhood, which is why there was a law that immediately put to death anyone suspected of belong to this organisation.

The Syrian National Council was created as a technical  and diplomatic support abroad for the revolution. It incorporated within itself the majority of members of Syrian society, secular people, Christians, Alawites, Sunnis, Shias, Druze, Kurds, members of tribal societies, secular formations, Islamic formations, etc. ..

It was chaired by Burhan Ghalioun for two terms, a secular Muslim and in third term the mandate was given to Abdulbasit Sida, a Syrian Kurd.

One of the reasons why at the international level it has not been recognised for a long time is that the Syrian National Council includes the various components of Syrian society, and the willingness of some world powers was to isolate some important components of Syrian society, in perfect dictatorial style.

In this regard a round of applause goes to the previous and current Italian government which have listened unlike the media and other institutions, very carefully the Syrian people and not the genocidal regime and has been one of the first governments in the world to send assistance and field hospitals and it has been busy at an international diplomatic level in support of the Syrian people.

Who are the Muslim Brotherhood?

The Muslim Brotherhood is a grassroots movement that is inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt. It is a peaceful movement that joins together aspects of governance, education, religion, politics and diplomacy, civil status and rights of minorities. It was founded in Syria by Syrian intellectuals and religious people, and has had tremendous popular support. When Hafez al-Assad came to power he persecuted them and forced them to take up arms to defend themselves, but then given the massacre of Hama in 1982 (more than 50,000 dead) the brotherhood were deprived of their arms and were exiled (in those lucky instances in which they were able to escape,) tortured, imprisoned, killed and denied their existence in Syria. Even their relatives were persecuted, this is why they left Syria.

Free Syrian Army in Azzaz

Who is the Free Syrian Army?

The first soldier to desert was a soldier of Daraa. They ordered him to shoot shells on people demonstrating peacefully. He called his father and asked him, what should I do, my father? He said, “Never must you bear arms against your people.” He was the first soldier to be killed by the regime. Then the first unofficial faction was that of Al Rastan, Homs about 5 months after the revolt started. An entire division turned their backs on the officers. This division still today resists. Then there was the one in Lattakia, where its soldiers took refuge in the Palestinian refugee camp, only to be bombed from the sky and from the sea by the militias of Assad.

The Free Syrian Army was officially founded around the eighth month of the uprising, when several commanders who had defected decided to constitute it and give some kind of organisation to all the soldiers who had decided not to turn their weapons against their own people, their own blood. Signing a pact of honour in defense of the Syrian people and asking the Syrian people not to join the army but to continue to demonstrate peacefully. Then the situation evolved and many of the protesters have joined the army. Today the volunteers of the free Syrian army not of military origin are about 50% of the forces.

How come there is no global attention on the Syrian issue, and why even with multiple reports also being published by global organisations like the UN and Human Rights Watch, does there seem to begreat indifference?

Syria is at the crossroads of world interests. The strategic location, the proximity to Israel, the ability of the system to play with popular topics such as the Palestinian issue, defense and protection of minorities etc. .. means that the regime is still supported today by world powers, in that it is convenient for the protection of their interests in the area. The Syrian regime has never allowed a different point of view, has never allowed in Syria anything at all but the voice of the regime itself. It put all the people of the leader’s sect in key centres of power, from the institutions as simple as those of workers, up to the military.

The media willingly speaks little of Syria and when they do, it is done in a chaotic way. And this is despite the massive presence of videos, documents, photos and eyewitnesses as the UN forces or satellites. In any other part of the world headlines would have documented daily what happens. But not for the Syrian issue.

This is why journalists and their sponsors are criminals in equal measure to the tyrant and his henchmen with their shameful complicity and their disgraceful silence.

What role could the external forces, the UN, NATO, the ICC, the European Union, the Arab League, and so on undertake and what you think their objectives should be?

All these forces are bound by the opinion of the great powers. Those who say that the international community is unable to support the Syrian people are obviously liars. If the international community decided to help the Syrian people, within a week Syria would be free. It would take 100 stinger missiles and weapons to the rebels. Something that so many claim is taking place, but no one is actually doing.

Unfortunately Syria is going through a complex of international isolation. Even when countries such as Turkey, Italy and other countries still sincerely want to help the Syrian people, they find themselves blocked by the various powers from east to west. The story of the veto is a farce, everyone is in agreement to keeping the puppet in place, each for its own purposes. There are those who have the will to destabilise the entire Middle East area. This is why all these interests join together in the support of the puppet Assad. Who continues to serve his masters undaunted in order to remain in power.

Devotion to Assad

Has Assad got support in Syria?

Assad is backed by his confessional group, the Alawites but not all of them, and by the various people with whom he entertained business and other opportunists who lived the good life at the expense of the entire population. Some parts of the ethnic and religious minorities support him not for love, but for fear of being left in the cold in the future Syria. Which is clearly a result of the regime’s propaganda, because minorities were ministers and officials in the Islamic governments or any rate in the times prior to the Assads. This is part of the work of the regime, which, as has been shown now, tried to spark a civil war in Lebanon targeting the Christian patriarch who would have to visit a Muslim quarter. Thank God the plot was discovered in time.

His power is governed only by military force, Assad has no support in Syria. And the military is strong thanks to the continuous reinforcements arriving from neighbouring states in both arms in soldiers and mercenaries.

You as insurgents abroad, why you oppose the regime?

Opponents abroad fall into two categories: those who have opposed for 40 years and those who opposed during the uprising. What is certain is that both have never loved the regime. The first reason why we object to is the humanitarian cause. In Syria, there is an ongoing humanitarian disaster. And as opponents who have had the feeling of enjoying the freedom, the dignity we find in European countries and elsewhere we certainly cannot stand in this historical era, the era of the Internet, to see these abuses, the destruction of the countries of origin of our parents. Many like me, thanks to this regime have never set foot in Syria. We are free men and women and we are opposed to tyranny, whether in Syria or elsewhere.

Thanks to several million Syrians abroad some aid arrives in Syria. Businessman, university professors, employees, workers, entrepreneurs, are giving their blood and all their belongings to not abandon their Syrian brothers.

Protest in Italy “The Syrian People Ask for Protection of the Civilians”

How is the opposition in Italy organised? How was it founded?

The opposition in Italy has been present for years with people who have left Syria 40 years ago, who at the time were students and did not have a way to return as free men in a dictatorial country. During the uprising, the opposition the young and the old met one another on equal terms, they overcame the various divisions which the regime had attempted to render permanent in the Syrian people. Now with different groups and ways all are trying to support the revolution, who at the diplomatic level, some at the humanitarian level, some with the use of information through the internet, some through newspapers, others with blogs, some in their own spheres of study and work , some by means of holding public events, some in street demonstrations and protests. From Lombardy to Sicily there were demonstrations of solidarity and support to the Syrian people. Everyone contributes in their own way to support this revolution.

There are members of the regime who are trying to sneak into the opposition, but the rot will always come out into the open, and they are quickly isolated.

By whom do you feel represented?

The answer to this question is that which was given by the Syrian people in the streets: “The Syrian National Council represents me, the Free Syrian Army represents me, the local committees of the Opposition represent me.”

What can one do in Italy and Europe to support the revolution?

Work is underway to try to have united fronts of opposition, trying to do lobbying towards the political class to support the collection of humanitarian aid, attempts to act diplomatically to support the opposition and the international decisions. Certainly it would be a good omen if Europe was courageous enough to recognise the Syrian National Council, I think it then would also encourage the Arab countries to take this step.

Right now what is most urgently needed is to put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe and constitute a humanitarian corridor, especially for internally displaced Syria and the borders of neighbouring countries.

Europe could still freeze several billion of the Assad family assets and those of his cronies and it could give them to the opposition to supply aid the Syrian people. Many things could be done, but very few things are actually being done.

The establishment of a no-fly zone would mean the death of the regime within a few days.

What conclusions do you have, after a year and a half of revolt?

30,000 dead, 300,000 imprisoned, 70,000 missing. Two and a half million refugees. In Syria, the dead, imprisoned or missing are mathematically dead.

The conclusion is that the regime is simply a loose cannon, constantly humiliated by the Free Syrian Army despite the inferiority of tactical warfare and number, it destroys everything it can destroy. Since we are dealing with a cowardly regime, as are the mercenaries that follow it, they take it out on defenseless civilians, cutting their throats, cutting their bodies to pieces, putting the snipers where there is a crowd to the create the greatest number of deaths, for example where there is the bread line. The regime has now created death squads that spread death all over Syria, posing as the Free Syrian Army. This is because the people have supported and continue to support the Free Syrian Army and, despite the hunger, the lack of water, electricity, gas, medicine, and so forth, the Free Syrian Army has liberated 70% of Syria, The Syrian regime controls the air, using cluster bombs (banned by the Geneva Convention), it rounds up of civilians from house to house, rapes every human being, man, woman, child. It’s a regime that has no equal in crime in history. It castrates boys cuts children to and adults to pieces. They disconnected the incubators in hospitals, killing babies.

They destroy everything, churches, mosques, homes, culture, monuments. The important thing for them is to stay in power. To conclude: the conclusion I draw is dramatic. But the Syrian people have said and repeated: either freedom or death. There is no third way. And the Syrians sing at the funeral of their loved ones the songs of victory.

Assad will perish or escape. And the long-awaited victory will be even sweeter and Syria will be the beacon of freedom of all people in the world, as the Syrians themselves have defeated a regime supported by half the world.

The Syrians are giving everything they hold dear, family, home, friends, belongings. They are giving everything. Not to Syria. But for every free and righteous man. For every man who refuses to bow his head to the tyrant and accept his abuse and violence. This is the conclusion. Syria will be  free, and the revolution continues ..

We Want A Free Syria / Vogliamo la Siria Libera. Syrian Italians, Syrians and Italians together in the struggle for freedom. Italo-siriani, siriani ed italiani insieme nella lotta per la libertà.

A group of Syrian Italians, joined by Syrians and by Italian sympathisers for the cause of a Syria free of the dictatorial and brutal rule of the Assad regime has been communicating (and often organising actions) together in a group that meets under “Vogliamo la Siria Libera” (We Want Syria to be Free) and other internet groups. Mirco Tau asked a simple question to everyone, “Why are you against the regime?” and the answer of some of the members follows (in English and Italian).

Why we are against the regime 

* I am against this regime for the simple fact that after 40 years it has reduced the country to their own family farm where they think they are able to do things any way that suits them, depriving everyone else of their citizenship rights. I am against this regime because it’s been able to take the smiles away from children. -FS

* I am against the regime because any regime that uses violence against dissent is a sick regime. The dimensions and the tenacity of the dissent is the proof that there is no conspiracy directed by foreign agents or secret powers. It is a revolution of the people for their most basic rights. -MR

* I am against the regime for the simple reason that it is killing children, women, young people and elderly people in a systematic way, with no regard at all for human rights, the internal or international public opinion, as it lies until the bitter end, accusing the entire world of making a coalition against it with the lie of a conspiracy… It is a regime that for over 40 years has considered Syria and the Syrians as private property to manage in a personal way, subjugating civil living to the fear and terror of the secret services that control everything in the country, even personal relationships such as marriage! It is a regime that took power with blood and for 40 years has hidden behind false elections where systematically there was a 99.9% victory of false consent. A regime that has managed to weave ambiguous relationships with the rest of the Arab world and beyond… blackmailing its allies as it wishes and managing its dirty business without anyone being able to raise their voice against it… such a Nazi-Fascist regime of the sort should not exist in this day and age!  -MGN

* In addition to the violence, rape, repression, corruption, deaths… I am against the regime because a mother has been deprived of her own son for over 35 years, because he was exiled in Italy without permission to return to his homeland, for the sole reason that it is supposed that he is against the regime, a supposition that has broken up a family, caused litres of tears to run from the eyes of my grandmother and made my father live alone, alone without his parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends from his childhood. Alone with no one to give him comfort or help when he was in need, because only your family truly understands you and helps you in the darkest moments. Now I listen to my father (a severe and upright man) speak on the phone with a broken and trembling voice to his mother of 95, who now no longer hears or recognises anyone, repeating in the sweetest way, “mamma, do you remember me? I am your son. O mamma, forgive me and be proud of me, mamma, don’t cry and you will see that one day we will see one another again.” And she cries saying, “in paradise, my son. We’ll see each other in paradise if God so wills it.” This breaks my heart, to hear those words, but as long as I live, I will fight against this regime. -GZ

ان تطلق النار على مسلح فهذا مبرر. ان تطلق النار على مدني، فهذه جريمة. أما أن تطلق النار على المستشفيات * فهذه نازية وفاشية

Faisal Kassem wrote: I could accept the fact that you shoot at an armed revolutionary, but to shoot at a civilian is a crime and to bomb hospitals is nothing but Nazism and Fascism. -MT

* The Syrian regime has been compared to a mafia regime, but I think it is light years away from that, the mafia avoids killing women and children while the Syrian regime uses such atrocities to bring fear to the men. THERE IS NOTHING MORE DESPICABLE THAN THIS! Not even in the history books have I ever read about a regime that is comparable to the Syrian one. -IS

* I am against the regime because I am tired of hearing promises and speeches by the corrupt authorities, while they are shamelessly talking about fighting corruption. I am against the regime because I don’t want any Syrian citizen to spend his life in prison, to die from torture or to leave prison in a state of madness only because he has expressed his opinion. I am against the regime because I don’t want to see children scrounging through trash dumpsters only to find the remains of our meals, surrounded by the atrocious odour of a country where wealth is robbed every day by those who should be governing. I am against the regime because I don’t want the dream of young Syrians become exile and not travel. How sad it makes me to read in the local papers about their success in the lands of their diaspora, with the indication (of Syrian origins) only because their country gives them no possibility of expressing their talents. I am against the regime because I don’t want the young people of my nation to spend their lives studying and then leaving their degree in a drawer to go in search of a job (labourer, builder, taxi driver), while as time goes by they forget all that they have learned. I am against the regime because I want to see the plates on the scales of justice be in balance, I want to see the sick enter in the hospitals, not in slaughterhouses, because I want to see a profound reform of the system of instruction, police, the military and all the national institutions. I am against the regime because it taught us its slogans since we were children and they remained only slogans. I am against the regime because I don’t know who represents the people; I have recently discovered that one of the men in power is Mansour and I discovered it only because those who accompany him violently attacked a child, ruining his face only for a verbal discussion the child had with is youngest son. I am against the regime because it gets its help from evil persons only to protect its interests. I am against the regime because it invokes democracy, but it sets its militia against every individual who is asking for freedom. I am against the regime because I am tired of recognising the individual errors that have caused thousands of martyrs. I am against the regime because it says it fights against armed gangs and its death squads (Shabbiha) bring arms and use them brazenly against the protesters. I am against the regime because it invokes reforms and at the same time raises the rank of its corrupt affiliates and protects those who are responsible for the massacre of so many innocents. I am against the regime because it talks about conspiracies against it, as if it were doing its duty towards its people. Lastly, I am against the regime, I am against the opposition, I am against every drop of blood that a Syrian citizen shed, whatever his opinion may be. I am with the free Syrian people. -HD

* I am against the regime because its folly is not killing only the Syrian people, but it is trampling over the rights of all of humanity, and it has no pity, no mercy for anyone… There is a document that is essential as an ideal for all people to aspire to from every nation: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In the preamble it is written: “Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,

Whereas disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind, and the advent of a world in which human beings shall enjoy freedom of speech and belief and freedom from fear and want has been proclaimed as the highest aspiration of the common people,

Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law,

Whereas it is essential to promote the development of friendly relations between nations,

Whereas the peoples of the United Nations have in the Charter reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women and have determined to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Whereas Member States have pledged themselves to achieve, in co-operation with the United Nations, the promotion of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms,

Whereas a common understanding of these rights and freedoms is of the greatest importance for the full realization of this pledge… for this reason I believe that the Syrian people are struggling not only for themselves but for the whole of humanity. May Allah grant them victory. – JL

* I am against the regime because I am a TRUE ANTI-FASCIST and this regime is a NAZI regime.- PP

* I am against the regime, but I have used all the words I have to express the rage I feel for the atrocities it is committing, and I am finished with all the words to express the offence regarding a world (other regimes) that in part are looking silently at the massacre, and in part is unrepentant and unpunished while they feed the bloody regime. The words are ending, but there is still Faith, and it is Faith alone that sustains me against this regime outside every “human” logic. InshAllah the change is coming soon. -TI

* I principally am against the violence and it is clear that I also must say that to make the hostilities in Syria end, a No Fly Zone is needed. Don’t call me a warmonger because I still believe that diplomacy has to be used if there are intermediaries who are able to bring that ahead and who can at the same time assure that in the meantime, all violence ceases. -AC

* Before the March 2011 revolution.

I am an Italian journalist and I have always been against the Assad regime. I have always been against the regime because every regime wants to have total control of persons and I am a free woman, I would never renounce my independence and dignity.

I have always been against the regime because it incarnates the opposite of all the values in which I believe.

I have always been against the regime because human life is sacred, and the Assad’s for 40 years, have killed women, children, the young and the old.

I have always been against the regime because the regime whoever brings its armoured tanks into the cities and shells unarmed civilians is nothing but a criminal.

I have always been against the regime because the practice of censorship negates the freedom of the word, of thought, of opinion.

After the Revolt for Dignity

I am against the regime because it is true that I am Italian, but my blood is Syrian.

I am against the regime because I have never seen my land of origin and for thirty years, could not even talk about it.

I am against the regime because I saw the Syrian border from afar, but I could not go near it.

I am against the regime because that day I felt alone in the world, without roots, without a place to call home.

I am against the regime because it robbed me of my identity.

I am against the regime because it impeded me from living a great love story, the love of one’s homeland…

I am against the regime because every time that a new martyr falls a part of me dies.

I am against the regime because for every child that cries or who shakes in fear, my heart breaks.

I am against the regime because I never have forgotten the massacre of Hama and I will never forget the massacres of Homs.

I am against the regime because I am Syrian. I am a free Syrian and I would die to defend my country. -AD

* I am against the regime because I am the son of a dissenter, brother of a martyr, cousin of two martyrs, I am a dissenter until victory. -MT

* I am against the regime because I am against every form of dictatorship, especially if it is a dictatorship tolerated by powers that take advantage of it when they could make it go down in a week. I am against the regime because I believe in the human rights that you can recognise on the streets, not in the conventions and treaties signed during gala dinners and aperitifs by people who give to themselves from these achievements, which are often completely unknown by the true subjects. I am against the regime because one cannot allow that innocents live a life of terror or that they don’t live at all only because fate made them be born in that place. I am against (all) the dictatorial regimes because there are people who continue to negate the evidence with empty rhetoric and propaganda and because there are other superficial and a-critical people who continue, incredibly, to believe them.  -MMB

perché siamo contro il regime

* Sono contro questo regime per il semplice fatto che dopo 40 anni ha ridotto il paese ad una loro fattoria familiare dove credono di potere fare e disfare come vogliono loro privando tutti dei loro diritti di cittadinanza. Sono contro questo regime perchè è riuscito a togliere il sorriso dal volto dei bimbi. -FS

* Sono contro il regime perché qualsiasi regime che utilizza la violenza contro il dissenso è un regime malato. Le dimensioni e la tenacia del dissenso è la prova che non è un complotto da registi stranieri o poteri forti. E’ un rivoluzione del popolo per i loro più basilari diritti -MR

* Sono contro il regime per il semplice motivo che sta uccidendo bambini,donne ,giovani ed anziani in modo sistematico fregandosene dei diritti umani,dell’opinione pubblica interna ed internazionale ,mentendo fino alla fine accusando l’intero mondo di coalizzarsi contro di lui con la menzogna del complotto……un regime che da più di 40 anni considera la Siria e i siriani una sua proprietà da gestire come meglio crede soggiogando la vita civile alla paura e al terrore dei servizi segreti che nel paese controllano tutto anche i rapporti personali come il matrimonio! Un regime che ha preso il potere con il sangue e che per 40 anni si è nascosto dietro a delle false elezioni dove vinceva sistematicamente con il 99.9 % di falsi consensi, un regime che è riuscito a tessere dei rapporti ambigui con il resto del mondo arabo e non …..ricattando i suoi alleati a suo piacimento e gestendo i suoi loschi affari senza che nessuno abbia mai alzato la voce…………un regime del genere nazi-fascista,oggi non deve esistere più! –MGN

* Oltre per le violenze, stupri, repressione,corruzione, morti,… io sono contro il regime perchè una madre è stata privata di suo figlio per oltre 35 anni, pechè esiliato in Italia senza il permesso di tornare nella sua terra natia, per il solo fatto che si suppone che sia contro il regime, una supposizione che ha spezzato una famiglia, fatto versare litri di lacrime a mia nonna e fatto vivere mio padre solo, solo senza genitori, fratelli, parenti e gli amici dell’infanzia, solo senza qualcuno che potesse dargli conforto e aiuto quando ne aveva bisogno, perchè solo la tua famiglia ti capisce veramente e aiuta nei momenti più difficili. Ora sento mio padre (uomo fermo e severo) parlare a telefono con voce spezzata e tremolante con sua madre di 95 anni, che ormai non sente e riconosce più nessuno, che le ripete in modo dolce «mamma mi riconosci? sono tuo figlio, o mamma perdonami e sii orgogliosa di me, mamma non piangere vedrai che ci rivedremo» e lei piangendo gli dice «nel paradiso figliolo, nel paradiso ci rivedermo se Dio vuole» mi si spezza il cuore sentire quelle parole ma io finche vivrò lotterò contro questo regime. -GZ

ان تطلق النار على مسلح فهذا مبرر. ان تطلق النار على مدني، فهذه جريمة. أما أن تطلق النار على المستشفيات * فهذه نازية وفاشية

faisal kassem ha scritto: potrei accettare il fatto che tu spari a un rivoluzionario armato ,ma sparare a un civile e un crimine e bombardare gli ospedali non e altro che nazismo e fascismo -MT

* Si era paragonato il regima siriano ad una regime mafioso,ma invece e’ lontano anni luce ,la mafia evita di uccidere bambini e le donne mentre il regime siriano usa tale atrocita’ per spaventare gli uomini PIU’ INFAMI DI COSI’ NON ESISTE !neanche nei libri di storia non ho mai letto di un regime paragonabile a quello siriano… -IS

* Prima della rivolta

Sono contro il regime perché mi sono stancato di ascoltare promesse e discorsi da parte delle autorità corrotte, mentre parlano spudoratamente di lotta alla corruzione. Sono contro il regime perché non voglio che nessun cittadino siriano passi la vita in prigione, muoia a causa della tortura o esca di prigione ormai senza senno solo perché ha espresso una sua opinione. Sono contro il regime perché non voglio vedere bambini rovistare nei cassonetti e mangiare gli avanzi dei nostri pasti circondati da un odore atroce in un Paese dove la ricchezza viene ogni giorno rubata da chi dovrebbe governare. Sono contro il regime perché non voglio che il sogno dei giovani siriani diventi l’emigrazione e non il viaggio. Così come mi rattrista leggere sui giornali locali dei loro successi nelle terre della diaspora, con l’indicazione (siriano d’origine) solo perché nel loro Paese non trovano possibilità di esprimere le proprie capacità. Sono contro il regime perché non voglio che i giovani della mia Nazione passino la vita a studiare per poi lasciare la laurea in un cassetto e andare in giro a cercare un lavoro (operaio, muratore, tassista), mentre l’avanzare del tempo fa dimenticare loro ciò che hanno imparato. Sono contro il regime perché voglio vedere le braccia della bilancia della giustizia equipararsi, voglio vedere i malati entrare in ospedale, non in macelli, perché voglio vedere una riforma profonda del sistema d’istruzione, di polizia, dell’esercito e di tutte le istituzioni nazionali. Sono contro il regime perché il regime ci ha insegnato i suoi slogan da quando eravamo piccoli e sono rimasti solo slogan. Sono contro il regime perché non so chi rappresenta il popolo; ho scoperto di recente che uno degli uomini al potere è Mansour e l’ho scoperto solo perché i suoi accompagnatori hanno deturpato il viso di un bambino per un diverbio a scuola con il minore dei suoi figli.

Dopo la rivolta

Sono contro il regime perché si fa aiutare da persone infami per tutelare i suoi interessi.

Sono contro il regime perché invoca la democrazia, ma scatena il suo esercito contro ogni individuo che chiede libertà. Sono contro il regime perché mi sono stancato di riconoscere gli errori individuali che hanno causato migliaia di martiri. Sono contro il regime perché dice di lottare contro bande armate e i suoi squadroni della morte (shabbiha) portano e usano spudoratamente le armi contro i manifestanti. Sono contro il regime perché invoca riforme e allo stesso tempo eleva di grado i suoi affiliati corrotti e protegge i responsabili del massacro di tanti innocenti. Sono contro il regime perché parla di complotto ai suoi danni, come se intanto stesse facendo il suo dovere nei confronti del suo popolo.

Infine

Sono contro il regime

Sono contro l’opposizione

Sono contro ogni goccia di sangue che versa un cittadino siriano, qualunque sia la sua opinione

Sono con popolo siriano libero. -HD

* Sono contro il regime perchè la sua follia non uccide soltanto il popolo siriano ma calpesta i diritti dell’ intera umanità, e non si pente di nulla, non ha pietà per nessuno…… C’ è un documento che è essenziale come ideale da raggiungere da tutti i popoli e da tutte le Nazioni: La Dichiarazione Universale dei Diritti dell’Uomo. Nel preambolo c’è scritto: ” Considerato che il riconoscimento della dignità inerente a tutti i membri della famiglia umana e dei loro diritti, uguali ed inalienabili, costituisce il fondamento della libertà, della giustizia e della pace nel mondo;

Considerato che il disconoscimento e il disprezzo dei diritti dell’uomo hanno portato ad atti di barbarie che offendono la coscienza dell’umanità, e che l’avvento di un mondo in cui gli esseri umani godono della libertà di parola e di credo e della libertà dal timore e dal bisogno è stato proclamato come la più alta aspirazione dell’uomo;

Considerato che è indispensabile che i diritti dell’uomo siano protetti da norme giuridiche, se si vuole evitare che l’uomo sia costretto a ricorrere, come ultima istanza, alla ribellione contro la tirannia e l’oppressione;

Considerato che è indispensabile promuovere lo sviluppo dei rapporti amichevoli tra le Nazioni;

Considerato che i popoli delle Nazioni Unite hanno riaffermato nello Statuto la loro fede nei diritti fondamentali dell’uomo, nella dignità e nel valore della persona umana, nell’eguaglianza dei diritti dell’uomo e della donna, ed hanno deciso di promuovere il progresso sociale e un migliore tenore di vita in una maggiore libertà;

Considerato che gli Stati membri si sono impegnati a perseguire, in cooperazione con le Nazioni Unite, il rispetto e l’osservanza universale dei diritti dell’uomo e delle libertà fondamentali;

Considerato che una concezione comune di questi diritti e di queste libertà è della massima importanza per la piena realizzazione di questi impegni ……. Per questo credo che il popolo siriano stia lottando non solo per sè stesso ma per l’ intera umanità. Che Allah gli dia la vittoria.  -JL

* Sono contro il regime perchè sono un ANTIFASCISTA VERO e questo regime è NAZISTA.. -PP

* Io sono contro il regime , ma ho esaurito financo le parole per esprimere la rabbia per le atrocità che questi commette , e sto esaurendo pure le parole per esprimere lo sdegno di un mondo (altri regimi) che in parte guarda silente il massacro , e in altra parte impenitente e impunito foraggia il regime sanguinario. Le parole si stanno esaurendo , ma c’è la Fede ; ed è la Fede che mi sostiene contro questo regime fuori da ogni logica “umana”. InshAllah il cambiamento è prossimo. -TI

* Io principalmente sono contro la violenza sia chiaro pero’ devo dire che per far cessare le ostilità in Siria sarebbe necessaria una no fly zone, non datemi del guerrafondaio he pero’ credo che la diplomazia si possa usare se ci sono intermediari che riescano a portarla avanti e che si assicurino che nel frattempo cessioni le violenze. -AC

* Prima della rivolta del marzo 2011

Sono una giornalista italiana e sono contro sempre stata il regime degli Assad.
Sono sempre stata contro il regime perché ogni regime vuole avere il controllo totale delle persone e io sono una donna libera, che mai rinuncerebbe alla sua indipendenza e dignità.
Sono sempre stata contro il regime perché incarna l’opposto di tutti i valori in cui credo.
Sono sempre stata contro il regime perché la vita umana è sacra e gli assad, da 40 anni, uccidono donne, bambini, giovani, anziani.
Sono sempre stata contro il regime perché chi schiera i carro armati nelle città e spara sui civili disarmati non è che un criminale.
Sono sempre stata contro il regime perché pratica la censura e nega la libertà di parola, di espressione, di opinione.

Dopo la Rivolta della dignità

Sono contro il regime perché è vero che sono italiana, ma il mio sangue è siriano.
Sono contro il regime perché non ho mai visto la mia terra d’origine e per trent’anni non ne ho mai potuto parlare.
Sono contro il regime perché un giorno ho visto da lontano il confine siriano ma non mi sono potuta avvinare.
Sono contro il regime perché quel giorno mi sono sentita sola al mondo, senza radici, senza una casa.
Sono contro il regime perché, mi ha privato della mia identità.
Sono contro il regime perché mi ha impedito di vivere un amore grande, l’amor di patria…
Sono contro il regime perché ogni volta che cade un nuovo martire muore una parte di me.
Sono contro il regime perché per ogni bambino che piange o che trema dalla paura mi si stringe il cuore.
Sono contro il regime perché non ho mai dimenticato il massacro di Hama e mai dimenticherò il massacri di Homs.
Sono contro il regime perché sono siriana, sono una siriana libera e morirei per difendere la mia patria -AD

* sono contro il regime perché:sono figlio di un oppositore,fratello,di un martire,cugino di due martiri,sono un oppositore fino alla vittoria -MT

* Sono contro il regime perché sono contro ogni forma di dittatura,peggio se si tratta di dittature tollerate da poteri che le sfruttano quando potrebbero metterci una settimana per rovesciarle. Sono contro il regime perché credo nei diritti umani che vanno riconosciuti per le strade,non nelle convenzioni e nei trattati firmati tra convenevoli e aperitivi da gente che si bea di testi di cui i veri destinatari spesso non saranno mai neanche a conoscenza. Sono contro il regime perché non si può ammettere che innocenti vivano una vita di terrore o addirittura non vivano solo perché la sorte li ha fatti nascere in quel posto. Sono contro (tutti) i regimi dittatoriali perché c’è gente che continua a negare l’evidenza con propagande vuote e retoriche e perché c’è altra gente acritica e superficiale che continua incredibilmente a crederci. -MMB

by Julie McLaughlin

WRITTEN BY SAAD KIWAN in Beirut, translated by Mary Rizzo

The Syrians have been living for over forty years under a dictatorship of a single part and of the absolute power of a military figure, Hafez Assad, who in 1971 organised a coup d’état, against his comrades of the “Baath” political party (national-social-chauvinist) already in power since 1963 following the first coup d’ètat by the same Baath officers, overthrowing the last civil government of coalition in Syria. Assad the father had governed for the first half of his reign arm in arm with his brother Refa’at (himself a soldier, exiled then in ’84 for having tried to overthrow Hafez), arresting the “Baathist” (civil) troika in power: the leader of the party, the president of the republic and the Prime Minister, all of them having died in prison. Assad has governed practically alone, putting in act the “perfect regime” of a police state, basing it on services, eliminating political life, outlawing parties (from the Communists to the Nasserians, from the Socialists to the Liberals and even the Baathists) and eliminating the Parliament, substituting the elections with plebiscites for the sole candidate-leader. For 30 years (1971-2000) he filled the Syrian prisons with persons who opposed him, militants and activists for thought crimes, practicing every kind of torture and brutality, with the disappearance of hundreds of prisoners, Syrians and Arabs. The Syrian dictator put a gag order on the stamp and the means of information, he forbid any type of labour association or activity of a cultural or social nature. With the famous Article 8 of the Constitution that sentences: “Baath is the party that leads the state and the society”!

The first horrible crime that the Baathist dictator carried out was the aerial bombing of the city of Hama in 1982, with the massacre of over 20 thousand people, in order to silence the Muslim Brotherhood. A massacre that had passed in complete silence in the West, but also in the East, for the absolute lack of “witnesses”, that is, of the traditional means of information of the time. Also because Assad was considered as a “secular” (but an Alawite) who opposed the fanatical and reactionary Muslims, it was of little matter that he massacred entire families. And it didn’t change things that the Syrian president, after that “secular” massacre introduces in the constitution that “Islam is the religion of the Syrian president”, which has been repeated in these days by his son Bashar (a secular as well!) with his “new constitution”, going so far as to add to that article that Islam is “the principle source of legislation”.

In 1976 Hafez Assad also sent his troops (30 thousand soldiers) in Lebanon “to bring peace” between the Lebanese, with the benediction of the United States and Israel. Result? Assad’s soldiers remained 30 years in Lebanon, bringing with them the occupation militia, destroying the state and its institutions, inventing a servile political class that did not respect any rule or civil or ethical code of conduct. Moreover, the men of the Assad apparatus and its officials sacked the economic-commercial wealth of the country. The sacking was part of the “divide and conquer” strategy, pitting forces and parties against one another, and doing the same thing for communities.

Regarding Palestine, the former Syrian dictator called himself “defender of the cause of the Palestinian Arab People” using every means possible and imaginable to tame the PLO and its policies, and to put the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat under the tutelage of the Syrian regime. For Assad, Lebanon and Palestine were “cards” to play and use in any way he wished. He did such things in the regional sphere to heat up the situation and raise the “price” of his dealings with Americans or Israelis, since the start of the 1970s. Successively, Iraq became another “card” that his heir Bashar used to deal with the USA, or to blackmail them, sending “volunteers” of fundamentalist and “Jihadist” groups there to carry out acts or terrorism or to give refuge to elements of Al-Qaeda.

In the third decade of his reign (1990-2000), Hafez Assad started to prepare his oldest son Bassel for his inheritance, passing from a despotic regime to a despotic-nepotistic regime. In 1994, the heir however died in a “road accident” that was later attributed to internal feuds within the Assad family itself. So, placed on the throne of leadership was the young ophthalmologist, “elected” with a plebiscite in 2000 upon the death of his father. There were many in Syria and in the Arab world who had hoped that the young president would be at the head of a new season of reform of the regime. The so-called “Damascus Spring” – which lasted a little over a year – turned out to be just a front. The son revealed himself to be even more merciless than the father. The campaign of arrests and ironclad repression by the regime, already since 2002, surprised everyone at some level. The prisons were filled with human rights activists and activists for freedom of speech, and they were left to rot in prison for years, without any trials.

Their doyen, the lawyer Haytham al-Maleh, today a leading figure in the opposition, was released at the start of the revolt, in March 2011, having celebrated his 80th birthday in prison, arrested several times, and never once put on trial. Among the regime prisons, the one of Mazze, in the capital city Damascus, stands out. Here Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners are detained and tortured, and they are then made to “disappear” (Lebanon still awaits to know the destiny of hundreds of Lebanese abducted by the Syrian troops in Lebanon), and that of Saidnaya, reserved for anyone opposing the regime and Syrian activists, where one of the massacres committed against the prisoners was carried out even by Maher, Bashar’s brother.

Intellectuals, writers and artists have been almost all exiled in Europe and in some Arab countries. We can’t even speak of journalists, because there are no independent or private newspapers and agencies in Syria, only the papers of the regime where the photo of the president-dictator dominates the layout. It is no different with the State TV, which opens the news with the sayings of the president-dictator. A high school student of 19 years, Tol al-Mallouhi was arrested in 2010 and sentenced to 5 years in prison for having expressed his thoughts in his blog regarding the Palestinian cause. The accusation? “Conspiracy against the regime” and “contacts with the American enemy”!

Today, Syria is governed by no less than 17 secret services agencies, under the command of the close circle of the Assad family: Bashar, his brother Maher, his mother and his brother-in-law. Then there are the Makhloufche cousins who hold the purse strings. In this “reign of terror”, the revolt erupted, which rapidly had transformed itself into a mass general uprising.

Thus was born the opposition with “three heads” inside and outside Syria: the Local Coordination Committees, the Coordination for Democratic Change and the Syrian National Council.

1 – The Local Committees are the true leaders of the revolts, rapidly organised throughout the entire territory by young volunteers who do not belong to any party; they are those of the new generation, born under the reign of the Assads and they have only known the workings and the practices of the Baath regime, but they also know the entire repertoire of the new technologies, despite the attempts of the regime to delay their access to them also by controlling their dissemination in the country, or lack thereof. These Committees are born and organised by means of Internet (Facebook, Twitter and YouTube), and they organise the protests throughout the country. In this way the revolt extended in the early months very rapidly, being able to escape from every attempt to control them or from direct intervention by the Special Forces of Bashar. But the most important and meaningful aspect is that all the young activists of the committees that lead the revolt operate clandestinely.  Those who go public are the spokespersons of the committees, who keep contact with the mass media, in that at the start of the revolt they found refuge in Beirut, Istanbul and then Cairo for logistic reasons and for coordination between the committees and the world outside Syria. And for greater safety, the committees have also created “shadow-committees”, which will substitute the “legitimate” ones in case these are discovered or arrested.

2 – The Coordination for Democratic Change. The outbreak of the revolt had practically taken also the old generation of militant politicians, writers and artists by surprise, included with them writers and artists, communists and nationalists, who already from the early 1970s fought against the Baath regime. Most of these had thus created the “Coordination for Democratic Change”, with its spokesman being Hassan Abdel-Azim, and it gathers together also parts of old political formations from ex-communists and ex-national socialists and Nasserians, as well as independent personalities such as Michel Kilo and Fayez Sara. The Coordination is a group that was born substantially within Syria, but it obviously has some of its figures abroad. It calls for the overthrow of the regime, but it also opposes any foreign intervention, the regime has winked at it, trying to get it involved in a fake dialogue that it from time to time invents, an in which some of the personalities of the Coordination have participated. The other day they refused to participate in the “meeting of the Friends of Syria” held in Tunisia to protest against the attempt to declare the National Council as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people.

3 – The National Council, led today by the professor of the Sorbonne Burhan Ghouliun, was instead formed abroad, in Istanbul, and it includes the majority of the foreign and internal opposition, having some renowned members such as the eighty-year-old lawyer Haytham Al-Maleh, politicians and intellectuals. The many young people who are part of the National Council in the role of representatives of the local committees guarantee the connection within Syria and make the Council the most popular among the populations of the cities in revolt. The Council also is comprised of a large number from the “Muslim Brotherhood”, backed by Erdogan’s Turkey. And it also enjoys the support of the vast majority of the Arab nations, from France and from quite a few Europeans. They insist upon “a humanitarian intervention to protect civilians” who are not victims of Bashar’s war machine which is killing them on an average of 100 persons per day.

4 – Then, there is the Free Syrian Army, formed by soldiers who had deserted the regime’s army and that despite the scarcity of arms it has available, it has been able to stand up to Bashar’s brigades, freeing some cities and guaranteeing protection to the population. And it seems that all the parts of the opposition are in agreement to support it and to consider it as the armed faction of the opposition.

The Local Committees are the true militants who move on the terrain among the people, and they are thus the structure that supports the uprising. They are for this reason not inclined to compromises, and thus they seem to guarantee solidity and continuity of the uprising despite the attempts of the regime to suffocate it and despite the failure of the Arab League to impose that the “little dictator” leaves or at least forcing him to step down. It is however obvious that with the passing of time and with the escalation of ferocity of the Assad gangs against a population that continues to peacefully protest, the danger of a militarisation of the revolt becomes greater. But it is the regime itself that pushes in the direction of a civil war that would justify a civil war and its war of extermination. It is also true that the most radical wing and those most willing to have a military response could predominate. Yet, it is likewise true that the population has reached almost a year of pacific revolts, and it is legitimate to then ask why they should be expected to resist and die? And for what reason or ideal should they have to expose themselves to the bombardments of cannons of the armoured tanks and aviation of Bashar’s regime, allowing men, when, the elderly and even children (as many as 500) to be killed?? (translator’s note: these statistics have now been overcome; children comprise around 850 of the victims to this date).

Lastly, two strong considerations: I believe that the primary and fundamental objective is that of dismantling a regime that is so totalitarian and repressive, merciless, cynical and inhuman, and to put Bashar and his close circle on trial. And regarding this point, there is no excuse in the world or justification. The “clean” and “pure” revolutionary ideals that know how to predict everything do not exist and they never have existed. But whoever it is that leads Syria after Assad could never be worse than him, his father and the Baath regime, which in addition to the Assad’s contributed to the museum of horrors also the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq.

One cannot therefore expect that an almost clandestine opposition that has been repressed for over 40 years, which has never been able to operate in a climate of freedom, to be democratic and guarantee rights, or to not be subject to foreign pressure or influence. Yet, an opposition so diverse and politically varied is in itself a guarantee of pluralism and at the very least, is the harbinger of a future with a political life that is open to new experiences.

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the amount of marches and number of participants has grown exponentially

WRITTEN BY ENRICO DE ANGELIS, translated by Mary Rizzo

After almost a year, let’s take a look at the fundamental moments of the revolt in Syrian, running the gamut of repression, the regime’s propaganda and “hope”. From the first protests in Damascus up to the bloody episodes of recent days.

A Syrian dissident once told me that ever since the revolts in Syria started, time passes faster than in the rest of the world. If outside, a day goes by, within the borders, it is as if a week has passed. It is hard to think that only a year ago, Syria had one of the most stable regimes in the Middle East. Its president Bashar al-Assad seemed to enjoy a consensus that the other Middle Eastern dictators, starting from Hosni Mubarak, did not have. The economic difficulties hadn’t yet reached the breaking point of tolerance as they had in Egypt. And lastly, the geopolitical position of Syria put several obstacles in front of a possible revolt. For years the Syrian regime had been the only certainty in an area that is dense with ambiguity and problems: the chaos of Iraq following the American occupation, the fragility of Lebanon with its intermittent civil wars, Israel and the occupation of Palestine. No one wanted, and in many ways no one still wants, the sudden and violent fall of the Syrian regime, not even the Western powers, starting from the United States. It is impossible to think of a “calculated” regime change, it is impossible to predict what will happen if the Assad regime, which has lasted 40 years, should fall.

All of these certainties collapsed one after the other. No one expected that the Syrian revolution could have reached such proportions and developed in this way. From a year since the start of the revolts, which began in March 2011, Syria today appears to be on the brink of a civil war. The regime’s repression of the uprising in the most recent days has reached its apex. The prolonged shelling of the city of Homs, one of the strongholds of the “rebels”, is bringing about the death of hundreds. A few days earlier, there was the failure and the withdrawal of the Arab League’s observers, after having admitted their own incapacity to put a halt to the violence. Then, the lack of reaching an agreement on the UN resolution from the Arab League initiative that asked for Bashar to step down and to start the transition process towards democracy. A resolution that, though excluding a military intervention, was blocked in no uncertain terms by the double veto of Russia and China.

Never before as today are all eyes set on the armed aspect of the revolt, that Free Syrian Army (FSA) constituted prevalently of deserters of the armed forces that since July 2011 has militarily opposed the repression. The United States, though excluding a direct armed intervention, seems to think of supporting the FSA with arms and money, with the help of Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. On the other side, Russia and Iran continue to support the regime and supply Bashar al-Assad’s militia. In essence, there are all the elements for a sort of “proxy war” with dynamics that resemble those of Vietnam in the 1960s or, to stay in the region, similar to the style of the Lebanese civil wars.

The armed revolt and the regime’s propaganda – What is unfolding before our eyes can be defined as a sort of “self-fulfilling prophecy”. The regime has insisted since the beginning that the revolt was an armed on, directed by foreign elements, fruit of an international conspiracy and underscored by ethnic reasons: Sunnis against Alawites. Even when that was evidently not the case at all. In the regime’s version, the repression of the protesters has always been presented as a fight against invisible “terrorists” and against armed gangs that were not identified in any clear way. It had been Bashar al-Assad himself, in a speech held at the People’s Council at the end of last March, to set this narrative of events, deluding a good number of Syrians who hoped at least in a partial recognition of the growing dissent in the country and in the opening towards a pacific exit strategy that at the same time seemed still to be realistic. Today, some of the elements that constitute the regime’s propaganda have become reality: it is true that the armed revolt has assumed a certain importance. It is true that foreign intervention is ever more pressing, first under the form of economic and diplomatic pressure, and perhaps from now on even under the form of military aid. It is true that even the ethnic aspects of the clashes have become more evident. The Alawites, a minority group to which the al-Assad family belongs, are almost all on the side of the regime, as well as how the able propaganda of the regime has always tried to paint the revolt as directed towards the creation of an Islamic state in which the exponents of other religious groups would find themselves emarginated or worse, persecuted. Some of the lies of the regime have transformed themselves, at least in part, into truth.

The wind of the Arab Spring – But it has not always been that way. The Syrian revolt started spontaneously and it is still prevalently an authentic revolt, brought forward by the Syrian citizens without the help of anyone. The requests of the protesters are for the most part extraneous to a religious discourse: they are asking for freedom, democracy, social justice. And, despite everything, the peaceful protesters continue to build the true motor of the revolt. Everything had its start in Tunisia and Egypt. The Syrian revolt would probably never have taken place without the precedent Arab Springs. The domino effect in this case is striking. When the so-called Arab Spring began in North Africa, something in Syria had shaken. Small events, but taken all together make up a definite change in the environment. When I was in Damascus, in the winter of 2010, the transformation was evident. It was enough to look at the debates that were flooding the information sites in that period: there were discussions on the news of the uprisings against Mubarak and Ben Ali, and it is simple to pass from these arguments to the situation in Syria. One almost does not even notice it happening. In substance, the problems are and remain the same in all the Arab countries: corruption, growing gap between the rich and the poor, daily humiliation, lack of freedom, an economy that is on the decline in a way that is seemingly unstoppable. One talks of Egypt and Tunisia, and in reality, one is talking of Syria.

The phenomenon doesn’t concern only Internet. Even outside of the web, the atmosphere is visibly changing. The traditional remissive and apolitical nature that has always characterised the population seems to be crumbling. Acts of bullying and arrogance that were once tolerated by perseverance are now met with a growing impatience. In February the first marches were organised, in front of the Egyptian and Libyan embassies, to express solidarity with the Arab Spring. Then something that until only a few months before had been unthinkable: dozens of persons took to the streets of Damascus to protest against the violence of a policeman against the child of a shopkeeper. The protesters shouted, “the Syrian people will not be humiliated,” which successively became one of the most widespread slogans in the protests to follow. Damascus was thus the first city to move, something that today might seem incredible.

On 15 March, a group of youth gathered together at the suq (market) of Hamidiya: it was the first time that films that had been made using mobile phones had been put onto Internet. Al Jazeera, the pan-Arab network of Qatar, one of the Arab world’s most widespread channels, immediately began to transmit them, also allowing those who did not have an Internet connection to know what was going on. On 16 March, the relatives of some political prisoners gathered in front of the Ministry of the Interior. The security forces intervened with violence, beating the protesters and arresting dozens of them.  Small groups of protesters continued to take to the streets, but this was still a limited phenomenon. Until that moment, the only ones to make a move had been the “civil society” of Damascus: a middle-to-upper class of intellectuals and youth who were working in the cultural field, in journalism, civil organisations and human rights groups.

participation spans all ages

The dynamics of the protests had changed in those very days. In the small city of Dera’a, in southern Syria, a group of children with spray paint wrote some slogans against the regime on a wall. The emulation of the Egyptian revolt was quite clear: the writing was imitating the anti-Mubarak slogans used by the young Egyptians of the 25 January movement. The children copied them directly from the reports on Al Jazeera. The reaction of the regime was immediate: the children were arrested. The next day their parents and the families of the children took to the streets to protest, encouraged by that same atmosphere that had materialised a few days earlier in Damascus. The security forces intervened, shooting: there were the first deaths. The funerals became the occasion for even larger protests, and the repression was growing more and more ferocious. The nearby villages ran in support of Dera’a. The protesters numbered in the thousands. The Syrian revolt had begun.

The evolution of the revolt – From Damascus, the uprising moved to the provinces, and from the elite, it was substituted by the lower-middle class. This takes into consideration very often those same sectors of the population which initially constituted the pillars of the support to the regime: farmers, labourers, office workers and shopkeepers who in the last fifteen years had been abandoned and penalised by the liberalisation reforms. They were the ones who most strongly felt the effects of growing corruption in the circles of power that gravitated around the regime and of the progressive cuts in state aid. Other cities and regions progressively joined the protests: Banyas, Nawa, Homs, Latakia, Idlib, Qamishli, Hama and many others. At the start, the protests were born from various, localised needs: each region has its own requests and its own complaints regarding the regime. Especially, at the start, it was not asked for Bashar al-Assad to step down: the slogans demanded the end of corruption, reforms, more freedom.

It’s been the ferocious repression of the regime to give unity to this fragmented chain of uprisings. And, it is the repression of the regime to radicalise the requests of the protesters. As they gradually saw their death toll rise in the dozens, and then in the hundreds of protesters, the legitimacy of the president had progressively crumbled, and the marches became an open revolt against Bashar al-Assad and his regime. It has been a peaceful uprising: no one at the start thought of using arms against the army and the security forces. The control of the military by the regime is total, almost all of the officers are Alawites and their loyalty is absolute.

But even this story started to change: someone started to take weapons as a vendetta, then the first individual desertions took place as well as the formation of armed anti-regime groups. The prophecy of the regime became reality as civil war seems to get nearer, even if it is still avoidable. But looking at the current situation, one should not forget how the revolt began, and who is responsible for its degeneration.
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Siria: ricostruire le origini della rivolta quasi un anno dopo

A quasi un anno di distanza, ripercorriamo le tappe fondamentali della rivolta in Siria, tra repressione, propaganda di regime e “speranza”. Dalle prime manifestazioni a Damasco fino ai cruenti episodi degli ultimi giorni.

Un dissidente siriano una volta mi ha detto che da quando le rivolte sono cominciate in Siria il tempo passa più velocemente che nel resto del mondo. Se al di fuori è passato un giorno, all’interno dei confini è come se fosse passata una settimana. È difficile pensare che un anno fa quello siriano fosse uno dei regimi più stabili del Medio Oriente. Il presidente Bashar al-Assad sembrava godere di un consenso che altri dittatori mediorientali, a cominciare da Hosni Mubarak, non avevano. Il disagio economico non aveva ancora raggiunto il limite massimo di sopportazione come in Egitto. E infine, la posizione geopolitica della Siria poneva più di un ostacolo a una possibile rivolta. Per anni il regime siriano aveva costituito la sola certezza in un’area percorsa di incognite e problemi: il caos dell’Iraq dopo l’occupazione americana, la fragilità del Libano con le sue intermittenti guerre civili, Israele e l’occupazione della Palestina. Nessuno voleva, e per molti versi nessuno ancora vuole, una caduta improvvisa e violenta del regime siriano, neanche tra le potenze occidentali, a cominciare dagli Stati Uniti. Impossibile pensare a un passaggio di regime “calcolato”, impossibile prevedere cosa succederebbe se il regime quarantennale regime degli Assad dovesse crollare.

Queste certezze sono crollate una a una. Nessuno si aspettava che la rivoluzione siriana potesse raggiungere simili proporzioni e svilupparsi in questo modo. A un anno dallo scoppio delle rivolte, cominciate nel Marzo del 2011, la Siria appare oggi sull’orlo di una guerra civile. La repressione del regime nei confronti dell’insurrezione in questi ultimi giorni ha raggiunto il suo apice. Il bombardamento prolungato della città di Homs, una delle roccaforti dei “ribelli”, sta mietendo centinaia di vittime. Pochi giorni prima, l’insuccesso e il ritiro degli osservatori della Lega araba, dopo aver ammesso la propria incapacità ad arginare le violenze. Poi il mancato accordo per una risoluzione ONU su iniziativa della Lega araba che chiedeva le dimissioni di Bashar al-Assad e l’inizio di un processo di transizione verso la democrazia. Risoluzione che, pur escludendo l’intervento armato, viene bloccata senza mezzi termini dal doppio veto di Russia e Cina.

Mai come oggi gli occhi sono puntati sul lato armato della rivolta, quell’esercito siriano libero (ESL) costituito prevalentemente di disertori dell’esercito regolare che dal luglio 2011 si oppongono militarmente alla repressione. Gli Stati Uniti, pur escludendo un intervento armato diretto, pare comincino a pensare di sostenere l’ESL con armi e finanziamenti, con l’aiuto di Turchia, Qatar e Arabia Saudita. Dall’altra parte, Russia e Iran continuano a sostenere il regime e a rifornire le armate di Bashar al-Assad. Insomma si sta profilando una sorta di “guerra per procura”, con dinamiche simili a quella del Vietnam negli anni sessanta o, per restare nel Vicino Oriente, sullo stile delle guerre civili in Libano.

La rivolta armata e la propaganda del regime – Quella che oggi si dispiega sotto i nostri occhi ha l’aria di una “profezia che si autoadempie”. Il regime ha sostenuto fin dall’inizio che la rivolta fosse armata, pilotata da elementi stranieri, frutto di un complotto internazionale e mossa da ragioni etniche: sunniti contro alawiti. Anche quando evidentemente non era così. Nella versione del regime, la repressione contro i manifestanti è sempre stata presentata come una lotta a degli invisibili “terroristi” e a non ben identificate bande armate. È stato lo stesso Bashar al-Assad, in un discorso tenuto al Consiglio del Popolo alla fine del marzo scorso, a fissare questa narrazione degli eventi, deludendo non pochi siriani che speravano almeno in un parziale riconoscimento del dissenso crescente nel paese e nell’apertura verso una via d’uscita pacifica che al tempo appariva ancora realistica. Oggi alcuni degli elementi che costituiscono la propaganda del regime sono divenuti realtà: è vero che la rivolta armata ha assunto un peso importante. È vero che l’intervento straniero è sempre più pressante, prima sotto forma di pressioni economiche e diplomatiche e forse da ora in poi anche sotto forma di aiuti militari. È vero anche che gli aspetti etnici dello scontro sono divenuti più evidenti. Gli alawiti, gruppo minoritario cui appartiene la famiglia di Bashar al-Assad, si sono quasi tutti schierati dalla sua parte, anche come risultato dell’abile propaganda del regime che ha sempre dipinto la rivolta come diretta alla creazione di uno stato islamico al cui interno gli esponenti di altre confessioni religiose sarebbero marginalizzati o, peggio, perseguitati. Alcune delle bugie del regime si sono trasformate in, almeno parziali, verità.

Il vento della Primavera araba – Ma non è sempre stato così. La rivolta siriana è iniziata spontaneamente ed è ancora prevalentemente una rivolta autentica, portata avanti da cittadini siriani senza l’aiuto di nessuno. Le richieste dei manifestanti sono per lo più estranee a discorsi di tipo religioso: si chiedono libertà, democrazia, giustizia sociale. E, nonostante tutto, i manifestanti pacifici continuano a costituire il vero motore della rivolta. Tutto ha avuto in inizio in Tunisia ed Egitto. La rivolta siriana non sarebbe probabilmente mai avvenuta senza le precedenti Primavere Arabe. L’effetto domino in questo caso è lampante. Quando la cosiddetta Primavera Araba è cominciata nel Nord Africa, in Siria scatta qualcosa. Piccoli dettagli, ma che insieme disegnano un deciso cambio d’atmosfera. Quando ero a Damasco, nell’inverno del 2010, la trasformazione era evidente. È sufficiente guardare ai dibattiti che affollano i siti d’informazione in quel periodo: si commentano le notizie sulle insurrezioni contro Mubarak e Ben Ali, ed è facile passare da questi argomenti alla situazione in Siria. Quasi non te ne accorgi. In fondo i problemi sono e restano gli stessi in tutti i paesi arabi: corruzione, crescente differenza tra ricchi e poveri, umiliazioni quotidiane, mancanza di libertà, un’economia che declina apparentemente in modo inarrestabile. Si parla di Egitto e Tunisia, e in realtà si parla di Siria.

Il fenomeno non riguarda solo internet. Anche al di fuori della rete l’atmosfera sta visibilmente cambiando. La tradizionale remissività e apoliticità che ha sempre caratterizzato la popolazione sembra cominciare a sbriciolarsi. Atti di bullismo e prepotenza che prima erano tollerati a testa bassa sono ora accolti con crescente insofferenza. A febbraio vengono organizzate le prime manifestazioni, davanti alle ambasciate egiziana e libica, per esprimere solidarietà alla Primavera Araba. Poi è accaduto qualcosa che era impensabile fino a qualche mese prima: decine di persone a Damasco scendono in piazza a protestare contro la violenza di un poliziotto nei confronti del figlio di un negoziante. I manifestanti gridano “il popolo siriano non sarà umiliato”, che successivamente diverrà uno degli slogan più diffusi nelle proteste successive. Damasco è quindi la prima a muoversi, cosa che oggi può sembrare incredibile. Il 15 marzo gruppi di giovani si riuniscono al suq (mercato) Hamidiya: è la prima volta che vengono girati e sono diffusi in rete i filmati realizzati con telefoni cellulari. Al-Jazeera, la rete pan-araba del Qatar, uno dei canali più visti del mondo arabo, comincia immediatamente a trasmetterli, permettendo anche a chi non ha una connessione internet di sapere cosa sta succedendo. Il 16 marzo i parenti di alcuni prigionieri politici si riuniscono di fronte al ministero dell’interno. Le forze di sicurezza intervengono duramente, colpendo con forza i manifestanti e arrestandoli a decine. Piccoli gruppi di oppositori continuano a scendere in piazza, ma si tratta di un fenomeno ancora limitato. Finora a muoversi è stata unicamente la “società civile” damascena: una classe medio-alta di intellettuali e giovani che lavorano nel campo della cultura come giornali, organizzazioni civili, gruppi di diritti umani.

La dinamica delle proteste è cambiata in quegli stessi giorni. Nella piccola città di Deraa, nel sud del paese, un gruppo di bambini muniti di bombolette spray scrive sui muri slogan contro il regime. L’emulazione della rivolta egiziana è fin troppo chiara: le scritte sono copiate da slogan anti-Mubarak usati dai giovani egiziani del 25 gennaio. I bambini le hanno copiate direttamente dai report di Al-Jazeera. La reazione del regime è immediata: i bambini vengono arrestati. Il giorno successivo i genitori e le famiglie dei bambini scendono in piazza a protestare, incoraggiati da quella stessa atmosfera che si era materializzata qualche giorno prima a Damasco. Le forze di sicurezza intervengono, sparando: ci sono i primi morti. I funerali divengono occasione per manifestazioni ancora più ampie, e una repressione ancora più feroce. I villaggi vicini corrono a sostegno di Deraa. I manifestanti si contano a migliaia. È cominciata la rivolta siriana.

L’evoluzione della rivolta – Da Damasco l’insurrezione si sposta alla provincia, e alle elite si sostituiscono ceti medio-bassi. Si tratta molto spesso di quegli stessi settori della popolazione che prima costituivano il pilastro di sostegno del regime: contadini, operai, impiegati e piccoli commercianti che negli ultimi quindici anni sono stati abbandonati e penalizzati dalle riforme di liberalizzazione. Sono loro che hanno maggiormente risentito della crescente corruzione dei circoli di potere che gravitano intorno al regime e del taglio progressivo degli aiuti statali. Altre città e regioni si uniscono progressivamente alle proteste: Banyas, Nawa, Homs, Latakia, Idlib, Qamishli, Hama e tante altre. All’inizio le proteste nascono da esigenze diverse, localizzate: ogni regione ha le proprie richieste e le proprie lamentele contro il regime. Soprattutto, all’inizio non si chiede la caduta di Bashar al-Assad: gli slogan domandano la fine della corruzione, riforme, più libertà.

È la repressione feroce del regime a dare unitarietà a questa catena frammentata di sollevamenti. Ed è la repressione del regime a radicalizzare le richieste dei manifestanti. Man mano che i morti arrivano a decine, poi centinaia di manifestanti, la legittimità del presidente si sgretola progressivamente, e le manifestazioni divengono un’aperta rivolta contro Bashar al-Assad e il suo regime. Si tratta di un’insurrezione pacifica: nessuno all’inizio pensa di poter usare le armi contro l’esercito e le forze di sicurezza. Il controllo dell’esercito da parte del regime è totale, quasi tutti gli ufficiali sono alawiti e di fedeltà assoluta.

Ma anche questa storia comincia a cambiare: qualcuno comincia a prendere le armi per vendetta, cominciano le prime diserzioni individuali e la formazione di gruppi armati anti-regime. La profezia del regime diviene realtà e la guerra civile sembra avvicinarsi, anche se è ancora evitabile. Ma nel guardare la situazione attuale non bisogna dimenticare mai come la rivolta è cominciata e di chi è la responsabilità della sua parziale degenerazione.

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Shady Hamadi

“Just like a poet, I will try to escape, to make a breakout from prison, to make the road on which I take flight become your road and to take you with me to safety” (Voices from the Spirit – S.H.). Shady Hamadi was born on 23 May 1988 in Milan, of a Syrian father and Italian mother. A very young writer, he is the son of a political dissident who had been tortured and sent into exile.

by Angela Zurzolo, translated by Mary Rizzo

“For a certain period we even tried to go back to Syria. Then, in 1997 we received amnesty from President Assad. Despite that, my father was always stopped at the airport and he was only able to enter Syria twice in his 35 – almost 40 – years of exile.”

Shady Hamadi instead has seen Syria three times, in 2001, in 2006 and then in 2009, “the first time that I can say I had really been there.”

He recounts: “Syria enchants you, it is for this reason that many Italians who have been there are unable to accept and to understand that behind the ‘beautiful’ Damascus, there is a population who for 40 years has been downtrodden and oppressed. If one said anything at all against the President, he would be intercepted by the omnipresent Syrian Secret Services and then they would drag him away in the dead of the night.”

This is one Damascus. Then there is another, the one hidden behind the poetry clubs, the one that is found under Hotel Fardus, where the intellectuals of the “Damascus Declaration” met in 2001: “Directors, actors and poets who wrote verses against the regime. Kurds and Syrians together.”

Since the start of the protests in Syria, Shady Hamadi has stepped forward to encourage the Syrians who live in Italy to publicly air their dissent. A ‘moral obligation2, inherited, he says, even from history and from the example of his father, who had been arrested and tortured various times during the 1960s.

“This revolution is the moment for those whose fathers had been tortured and forced into exile to put themselves on the line, as I have been trying to do since this May.”

Of his father he mentions that “he was a young leader of the Arab Nationalist Party that was ‘thrown’ in prison numerous times, as well as tortured with electrical wires and beaten with clubs. They would kill people right before his eyes in order to try to get him to talk.”

Concerning the Syrian situation, Hamadi insists that Hezbollah are controlling the border between Syria and Lebanon, while the Iranians are alongside Assad’s army at the checkpoints. “Some NGO reports denounce cases of persons kidnapped in Lebanon and then brought to Syria.”

Regarding Turkey, the other key player in the Syrian events, he stresses: “Now they are playing an important role for our people, but we must not forget that Ankara is responsible for the kidnapping of Colonel Harmoush who came from the city of Deraa – one of the first to have founded the ‘free officials’, and who ended up in Syrian hands thanks precisely to the help of Turkish intelligence. The colonel was then executed before dozens of officials. His sacrifice has awakened the conscience of many in the army.”

On the shabbiha, commonly defined as “armed forces that get their orders directly from Assad”, Shady explains that “they are not actually armed forces in the normal sense of the term,” but instead “mafia bands that belong to some important families who deeply believe in the ideology of the regime.”

“The shabbiha are dressed in plainclothes, they ride in pickups, armed with Kalashnikovs, and they are the reason why in Aleppo and Damascus there have not yet been the large protests as we see in all the rest of Syria.”

The regime, Shady affirms, resists because the armed forces number “almost 400 thousand men, 100 thousand of them are loyalists to Maher al Assad.”

And regarding the Arab League proposal, Hamadi comments: “It has been an excellent move, I only hope that the League will keep the same consistency in the future as well, with the other countries that are violating human rights and personal dignity. Because the revolutions of this Arab Spring have been done in the name of dignity.” Indeed, “Assad should have been able to easily have saved himself right from the start, if he had granted freedom of thought, dignity and free elections.”

Then, when asked about the French proposal to open a humanitarian corridor, he observes: “We need to see what clauses this is going to bring with it. The Syrian people have already expressed their will to not want military intervention from the French or from the Americans. No one should be entering into our country. We can save ourselves by ourselves. But we need consistency in foreign diplomacy, which has never happened. Just think about this: Bashar was decorated on the 11th of March of 2010 with honours from the Italian Republic. Is that not scandalous?”

For Shady, consistency has never been a strong point of the Italian government: “Look at the optimal relationship between Berlusconi and Gaddafi or the fact that after having granted honours to Assad, the Italian parliamentary and ministerial authorities welcomed Burhan Ghaioun, leader of the SNC, to Rome.”

“The meeting with the Vatican was instead organised to clarify that there will not be a Christian diaspora from Syria as well, as has happened in Iraq and how it is presumed will happen in Egypt.”

It is precisely the fear of sectarian clashes that dominates, while Hamadi stresses that among the revolutionaries there are both Sunnis and Alawis, many of whom are renowned intellectuals.

“The solution that we are hoping for,” he concludes, “is that of the no fly zone, a buffer zone. Then the defections of the army will reach 85%.”

10 December 2011

http://www.osservatorioiraq.it/siria-intervista-allo-scrittore-siriano-shady-hamadi Italian original

Protesters for Libyan freedom in London

It seems like years ago, but only a few months have gone by. The anti-imperialist world raised their virtual glasses in a united toast to the people’s revolutions. When I say this phrase, it seems I need to define every term, so bear with me. I will try to not take any concepts for granted.

The anti-imperialist world as I have come to know it is generally comprised of generally well-to-do intellectual-type folks who engage more time in discourse and social networking than they actually do in developing strategies or training individuals for a radical change in society where local (indigenous) people are their own leaders and determine for their exclusive benefit the policies and economic organisation of their own territory. They however are generally very passionate about the need to seek justice against tyrants and they believe that the people themselves want the same thing, so they do what they can (far from the places themselves) ninety-nine times out of one hundred by raising awareness through their articles, videos, comments, social network activities and fundraisers for more public events to raise awareness (and this cycle continues until it exhausts itself into the next fashionable group of unfortunate others).

With all that awareness-raising, you would be sure that by now, this formidable band of selfless virtual warriors would have convinced all of the world that there is no way on earth that the will of the people should be trampled on and that sooner rather than later, each people will achieve its own autonomy and self-reliance. These people who have concretely moved towards self-liberation might even be so inclined as to bite the hands that looks like it feeds them, if this has to happen for them to truly be free, but an anti-imperialist should never look at his or her own interests as a member of the empire who enjoys the privileges of that status, and should even tolerate great levels of aggression against the empire he calls home.

That said, when first Tunisia, then Egypt, began staging independent demos to demand change in their government systems, inspired by their sheer numbers, they seemed to be fully successful. There was bloodshed among civilians, but it ended, and this was a revolution that was almost like a dream, almost too easy and certainly so full of promise and hope. It even adopted the name that will remain with it for all time, “Arab Spring”, the long-awaited renewal of Arabhood connected to the idea of development of a new society that was going to put people before anything else. That it gained support at a global level probably was intrinsic to its success.

Protesters in Gaza

How did that happen? Well, we all know it was through mass communications, some of it entirely spontaneous between those directly involved, and some of it presented to a wider community to enlist their sympathies and support. It was the fact that the world was watching that perhaps hastened the demise of Ben Ali and Mubarak, and it could also be the fact that a barrier of fear had been broken. Make no mistake, I have been  documenting Egyptian uprisings for at least 3 years, and there are others who like me were not under the impression that Egyptians were passively accepting a lack of political expression and a worsening social crisis. Several of us had commented that it was necessary to break through the impression that Egyptians were incapable of rebellion and to show that there was the emergence of a protest movement that was non-confessional, and was tying together the idea of the rebirth of Arabhood as well as an Egyptian national identity that was as vibrant as the Egyptian people. We could have been some of the few who were not surprised by the revolution, but what did surprise us was the enablement that  this gave to nearby peoples.

Living in the European country closest to Libya and with a colonial past which as recently as 1972 has seen mass expulsions of Libyans of Italian descent, whatever happens in Libya is going to be felt directly. In the past years, hundreds of boats full of refugees have headed toward our shores,  and as has been documented thoroughly, the Libyan regime had utilised the African migrants as a playing card to obtain many things from Italy. The Africans who were brought to Libyan Migrant Detention Centres were actually imprisoned there, and the thought of dying at sea on unsafe and overcrowded ships was a risk almost all of them were desirous to take after months of torment from the military and police branches of the Libyan government. There were truckloads of them driven to the confines of the desert and left there to die, documented by Italian film crews, who were concerned about lives in the face of the “Bilateral Agreements” so that Gaddafi could keep a foothold in Italy’s economy and obtain “aid” worth billions of Euros for infrastructure (some of it I can personally testify was for bunkers), weaponry and telecommunications in exchange for a policy of limiting African immigration from Libyan shores.

Gaddafi’s racism thought it found another foothold in the sensitivities of the Italian government, and his words were carefully used to obtain what he  wanted, a combination of greed and rank racism that I witnessed few anti-imperialists getting upset about.  It deserves being read word by word:

“Europe runs the risk of turning black from illegal immigration, it could turn into Africa. We need support from the European Union to stop this army trying to get across from Libya, which is their entry point. At the moment there is a dangerous level of immigration from Africa into Europe and we don’t know what will happen. What will be the reaction of the white Christian Europeans to this mass of hungry, uneducated Africans? We don’t know if Europe will remain an advanced and cohesive continent or if it will be destroyed by this barbarian invasion. We have to imagine that this could happen but before it does we need to work together.”

Gaddafi's recent "Rome By Night" outing

Gaddafi would come to Italy, honoured by Silvio Berlusconi and the best that the Italian government had to offer by way of hospitality, in order to seal more deals and to re-establish that these two neighbours had the same interests at heart: especially a thirst for petroleum and a provider who would make sure there would be preferential treatment under certain conditions, including keeping Europe white. Berlusconi was also an honoured guest in Libya, promising billions of Euros for schools, retirement homes, infrastructure and other things. It is curious that those continually claiming Libya was fulfilling all of its people’s needs on its own seem to not question why they would need so very much Italian money to do what they claim has already been done. During these visits, our news shows were almost suffering an embarrassment at how to represent it. The feelings run deep, and we had known of the abuses that were going on in Libya. Many of us know Libyans, some of them in exile, “You mean  you can’t go back? What do you mean you can’t go back?” Others who come on scholarships and seem to never want to talk about politics either. I would joke with two friends (one in each category) and call it the Libyan black hole. However, both would easily admit that Libya could be much more than it is, if only it could have the chance for that.

So, I watched the revolutions with other anti-imperialists, and the Libyan revolution had quite a few of us excited at the first moments because  Libya is not a Middle Eastern country and it also has ambiguous and collaborative relations with the empire, and with my nation in particular. I  was naively convinced that true anti-imperialists would welcome the will of the people as sovereign and that the information constantly withheld from us regarding many human rights violations would cause one of those powerful moments of decision: supporting an action that really was going to mean conflict and risk for my own nation. As February 17th approached, (with its planned march in Benghazi of the family members of the 1,200 political prisoners of Abu Salim who had been executed by Gaddafi ) I noticed that a few would start to say it was not a real revolution because a) it was against a leader who claimed to be anti-imperialist, b) it was a tribal conflict that we should not take part in, as it would lead to division of Libya (as if they actually knew or cared!), c)the protesters had some problems that did not make them revolutionary, with the sub-groups of 1) they are seeking the restoration of the monarchy, 2) they are religious fanatics that will turn back the clock on progressive revolutions and make Libya a theocratic state. I asked them if they had the right to determine when a revolution was valid and when it was not, and I was surprised to hear that they were putting conditions on the support of a people, and didn’t they notice the people were demanding their freedom?

I started to check into all my favourite anti-imperialist sites, most of the relevant articles indicated to me by friends on Facebook, and lo and behold, most of these were articles by Westerners. If I had kept count, and I should have, I would have the evidence in front of me that out of 100 articles perhaps 3 were actually penned by Libyans. I got to wondering what was happening when I had been reading and hearing the reports from Benghazi by Mohamed Nabbous, killed by Gaddafi’s squadrons and in the many comments surrounding these interventions, and noticed the enormous gulf in what the Pundits were saying, and what Libyans were saying. It was as if there were two worlds colliding. All of these people claimed to love freedom and to want to do anything necessary to obtain it, but there was that nasty issue of Gaddafi actually threatening to exterminate those who tried. At this point, one would think that this would be enough for one to firmly side with the Libyan people and wonder what the pundits were going on about.

And, at this time, many things entered the scene, such as NATO, which all of us detest, and transitional governments and Libyan officials abandoning their leader and an upsurge in refugees flooding into Tunisia and war and death in the land that only a few weeks before was the next domino with a tyrant’s face that had to be knocked down.

We read of infiltrations of Al Qaeda, (this was what Gaddafi claimed the Thuwar (“rebels” to those who hate them and “freedom fighters” to those who love them), of deals with Empire, of CIA infiltrates and anything else that you can imagine by way of establishing that those who were commemorating the massacre of their loved ones and who were massacred while doing so were SO BAD and if we supported them, we were dupes. I guess it would take a very self-assured person to still want to see the Thuwar and indeed the people opposing Gaddafi in a decent light.

Already involved in a few discussion groups regarding the events in the region, I was invited by friends to join a few private mostly-Libyan discussion groups. I wanted to observe the discourse, and since my sympathies and antipathies were known to me, but not backed up by enough concrete information, I took it as my “personal fact finding mission” to learn as much as I could about the situation from Libyans. Indeed, the discussions in these groups are lively, and shockingly, almost everyone in the groups (which are by no means small either) has a martyr for the cause and has family living in conditions of siege. It is quite a shocker to log in and see someone receiving condolences for his father, his uncle, her brother, a daily litany of suffering and loss… And even more shocking was the coming into contact with a world I should have been more aware of, that of the acceptance of the will and wisdom of God.

Yes, religion plays a big part in many of these struggles, and while this is not a religious war, (and all Libyans practice the same religion for the most part), the element of faith and perseverance that these people surely learned from over four decades of negation of their political freedom is omnipresent. I would also peek into Pro-Gaddafi boards and oddly, there was a sort of violence and lack of humanity that were not even hidden very well. It became almost apparent to me that there was a lot more to this situation than meets the eye.

I got into discussions with American Communists (self-proclaimed, naturally) and leftists in general and when they started to stress that they didn’t like the religious symbolism that they were seeing (as if their taste was going to matter) I had to ask them why they thought they knew better than the Libyans what was best for Libyans. I was told that the Libyans would put the monarchy in. I stated that the TNC issued a statement and it was supported by those I was discussing things with, that there were to be elections and there was going to be an establishment of democracy. These AC + Leftists told me that the Libyans were dupes for the empire and religious fanatics and that if they were not working for a world revolution but for a repressive and authoritative patriarchal set-up, and thus, as AC + Leftists, the Libyans would not be worthy of obtaining their support. I thought that was some cheek. So what I decided to do was to serve as a filter, I invited Libyans to use my board to engage with these anti-imperialists, and many willingly did so. They presented the Libyan point of view, they were kind, patient and tried to explain what the situation was so that it could be understood.

I admit I was shocked at the violent verbal reactions they got. I admit it was the classic Western Pundit thing of orientalism and ignoring the voice of the common man if that common man was not “politically advanced”. It was the thing I see time and again in Palestine activism: the great Western hero (usually white, male, often Christian or Jewish) determines that he or she knows what is best and becomes the spokesman and mouthpiece for Palestinians. It is denial of Palestinian agency, but it is so common and so normal that we tend to not notice it as the alarming trend it is.

McKinney not looking too objective there.

Working for the Man

So, when Cynthia McKinney stepped onto the scene, it is as if the secret prayers of the Gaddafi supporters who also are against the Libyan people’s revolution (they want to deny it’s what it is, but they are unable to turn off our memory cells that far back) had been answered. Black, female, present in the past in brave gestures for Palestine, outspoken against the robbery of the Democratic vote in the Bush elections, pacifist and they can plug their noses on the fact that she actually might represent empire by being involved in the presidential elections as a candidate and as a Roman Catholic. She does fine to complain against NATO abuses and even their involvement, but to become the mouthpiece of Gaddafi went above and beyond the call of duty, even going so far as to follow the game plan he provided while establishing the proper narrative to put forth. She did this as well on Libyan State TV, yes, the same state TV that has been accused by Libyans as sending out calls for ethnic cleansing of the Amazigh people (a linguistic minority in Libya) and those living in cities where protesting became resistance and then revolution.

And it seems, once again, we have thousands of eyewitnesses who the anti- imperialists, Leftists, American Communists refuse to listen to or when they are given the opportunity censor them or hurl insults their way, but when an American “eyewitness” (who has been shown where the Gaddafi cronies have taken her and nowhere else) speaks, she is the one who must be listened to, because she will not change anything, because she has no loved ones there, so whatever happens is politics, because she will have her hardcore followers and for all the ones she loses, she will pick up more, sensing where the anti-imperialist (banter) winds blow, feeding the fundraising machine for awareness-raising in an endless cycle. Those who actually are Libyans are treated to the usual “shut up” that is reserved for “counter-revolutionaries”. All from the comfort of these Western Anti-Imperialist homes far away from where the blood is being shed.

So what is my final remark to anti-imperialists, that group which I had felt I had proudly belonged to for decades? Quit lecturing with such an attitude of cultural colonialism and start listening to those who are actually the directly interested party. Answer them at least once when they ask  what alternative you would have offered when it was clear that their people were being violently crushed. Realise they are not interested in anything but their own freedom, and that includes freedom from you and your ideology and platitudes that contain nothing concrete for them to use towards obtainment of their freedom. If the anti-imperialists can’t understand that, then Khalas, because shutting up is golden.


(Italian subtitles by Diego Traversa, French by Mirielle Rumeau)
To reply to the Gaza youth Manifesto, and with no additional words to the ones spoken with true heart on this video, we give you, The Manifesto. A simple, true, self-explanatory, expression of what we’re sick of.

As these days mark the 63rd memory of the Nakba, our people all around the world, revolt, and object to the injustice and hatred we are met with on a day to day basis, just because we’re Palestinians and just because we exist.

I urge your humanity and your conscience, to spread on this video, so the 15th of May 1948, wouldn’t ever be forgot, and so Palestinians would once more have their freedom and rights back; especially the right of return.

Salamat,
Two anonymous from Palestine.

كرد على بيان شباب غزة، وبدون أي كلمات إضافية للكلمات الصادقة من القلب التي قيلت في هذا الفيديو، نقدم نحن لكم “البيان” والذي هو تعبيرنا البسيط والصريح والغاني عن الشرح، الذي يعبر عن كل الأشياء “اللي احنا زهقنا منها”.

في هذه الأيام التي تمثل الذكرى الثالثة والستين للنكبة، شعبنا في مختلف أنحاء العالم ينتفض ويحتج على الظلم والكراهية التي نعامل بها على أساس يومي، فقط “علشان احنا فلسطينية”.

أنا أحث إنسانيتكم وضمائركم لتنشروا بياننا، لكي يبقى 15-5-1948 يوما لا ينسى في تاريخ الشعوب، ولكي يستعيد الفلسطينيون حريتهم وحقوقهم، وخاصة حقهم في العودة.

سلامات،
عشوائيان من فلسطين.

63 ans de Nakba

Par Deux anonymes de Gaza

Pour répondre au Manifeste de la Jeunesse de Gaza, et sans ajouter un mot à ceux qui sont dits du fond du cœur sur cette vidéo, nous vous donnons Le Manifeste. L’expression simple, qui se passe d’explications, de tout ce dont nous avons marre. En ces jours qui marquent le 63ème souvenir de la Nakba, notre peuple, dans le monde entier, se révolte et proteste contre l’injustice et la haine que nous rencontrons chaque jour, simplement parce que nous sommes Palestiniens et simplement parce que nous existons. (cliquer pour la suite du post et la traduction des sous-titres)
Nous en appelons à votre humanité et à votre conscience pour diffuser cette vidéo, pour que le 15 mai 1948 ne soit jamais oublié, et pour que les Palestiniens recouvrent leur liberté et leurs droits, en particulier le droit au retour.

Salamat,
Deux anonymes de Palestine

http://www.ism-france.org/temoignages/63-ans-de-Nakba-article-15565

63 ans de Nakba

J’en ai marre du mur
J’en ai marre des checkpoints entre les villes palestiniennes
J’en ai marre des colons israéliens illégaux et de leurs colonies
J’en ai marre que ma carte d’identité soit en hébreu
J’en ai marre que des gens ne connaissent rien de notre histoire mais qu’ils sachent tout de l’histoire juive
J’en ai marre que des gens ignorent le droit palestinien au retour et accepte le droit au retour des juifs
J’en ai marre de l’Accord d’Oslo que personne ici n’a d’abord voulu
J’en ai marre de l’Autorité palestinienne sans aucune autorité
J’en ai marre de voir mon père être humilié aux checkpoints par des gens de mon âge et plus jeunes
J’en ai marre que mes amis internationaux soient obligés de mentir quand ils viennent me voir, qu’ils soient interrogés, fouillés à corps et quelquefois expulsés
J’en ai marre que des gens ne comprennent pas ce qu’est “l’occupation”
J’en ai marre d’avoir tout le temps peur
J’en ai marre du syndrome de stress post-traumatique, un état normal ici en Palestine
J’en ai marre du Droit humanitaire international qui ne s’applique pas à l’État d’Israël
J’en ai marre de voir que combattre pour les droits humains de base des Palestiniens, ou critiquer la politique israélienne, est si souvent traité d'”antisémitisme”
J’en ai marre que tout le monde oublie que je suis une Sémite
J’en ai marre d’entendre les Israéliens se plaindre de discrimination quand l’État d’Israël a été fondé sur un principe de pureté ethnique
J’en ai marre de vivre à une époque où la discrimination raciale est devenue acceptable
J’en ai marre d’être constamment traité comme un suspect
J’en ai marre de la manière dont les médias nous décrivent, nous et notre situation
J’en ai marre que le monde entier se préoccupe de Gilad Shalit alors qu’il y a plus de 7000 Palestiniens dans les prisons israéliennes
J’en ai marre d’essayer de me défendre, moi-même, mes amis ou mes compatriotes et de me faire traiter de terroriste
J’en ai marre de voir, où je j’aille, le mur, une colonie ou une soldat israélien

J’en ai marre de 63 ans d’occupation israélienne

Traduction : MR pour ISM

Blasting. Shouts. Screams. Sirens. 

Someone told me to run, I should.

I try to keep my eyes open; I would, if I could.

Wait,

Nobody told me it would feel this good.

I look at the sky and breathe in one last time,

That’s it; I think it has reached my time.

I close my eyes and as I let go, I smile,

I haven’t felt this happy in a very long while.

Don’t get carried away with me,

Going, Going, I’m gone away…

To my mother, father, son, daughter and anyone that has cried;

It would be an insult to say I have died,

Instead be blissful and speak my name in pride,

Or release those tears of joy you are trying to hide,

For I am waiting for you on the better side.

Sorry about the call you received at 4 o’clock in the morning,

I don’t want you upset and I don’t want you mourning.

I am sorry to anyone I have left behind,

I hope one day peace and tranquillity you will find.

Don’t worry about me I am wide awake,

For I have lost my earthly life for the almighty’s sake.

If you have lost me or any family member,

Stay with the thought that we will meet again in Jannah.

They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger,

So try and hold on a little while longer.

With you I will always remain, in your heart and your soul;

As you try to find freedom and accomplish this goal.

Be strong, and remain standing tall,

Don’t give up hope or lose patience as you fight for evil’s downfall,

Everything helps no matter how small,

Each one of us can build freedom like each brick builds a wall.

Pray, Pray, Pray and Pray.

Try not to lose patience and carry on day after day,

As you fight for freedom in every way.

My death wasn’t my end, it’s not over,

The sadness of my loss you will Inshallah get over,

Remember that paradise is what I fly over,

The Dunya’s hurt that I suffered I don’t think over,

Agony and Pain I will never again fret over,

Just carry on praying for the day that this is all over.


Gaza – PNN – Crowds packed Gaza City’s streets today, chanting “The people want an end to division.” The demonstrators are demanding both Palestinian governments in Gaza and the West Bank end the four year old division and restore national unity.

Although Hamas security forces in Gaza didn’t attempt to break up the protests for most of the day, after night fell they surrounded demonstrators and used force to disperse them, beating some with batons, as many as five were reported injured.

Mahmoud Srour is a university student. He left class today demanding national unity.

“Yes for the unity of the Palestinian people in order to encounter an aggressive occupation that grabs our lands day by day, while each of the dividing parties are just taking care to their own political interests and ignore Palestine’s”

As part of the call for unity, some Palestinians have been on hunger strike and many demonstrators say say they are committed to continue demonstrating until they see results. Rewan Abu Shahla is one of the March 15 organizers in Gaza.

“We are staying here, whatever happens, we are staying because what we are calling for is noble and higher than anything. We are calling for unity for the sake of Palestine and we are raising this flag, the Palestinian flag, so we will never give this up”.

Despite mediation from Arab countries including Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, both Fatah and Hamas have been unable to agree on a path toward reconciliation.

Rami Al Meghari from Gaza contributed to this article. http://english.pnn.ps/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=9713

Unity between Palestinians is more urgent than any other need

 please sign the petion Ahewar
We have yet to be free as a people but have diverged from the path to liberty. This social contract is the basis of a new popular movement towards our liberation.

The Palestinian people and their struggle are now confronted by a disastrous situation. We are divided. Our priorities are confused, and our agenda for liberation is unclear. We have consequently fallen short of achieving our freedom. We lack justice and have yet to practice our inalienable right of self-determination.

Today, we derive our strength and legitimacy from our urge to end the suffering and aspirations of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Galilee, in the compulsory diaspora in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and around the world. We stand infused with the energy emanating from the Arab people’s glorious revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and the revolutions in Arab countries from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Gulf. We say, in the name of our innocent martyrs, the wounded, prisoners, refugees, men, women and children, youth and elderly that our compass now points in one direction, and it points towards freedom. To get there we must and shall achieve the following:

Freedom, Justice, and Self-determination

The Palestinian people shall begin to build a realistic vision for their future based on a new Palestinian Social Contract. Our social contract shall be based on the inalienable rights to liberty, justice, self-determination, and the pursuit of happiness. This contract shall ensure freedom, human dignity and justice. Equality, clarity, transparency, democracy and full societal participation in the struggle shall be the guiding principles for this contract. The Palestinian citizens’ cause, concerns and aspirations cannot be reduced, in anyway, to one third of the Palestinians who are in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Therefore, the required Social Contract represents all the Palestinians. It addresses their rights within a formula that observes what is common among all Palestinians and recognizes the differences among the diverse components of our society.

This statement balances between the daily concerns of the Palestinian people and their aspirations. It also suggests realistic alternatives to the current status quo that results in a state of division, weakness, economic crises and the marginalization of the majority of the Palestinian people. We pose three necessary changes to the status quo that express our vision for the Palestinian people.

First: The Establishment of a New Palestinian Social Contract

The Social Contract is based on the need to establish unity amongst the Palestinian people (in Palestine within its historical borders and in the diaspora). We all have the same aspirations: Freedom, justice, return, the unhindered pursuit of happiness, and the dream that we will practice our right to self-determination. To achieve these aspirations all sectors of the Palestinian people, civil society, different political factions, the youth and trade unions are invited to:

– Rebuild the PLO as the sole representative of the Palestinian people and maintain its independence. This requires re-structuring its institutions and ensuring that it is away from the Israeli occupation control.
– Reformulate the Palestinian National Charter in accordance with the new Social Contract, in a manner that ensures the supremacy of freedom, justice and equality that light the path for our movement towards liberation, democracy and self-determination.
– Re-building of the PLO requires, first and foremost, election of a Palestinian National Council (PNC) representing all Palestinians (inside and outside the homeland). Preparations for the elections shall ensure full democracy.
– Pursuant to the PNC elections, the PLO Executive Committee shall be formed in a manner representing political forces, independent personalities and representative institutions with a special focus on ending the factional quota tradition.
– Full separation between the PLO institutions, tasks and persons and the institutions of the administrative bodies responsible for maintaining the day to day life of Palestinian people in the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT).
– End the existing status quo and begin building mechanisms that ensure the broadest democratic representation of the Palestinian people.
– Ensure that the newly formulated PLO is the sole responsible party for the political track of the Palestinian cause before the Palestinian people. Consequently, the Palestinian Authority, as an institution or personalities, does not politically represent the Palestinian people and does not identify mechanisms of our struggle and resistance.
– Struggle against the occupation and its injustices using all internationally legitimate and ethical means. Any strategies for the struggle shall be decided upon through national consensus (achieved within the PLO) and strategically formulated according to the challenges the Palestinian cause is facing to ensure that the most practical tactics are being used.
– Ensure that our inalienable rights are non-negotiable.

Second: The Struggle Against the Occupation and its Apartheid policies

Main principle: The Palestinian people shall struggle against the Israeli occupation using all morally legitimate means of resistance until they are free and establish a just society with full equality.

– The Palestinian people, through the PLO, shall identify the strategies of the struggle.
– We shall increase the momentum of nonviolent popular resistance, using the media, international law, strikes, boycotts, divestment and sanctions and shall seek international support for our struggle.
– We shall support the steadfastness our people on their land, especially in Jerusalem, areas threatened with eviction such as the Jordan Valley and areas in the Negev desert, and near the Apartheid barrier.
– We shall form popular committees to confront occupation’s measures and create daily realities to protect innocent people, their private properties and land.
– We shall launch international campaigns to combat the occupation and its racist separation. We shall use international law to assist us in ascertaining our rights and coordination with international organizations that support values such as human rights, freedom, and equality.
– We shall struggle against the Israel’s racist measures against our people inside the Green Line, support them and provide political and legal protection for their demands and struggle.

Third: Administration of the daily living affairs of the Palestinian people in the OPT

Main principle: The Palestinian administration in the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the civil entity mandated by the PLO to manage the Palestinian affairs. Hence, it does not have the authority to represent all Palestinians. It is not a political entity or authority.
– The PLO forms a representative council for the Palestinians in the OPT responsible for management of their life affairs.
– The representative council is the realistic alternative of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Presidential institution in the OPT.
– An administrator shall be elected from the representative council. He/She shall nominate the heads of the differnet administrative directorates, which shall work according to a platform set up and approved by the representative council to ensure the fulfillment of the people’s day-to-day demands in the OPT.
– The representative council shall be constituted of experts and not politicians whose tasks are confined in taking care of administrative and legislative demands pertinent to people’s day-to-day lives. This will reduce factional competition and enhance the role of the elected representative council.

Formation of security apparatuses and their tasks, and the resistance arms
– All security apparatuses will be integrated within one police service that maintains public safety and the rule of law in the OPT.
– The police apparatus shall be fully separated from and independent of the political factions.
– Weapons shall be used for legal reasons only such as maintaining the people’s safety and defending them from mortal harm.
– Political factions do not have the right to individually select their resistance strategies.
– The police apparatus will be restructured based on new laws that shall govern its duties.

Combating corruption
– Full transparency shall be restored. Corrupt institutes and individuals shall be tried and the stolen funds returned to their rightful owners and the Palestinian people.

Requirements of national and societal reconciliation
– Banning any political platform from inciting to violence.
– The youth and academic experts shall formulate a document to end Palestinian disunity in a manner that is beneficial for the Palestinian cause.
– The youth shall use wide ranging activities to pressure all conflicting sides to come together
– Any delay in ending the division after this document is presented shall be borne by the present leaderships.
– A court shall be formed from independent persons guaranteed by the PLO to decide on all the division implications at the individual and collective levels. The court’s decisions are binding to all.

Let all people who love their people and their country now say, as we say here:
– WE SHALL STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM, SIDE BY SIDE, THROUGHOUT OUR LIVES, UNTIL WE HAVE WON OUR LIBERTY.

please sign the petition on Ahewar

Houria Bouteldja from "Indigenes de la Republique"

 from Kasama Project A Maoist sister in Spain, LG, sent us the following posting. She wrote as an introduction:

This very controversial  essay is by Houria Bouteldja, the spokesperson for the political party organized by people of color in France called Les Indigenes de la Republique. This group is composed by people born and raised in France whose families come from the French ex-colonies. The majority of the members are French from African, Caribbean and Arab origin.

The essay caused a lot of interesting debates because it is a critique to Western Feminism from a Third World Feminist perspective. The essay was also translated to many languages by the Decolonial Translation group.

The term “indigenous” in the French context is used very differently from the Americas. In the Americas, the indigenous are aboriginal or native people. In France, indigenous means “colonial subjects of the French empire.” Indigenous was the term used by the French empire during colonial times to refer to colonial populations everywhere (Viet Nam, Algeria, Tunisia, Martinique, Guadaloupe, Senegal, etc.).

This French party, composed primarily by people of color but open to everybody, appropriated the term “indigenous” from French colonial history to basically say that even though they are French (born and raised in France), due to racism, capitalism and imperialism, they are still treated inside France as “indigenous of the Republic,” that is, as colonial subjects.

It is a way of saying, we are still living in colonial times even though we live in France. Thus, their openly stated goal is to decolonize France. They do a Decolonial march every year in Paris on May 8th. This is the day of the liberation of France in 1944 from the Nazi occupation and the day of the Seti massacre in Algeria. What happened was that while the French went to the streets to celebrate, the Algerians in Seti (a small city of Algeria) also went to the streets to celebrate and to call for Algerian independence. The response of the French colonial army was to kill everybody in the Seti demonstration. So, the indigenous of the Republique do this Decolonial march every year to remind that France is in need of radical decolonization. I was once in one of these marches and it is surreal. You could see thousands of French people-of-color in a demonstration through the streets of Paris with huge Photos of Aime Cesaire, Frantz Fanon, Amircal Cabral, Angela Davis, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkhruma, Nelson Mandela, Nasrallah, Nasser, etc.

Anyway, here is the essay, which was delivered as a speech to the 4th International Congress of Islamic Feminism that took place in Madrid, in October 2010. It appeared in English on Decolonial Translation:

 

Les Indigenes de la Republique

 

White women and the privilege of solidarity

by Houria Bouteldja

I would, first of all, like to thank the Junta Islamica Catalana for having organized this colloquium, which is a real breath of fresh air in a Europe that is shriveling up in upon itself, wrought up in xenophobic debates and increasingly rejecting difference/alterity.

I hope that such an initiative will be able to take place in France. Before getting into the subject at hand, I would like to introduce myself, as I believe that speech should always be located.

I live in France, I am the daughter of Algerian immigrants. My father was a working class man and my mother was a housewife. I am not speaking as a sociologist, a researcher or a theologian. In other words, I am no expert.

I am an activist and I am speaking as a result of my experience as a political activist and, I might add, my own personal sensibility. I am insisting on these details because I would like to be as honest as possible in my reasoning. Truth be told, until today, I hadn’t really thought about the question of Islamic feminism. So why am I taking part in this colloquium? When I was invited, I made it quite clear that I lacked the authority to speak about Islamic feminism and that I would rather deal with the idea of decolonial feminism and the ways in which, I believe, it should be related to the more general question of Islamic feminism.

That is why I thought I would lay out a few questions that could prove useful for our collective questioning.

  • Is feminism universal?
  • What is the relationship between white/Western feminisms and Third World feminisms among which we find Islamic feminisms?
  • Is feminism compatible with Islam?
  • If it is, then how can it be legitimized and what would its priorities be?

First Question: Is feminism universal?

For me, it is the question of all questions when adopting a decolonial approach and when attempting to decolonize feminism. This question is essential, not because of the answer but rather because it makes us, we who live in the West, take the necessary precautions when we are confronted with ‘Other’ societies.

Let’s take, for example, so-called Western societies that witnessed the emergence of feminist movements and have been influenced by them. The women who fought against patriarchy in favor of an equal dignity between men and women gained rights and improved women’s circumstances, which I, myself, benefit from.

Let’s compare their situation, that is to say our situation, with that of so-called “primitive” societies in Amazonia for instance. There are still societies here and there that have been spared by Western influence. I should add here that I don’t consider any society to be primitive. I think there are differing spaces/times on our planet, different temporalities, that no civilization is in advance or behind on any other, that I don’t locate myself on a scale of progress and that I don’t consider progress an end in itself nor a political goal.

In other words, I don’t necessarily consider progress to be progressive but sometimes, even often, it is regressive. And, I think that the decolonial question can also be applied to our perception of time. Getting back to the subject at hand, if we take as our criteria the simple notion of well-being, who in this room can state that the women from those societies (who know nothing of the concept of feminism as we conceive of it) are less well-off than European women who not only took part in the struggles but also made available, to their societies, these invaluable social gains?

I, myself, find it quite impossible to answer this question and would consider quite fortunate whoever could. But yet again, the answer is of no importance. The question itself is, for it humbles us, and curbs our imperialist tendencies as well as our interfering reflexes. It prevents us from considering our own norms as universal and trying to make other’s realities fit into our own. In short, it makes us locate ourselves with regards to our own particularities.

Between Western & Third World feminisms

Having laid out that question clearly, I now feel more at ease to tackle the second question dealing with the relationship between Western feminisms and Third World feminisms. Obviously it’s very complicated but one of its dimensions is the domination of the global south by the global north. A decolonial approach should question this relationship and attempt to subvert it. An example:

In 2007, women from the Movement of the Indigenous of the Republic took part in the annual 8th of March demonstration in support of women’s struggles. At that time, the American campaign against Iran had begun. We decided to march behind a banner that’s message was “No feminism without anti-imperialism”. We were all wearing Palestinian kaffiyehs and handing out flyers in support of three resistant Iraqi women taken prisoner by the Americans. When we arrived, the organizers of the official procession started chanting slogans in support of Iranian women. We found these slogans extremely shocking given the ideological offensive against Iran at that time. Why the Iranians, the Algerians and not the Palestinians and the Iraqis? Why such selective choices? To thwart these slogans, we decided to express our solidarity not with Third World women but rather with Western women. And so we chanted:

Solidarity with Swedish women!

Solidarity with Italian women!

Solidarity with German women!

Solidarity with English women!

Solidarity with French women!

Solidarity with American women!

Which meant:

Why should you, white women, have the privilege of solidarity? You are also battered, raped, you are also subject to men’s violence, you are also underpaid, despised, your bodies are also instrumentalized…

I can tell you that they looked at us as if we were from outer space. What we were saying seemed surreal, inconceivable. It was like the 4th dimension.  It wasn’t so much the fact that we reminded them of their situation as Western women that shocked them. It was more the fact that African and Arabo-Muslim women had dared symbolically subvert a relationship of domination and had established themselves as patrons. In other words, with this skillful rhetorical turn, we showed them that they de facto had a superior status to our own. We found their looks of disbelief quite entertaining.

Another example: After a solidarity trip to Palestine, a friend was telling me how the French women had asked the Palestinian women if they used birth control. According to my friend, the Palestinian women couldn’t understand such a question given how important the demographic issue is in Palestine. They were coming from a completely different perspective. For many Palestinian women, having children is an act of resistance against the ethnic cleansing policies of the Israeli state.

There you have two examples that illustrate our situation as racialized women, that help understand what is at stake and envisage a way to fight colonialist and Eurocentric feminism.

Following on from that question, is Islam compatible with feminism?

This question is purely provocative on my behalf. I can’t stand it. I am asking this question to imitate some French journalist who believes they are asking a really pertinent question. As for me, I refuse to answer out of principle.

On the one hand, because it comes from a position of arrogance. The representative of civilization X is demanding that the representative of civilization Y prove something. Y is, therefore, put in dock and must provide proof of her/his “modern-ness”, justify her/him-self to please X.

On the other hand, because the answer is not simple when one knows that the Islamic world is not monolithic. The debate could go on forever and that is exactly what happens when you make the mistake of trying to answer.

Myself, I cut to the chase by asking X the following question:Is the French Republic compatible with feminism?

I can guarantee you one thing: ideological victory is in the answer to this question. In France, 1 woman dies every 3 days as a result of domestic violence. The number rapes per year is estimated around 48 000. Women are underpaid. Women’s pensions are considerably less substantial than those of men. Political, economic and symbolic power remains mostly in the hands of men. True, since the 60’s and 70’s, men share more in household duties: statistically, 3 min more than 30 years ago!! So I ask my question again: are the French Republic and feminism compatible? We would be tempted to say no!

Actually, the answer is neither yes nor no. French women liberated French women and it’s thanks to them that the Republic is less macho than it was. The same goes for Arabo-Muslim, African and Asian countries. No more, no less. With, however, one extra challenge: consolidating within women’s struggles the decolonial dimension, that is to say the critique of modernity and eurocentrism.

How to legitimize Islamic feminism?

For me, it legitimizes itself. It doesn’t have to pass a feminist exam. The simple fact that Muslim women have taken it up to demand their rights and their dignity is enough for it to be fully recognized. I know, as result of my intimate knowledge of women from the Maghreb and in the diaspora, that “the-submissive-woman” does not exist. She was invented. I know women that are dominated. Submissive ones are rarer!

I would like to conclude with what, in my opinion, should be priorities for decolonial feminism.

You have all heard about Amina Wadud and her involvement in the development of Islamic feminism. She became well known the day she lead the prayer, a role usually reserved for men. Out of context, I would say that it could be thought of as a revolutionary act. However, in an international context that saw the Iranian Revolution and 9/11 (as well as growing Islamophobia, demands that Islam update and modernize itself), a much more ambiguous message was brought to light. Was it answering strong demands, an urgency, the fundamental expectations of women from the Umma? Or were these expectations of the white world? Allow me to dwell on the latter hypothesis. Not that there aren’t any women who find it an injustice that only men be allowed to lead the prayer but because women’s priorities and urgent needs are elsewhere.

What do Afghan, Iraqi and Palestinian women want? Peace, the end of the war and the occupation, the rebuilding of their national infrastructures, legal frameworks that guarantee their rights and protect them, access to sufficient food and water, the ability to feed and educate their children under good conditions. What do Muslim women in Europe and more generally those who are immigrants and who, for the most part, live in lower income neighborhoods want? A job, housing, rights that protect them not only from state violence but also men’s violence. They demand respect for their religion, their culture. Why are all of these demands silenced and why does the issue of leading the prayer make its way across the globe when Judaism and Christianity have never really made apparent their own intransigent defense of the equality of sexes? To finish up with this example, I believe that Amina Wadud’s act was, in fact, quite the opposite of what it claimed to be. In reality and independently of the theologian’s own wishes, this act, in my opinion, was counter-productive. It will only be able to adopt a feminist dimension once Islam is equally treated with respect and once the demands to lead the prayer come from Muslim women themselves. It is time to see Muslim men and women how they really are and not how we would like them to be.

I conclude here and hope to have shown the ways in which a true decolonial feminism could benefit women, all women when they, themselves, deem it to be their path to emancipation.

Houria Bouteldja, Madrid, 22 October 2010.

Translated by Amy Fechtmann

Gheddafi and Chavez

If one, like myself, is raised with the love of “the worker” and “the people” which exceeds any love of a party, an ideology or even a nation, it is difficult to really fit in with any established left. While the left claims that it seeks power of the people, too many times its public statements make it clear that the people to protect are instead the people already in power, despite what they might actually have to do in order to maintain that power.

In the past, I have been critical of the massive investments Fidel Castro allowed to be made by Rafi Eitan and have been told that expressing how wrong the policy of “anything at all to uphold the Cuban revolution is good, even if it means trampling on Palestinians” was. I was accused of siding with dissident Cubans. It seems that there is a belief that this leader is beyond criticism.

Again, when I have criticised Ahmadinejad (who is not a leftist leader, but currently a leader some of the anti-imperialists who do not accept pan-Arabism look to as being “the voice of truth”) for the lack of what I consider political savvy in some of his speeches and how easily they are used to deflect attention to Israel as victim and away from Palestine as real victim, I have been accused of being a Zionist… and to my eyes, the automatism of Ahmadinejad=the real anti-Zionist seems like rote dogmatism without true reflection of what precisely Iran’s role in the region’s in/stability might be. Iran deserves to be free of all instrumentalisation and to have a truly autonomous and independent domestic and foreign policy, no matter if Ahmadinejad is the leader or not, but those in the West who insist upon singing the praises of Ahmadinejad as a symbol and condemning those who don’t are using simpleton logic and do nothing that is different from those who use him as the banner for what is evil.

Today my inbox has gotten another jolt. It seems that the “Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity” is supporting Muammar Gheddafi and accusing the uprising in Libya as being the work of foreign services. Like classic dogmatic leftist propaganda, their press release attempts to equate the person of Gheddafi with the nation of Libya. Like all pieces of dogmatic propaganda, it contains some elements of truth, such as lamenting the lack of media attention for the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people as well as the tendency of the forces of power in the West to attempt to hijack any popular movement and take control of it. As well, its statements about Gheddafi’s son being a benefactor in an NGO are also true, as his foundation donated 180 vehicles to the Viva Palestina mission as well as having assumed the exaggerated costs of the doomed and ill-planned Road to Hope Convoy, which did not factor in the amount of money to actually bring the goods to Gaza by boat, as is (unfortunately in these horrible times we live in) the only means possible. However aside from some facts and truth in the press statement, the core truth is that once again, the “left” sides by the power of a leader who states himself to be anti-imperialist, (despite evidence to the contrary) and instead tyrannically controls the business and wealth in a sort of State Capitalism where only a few gain and where democracy is seen as counter to the interests of the State. 

It is sufficient to read the press statement to see that the great blindspot blocking many who speak in the name of the “left” is a lack of awareness of the unstoppable force and legitimacy of the Arab masses. People in the MENA lands are divided into nations, religions, political orientation so that they can be used for a huge variety of dogmatic reasons. This is done even by their friends and supporters who neglect a very basic reality – unity across every artificial divide. There are those who blame/praise the recent uprisings on Islam, but that is again untrue. Though these are nations with a vast Muslim population, the uprisings are not religious rallies and are indeed joined by Muslim groups, but not lead by them, just as they are joined by internationalist groups, but are not lead by them. It is simply the power of human beings who live in the “Middle East” and North Africa who are demanding their political and human rights. It is their identification as a united front which brings them en masse to the largest squares in their countries, allows them to face bravely the very real threat of bodily harm and even death. 

It is the Arab human being who is being buried on the beaches of Tripoli, the cemeteries of Soussa, Manama and Cairo. It is the Arab human being who is arrested in Palestine for sharing his or her solidarity with other humans fighting for their rights. There is no limit of age, sex, religion, political credo or even social class. There is one uniting factor, the factor of Arabhood, Arab Consciousness that is drawing these people to demand to have a say in their own future and to construct their own country, and protect it for all the nationals abroad who are in exile or diaspora, ousting corrupt and tyrannical leaders who have at times used patriotism of the nation to inspire “brand loyalty” to the leader. 

Yet, these same feelings of patriotism, the beloved flags of all the independent nations, are being waved in a mass statement of unity. Arab people are supporting other Arab people across the globe, seeking to empower the individual national struggles in the name of Arabhood and humanity as a whole. The Algerian, the Moroccan, the Jordanian, the Tunisian, the Iraqi, the Egyptian and all the other national identities are not abandoned, but are instead joined together in solidarity as a sole people rising up against any outside forces or internal pressure that seeks to strip them of their power and determination to be the protagonists of their own stories. 

Just as it is wrong and improper to impose sanctions against a people to bring down a leader, as is attempted from the West and the imperialist powers (US and EU sanctions against Iran, Iraq, Gaza, to name only some), it is also wrong to have attempted to call for an economic boycott of Egypt to bring down Mubarak. To boycott an Arab nation at this time, as is expected soon from the USA towards Libya, never brings down the leader, it only weakens the masses and makes them further victimised by the oppressive powers, their own and those from outside. Boycotts are to change policy, not to bring down leaders, and they do nothing but increase suffering to the population which does not possess any kind of powers or economic clout. 

So the left, rather than support Gheddafi, should condemn the proposed boycott of Libya while at the same time accept the power of the people and abandon the dogmatism of the charismatic “revolutionary leader” when it is evident that his leadership is in place only by means of oppression. I would expect that true revolutionaries and leftists will ignore the appeal of the Chavez Foundation and will take their place alongside the Arab people in their struggle for freedom. 

(thank you Ali Baghdadi for bringing this missive to my attention).   

HUGO CHAVEZ INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR PEACE, FRIENDSHIP AND SOLIDARITY

HCI-FPFS

“To love one’s neighbor is also to love one’s enemy. Although in reality that qualifier-‘enemy’ does not exist in my vocabulary. I recognize that I only have adversaries and I have acquired the capacity to love them because in this way we do away with violence, wrath, vengeance, hatred and substitute them with justice and forgiveness.” 
Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet Gonzalez (1999)

Press Statement                                                                       23 February, 2011.

Bamako, Republic of Mali                    Tel: 00223-6413027.

This is the second statement to the Press issued by the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), in the light of the situation in Libya. It is no more a secret to state in this Press Release that foreign powers, opposed to peace, unity and progress of Africa are in action again, leading a wicked campaign of treachery, deception and terrorism against Libyan leader, Muammar Al-Qathafi and the people of Libya. This time, the enemies of Africa are hiding behind the corrupt foreign media in their criminal attempts to attack and destroy Libya.

The international conspiracy to destroy Muammar Al-Qathafi through a carefully-calculated media frenzy constitutes the burden of each of our position statement on current events in Libya, especially the wide, vicious, hypocritical gap between the US and Western powers’ “democratic” avowal and the state terrorism associated with the activities of these so-called civilized nations towards the people of Africa, Middle East, the Caribbean and Latin America. In the first place, the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace,
Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS) wonders how British Foreign Secretary William Hague can feel so comfortable in the company of anti-Libyan organized crime groups that seek the devastation and destruction of Libya. For instance, it was the British Foreign Secretary-turned-coat anti-Libyan, anti-Qathafi, anti-Africa, anti-Arab, anti-Hugo Chavez, anti-Venezuelan whom led the malicious lie to the world that Libyan leader Muammar Al-Qathafi had ran away and sought refuge in Venezuela. The malicious lie was doctored at a time British Prime Minister David Cameron was on an unannounced visit to Egypt, ostensibly to urge the military junta in Cairo to respect the so-called timetable for holding elections.

The other lies, deceptions and ill-thought-out propaganda associated with the ongoing anti-Libyan campaign in the corrupt media include the following misguided allegations, that:

LIBYAN WAR PLANES BOMBED CIVILIANS.

It is innuendos and reckless dissipation for any foreign government, organization or the corrupt media to suggest that the competent authorities in Tripoli used Libya’s fighter jet planes against Libyan civilians. It has never happened and there is no evidence to convince any sane person to believe that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi ever used fighter planes against the Libyan people, since the dawn of the era of the Great September 1st Al-Fateh Revolution in 1969. As a matter of fact, there are all evidences available to conclude that the Government of Muammar Al-Qathafi does not need importing foreign mercenaries to protect Libyan life and property against the terrorist activities of organized crime groups and the corrupt media.

It is now clear that the “corrupt international media” disproportionately covers human rights violations in Libya beyond an attempted distraction from the actual situation on the North African nation. For example when Israeli army massacred Palestinian men, women and children in the occupied Arab lands and territories, there is little media coverage compared to the coverage generated over the drown attacks directed by the White House in Washington against tribes men, women and children in Afghanistan. The extrajudicial execution of Egyptian opposition leaders by US/Israeli trained agents of former government of the disgraced dictator Hosni Mubarrak was not covered by the “corporate media” despite it being a heinous crime against humanity. We assert that, the assumption that Libyan fighter planes deployed by the Libyan Government against civilians is without basis. This is further evidence that the corporate media’s claims about happenings in Libya are without substance.

SAIF AL-ISLAM QATHAFI THREATENED THE LIBYAN PEOPLE.

The corporate media got it wrong from the beginning when it made and repeated the claim that Saif Al-Islam Qathafi, the President of the Gadafi Foundation threatened the Libyan people. When weighing the claims of the corporate media against the President of the Gadafi Foundation, one should look at Saif Al-Islam’s background. This is a man who leads a respectable Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), the Gadafi Foundation that has been instrumental in enforcing the principles of the Green Charter International (GCI), for peace, human rights, rule of law, democracy, freedom and human dignity in Libya and world over.

Saif Al-Islam’s statement on attempts by criminals to rob the Libyan people of their peace, freedom and dignity was crystal clear and made to urge the Libyan people to resist any foreign attempts to destroy their country. The accusations against Sail Al-Islam are false and reveal that the corporate media is ever willing to blatantly lie in order to attempt to damage the reputation and illuminating personality of Sail Al-Islam.

Thus far we have seen how a simple, clear-cut national security case became a wider, more serious problem through unwillingness on the part of the enemies of Libya to respect the sovereignty and independence of the North African nation. Instead they (the enemies of Libya) deliberately buried facts and began a campaign of gossip, tale bearing and slander against Sail Al-Islam. We have also learned how the US and Western imperialists encouraged the corporate media’s anti-Libya terrorism by listening to their unfounded and baseless allegations and treating them as true.

NO FLY ZONE RHETORIC.

A number of heretics, racists and anti-Libyans have gone mad and resorted to advocate for a “no fly zone” be imposed on Libya. The objective, it is now clear-to create a corridor for aggression and violation of Libya’s sovereignty and integrity. Those who advocate for this subversive action plan are themselves collaborators of organized crime groups intending to destroy Libya.

On whether Muammar Al-Qathafi is in control of Libya, we would leave it to the sane international community to read the writings on the wall. There is no gain saying the fact Muammar Qathafai is well, kicking and performing his duties as Leader and Guide of the Revolution, and remains the legitimate leader of the Libyan masses. The Libyan Government is fully in control of its country’s internal situation, and as repeatedly said by Muammar Qathafi, the Libyan Government would not sit idle and allow any body pursue vested personal agendas, or derail the country from path of economic prosperity and sustained development.

The competent authorities in Tripoli have undertaken full duties and responsibilities through decisive action in the face of a well planned international covert agenda, and managed to restore security and protect human life and property in Libya. The US and Western governments hate-filled attacks on Colonel Muammar Qathafi are mere “propaganda” aimed at diverting growing international concern over the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq, occupied Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Anger and frustration at the collapse of the anti-Arab, pro-zionist regime in Egypt is completely understandable and shared by us, in the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS), yet that anger must not be directed at destroying.

Concluding we call upon the civilized international community to exert pressure on the military junta in Cairo not to allow any part of Egypt be use as staging posts for the destabilization of Libya.

Signed:………………………….

Alimamy Bakarr Sankoh

President of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS),

For, and on behalf of the Hugo Chavez International Foundation for Peace, Friendship and Solidarity (HCI-FPFS).

On 25 February 2011 activists and organizations from around the world will join together in solidarity with the Palestinian residents of Hebron/ al Khaleel, through local protests that demand for the opening of Shuhada Street to Palestinians and an End to the Occupation! For more info or to organize a protest in your city please contact openshuhadastreet@gmail.com

Want to get involved? Click here for more information

Open Shuhada Street Pamphlet 2011

Open Shuhada Street – 25 Feb 2011 – Global Day of Action from Joseph Dana on Vimeo.

Shuhada Street used to be the principal street for Palestinians residents, businesses and a very active market place in the Palestinian city of Hebron/ al Khaleel. Today, because Shuhada Street runs through the Jewish settlement of Hebron, the street is closed to Palestinian movement and looks like a virtual ghost street which only Israelis and tourists are allowed to access. Hate graffiti has been sprayed across the closed Palestinian shops and Palestinians living on the street have to enter and exit their houses through their back doors or, even sometimes by climbing over neighbor’s roofs.

International Supporter Being Arrested During a Recent Protest in Hebron. Photo: Activestills.org

In 1994, following the massacre of 29 Muslims at prayer by America-Israeli settler Dr Baruch Goldstein, shops on Shuhada Street were closed and vehicular traffic prohibited on the street. Despite a court case and an admission by the Israeli government that it is illegal, the street is still closed to Palestinians 16 years later. We are focusing on Shuhada Street as a symbol of the settlement issue, the policy of separation in Hebron/al Khaleel and the entire West Bank, the lack of freedom of movement, and the occupation at large. Check back to this page for more updates regarding how you can get involved. For more background information and FAQ’s click here.


Στο όνομα του Αραβικού Παλαιστινιακού λαού, του αίματος των μαρτύρων, των χηρών και των υστερημένων, των ορφανών και των χιλιάδων φυλακισμένων στις Ισραηλινές φυλακές και όλων των απόδημων Παλαιστινίων, καλούμε όλες τις Παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις να ενωθούν υπό το λάβαρο της Παλαιστίνης, προκειμένου να μεταρρυθμιστεί το πολιτικό σύστημα στην Παλαιστίνη στη βάση των συμφερόντων και των φιλοδοξιών (οραμάτων) των Παλαιστινίων στην πατρίδα και τη διασπορά.

Η σοβαρότητα της Ισραηλινής αποικιακής εισβολής στην παρούσα φάση, η αρπαγή των εδαφών της ιερής μας Ιερουσαλήμ και η βίαιη πολιορκία εναντίον του λαού της Γάζας, απαιτεί από όλους μας να αντισταθούμε σε αυτή την βάναυση κατοχή.

Έχουμε ακούσει πως ο Παλαιστινιακός λαός ζητά νομοθετικές και προεδρικές εκλογές προκειμένου να λήξει το καθεστώς διάσπασης. Ναι, όλοι θέλουμε να βάλουμε ένα τέλος στη διάσπαση, αλλά θέλουμε επίσης την πλήρη αναδόμηση και μεταρρύθμιση της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης (PLO), ώστε να περιλαμβάνει όλες τις αποχρώσεις του παλαιστινιακού πολιτικού φάσματος, της Hamas συμπεριλαμβανομένης, προκειμένου να παλέψουμε πάλι για την απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης όπως προορίστηκε αρχικά.

Εμείς, οι Παλαιστίνιοι στην πατρίδα και στο εξωτερικό, πάντα ακούγαμε ότι οι ειρηνικές ενέργειες θα επετύγχαναν τη νίκη και θα αποκαθιστούσαν τα εδάφη μας αλλά 20 χρόνια διαπραγματεύσεων δεν έχουν επιτύχει ούτε τις ελάχιστες απαιτήσεις. Οι συνάνθρωποι μας παραμένουν υπό τη βάναυση και καταπιεστική κατοχή που υφαρπάζει τα εδάφη μας, παραβιάζει τους ιερούς τόπους και σκοτώνει τα παιδιά μας, και όλα αυτά ενώ η οικουμένη, που απαιτεί δημοκρατία και σεβασμό των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, απλά παρατηρεί και ακούει! Ενώ παράλληλα, η αντίσταση χρονοτριβεί, αφήνοντας περισσότερο από ενάμιση εκατομμύριο Παλαιστίνιους υπό τον ισραηλινό αποκλεισμό που τους πνίγει σε τέτοιο βαθμό που παραπέμπει ακόμα και ασθενείς στο εξωτερικό προκειμένου να τους παραχθεί θεραπεία, την ίδια στιγμή που αυτό είναι πρακτικά αδύνατο να γίνει, ακόμα και για τους ίδιους τους ηγέτες της αντίστασης και των οικογενειών τους, πόσο μάλλον για τον υπόλοιπο Παλεστινιακό λαό.

Πρέπει να συμφωνήσουμε πως είναι απαραίτητο όλοι μας να ενωθούμε για τους απανταχού Παλαιστίνιους, που ακόμη ονειρεύονται την επιστροφή έξι εκατομμύριων Παλαιστίνιων προσφύγων στις κατοικίες τους που καταπατήθηκαν κατά την κατοχή, μια κατοχή που αντιλαμβάνεται μόνο τη γλώσσα της βίας!

Ας γίνουμε δυνατοί, ας είναι η ενότητα η δύναμή μας, και ας συμφωνήσουμε ομόφωνα σε μια ενοποιημένη ηγεσία που θα μας οδηγήσει στην ελευθερία με υπερηφάνεια και αξιοπρέπεια!

Από αυτή τη θέση, καλούμε τις κυβερνήσεις της Δυτικής Όχθης και της Γάζας να ανταποκριθούν στα νόμιμα αιτήματα των ανθρώπων:
1. Την απελευθέρωση όλων των πολιτικών κρατουμένων από τις φυλακές της Παλαιστινιακής Αρχής και της Hamas.
2. Το τέλος της μεταξύ τους δημόσιας αντιπαράθεσης.
3. Την παραίτηση των κυβερνήσεων του Haniyeh και του Fayyad και τον σχηματισμό μίας κυβέρνησης εθνικής ενότητας που θα συμφωνηθεί από όλες τις παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις και θα είναι αντιπροσωπευτική του Παλαιστινιακού λαού.
4. Την αναδιάρθρωση της Οργάνωσης για την Απελευθέρωση της Παλαιστίνης, που θα περιέχει όλες τις παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις και την επιστροφή της στον αρχικό στόχο: την Ελευθερία της Παλαιστίνης
5. Την ανακοίνωση περί αναστολής όλων των διαπραγματεύσεων μέχρι την πλήρη συμφωνία ενός πολιτικού προγράμματος από τις διάφορες παλαιστινιακές παρατάξεις
6. Το τέλος κάθε μορφής συντονισμού σε θέματα ασφάλειας με το σιωνιστή εχθρό
7. Την οργάνωση προεδρικών και κοινοβουλευτικών εκλογών ταυτόχρονα, σε χρόνο που θα συμφωνηθεί από όλες τις παρατάξεις

Οι εκδηλώσεις θα ξεκινήσουν την Τρίτη, 15 Μαρτίου 2011, στις 11:30 π.μ. και θα συνεχιστούν μέχρι την επίτευξη όλων των στόχων.
Θα μαζευτούμε στις ακόλουθες τοποθεσίες (αλλαγές είναι πιθανόν να υπάρξουν):
Γάζα: Πλατεία Αγνώστου Στρατιώτη (Gaza: the Unknown Soldier Square)
Ραμάλλα: Πλατεία Manara (Ramallah: Manara Square)
Τουλκάρμ: Κυκλική Πλατεία Gamal Abdel Nasser (Tulkarm: Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser)
Τζενίν: στο συγκρότημα των χώρων στάθμευσης κοντά στον παλαιό κινηματογράφο Jenin (Jenin: complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin)
Χεβρώνα: μπροστά στο κυβερνείο (Hebron: in front of the governor’s office)
Βηθλεέμ: Εκκλησία της πλατείας Nativity (Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity Square)
Nablus: Πλατεία Μαρτύρων (Nablus: Martyrs Square)
Ιορδανία και Λίβανος: η τοποθεσία δεν έχει οριστεί ακόμα
Στον υπόλοιπο κόσμο: μπροστά από τις Παλαιστινιακές πρεσβείες, σε συνεννόηση με τις παλαιστινιακές κοινότητες στο εξωτερικό. ΘΑ ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΗΣΕΙ ΑΝΑΚΟΙΝΩΣΗ !!!

Παρακαλούμε επισκεφτείτε μας στην σελίδα:
http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

15 marzo, Azione internazionale per l’unità del Popolo Palestinese.
Un solo popolo contro il Sionismo.

In nome del popolo arabo palestinese, per il rispetto del sangue dei martiri, delle vedove, degli orfani e dei loro lutti, per le migliaia di prigionieri nelle carceri israeliane e per tutta la nostra gente della diaspora palestinese, chiediamo a tutte le fazioni di unirsi sotto la bandiera della Palestina per potere riformare e basare il sistema politico in Palestina sugli interessi ed aspirazioni del popolo palestinese, in patria e in esilio.

La gravità dell’attuale fase di incursioni da parte dei coloni israeliani, dell’appropriazione della terra nella nostra Sacra Gerusalemme e della violenza dell’assedio contro il popolo palestinese di Gaza obbliga tutti noi ad unirci saldamente contro quest’occupazione brutale.

Noi abbiamo sentito il popolo palestinese chiedere le elezioni legislative e presidenziali per porre fine alla divisione. Sì, tutti noi vogliamo la fine della divisione, ma vogliamo anche una totale ricostruzione dell’ Organizzazione per la Liberazione della Palestina, che comprenda tutti i colori dello spettro politico palestinese, incluso Hamas, e di riformarla con lo scopo di lottare di nuovo per la liberazione della Palestina, così come era stato inteso dalla sua fondazione.

Noi, il popolo palestinese, in patria ed in esilio, abbiamo sempre sentito che le azioni pacifiche sarebbero bastate per ottenere la vittoria e ci avrebbero restituito la nostra terra, ma 20 anni di negoziati non ci hanno fatto ottenere la benché minima richiesta. La nostra gente vive sotto una brutale ed oppressiva occupazione che saccheggia la nostra terra, viola i nostri luoghi sacri, uccide i nostri figli. Fa tutto questo mentre il mondo dichiara che la democrazia è assicurata e i diritti umani vengono rispettati! D’altro canto la resistenza è in stallo, mentre più di un milione e mezzo di palestinesi restano sotto l’assedio israeliano che strangola fino al punto che i nostri malati, compresi i figli dei leader della resistenza, possono essere curati solo altrove.

Dobbiamo essere d’accordo: è necessario che noi ci uniamo per tutti i palestinesi qui e per i sei milioni di rifugiati palestinesi in ogni parte del mondo che ancora sognano il loro ritorno alle loro case sottratte dall’Occupazione, che comprende soltanto il linguaggio della forza! Dobbiamo essere forti, dobbiamo fare sì che l’unità sia la nostra forza e che siamo unanimemente concordi su una dirigenza che ci potrebbe guidare fino alla libertà, con orgoglio e dignità!

Con questo appello chiediamo a tutti coloro che governano in Cisgiordania e Gaza di rispondere alle richieste legittime del popolo:
1 – il rilascio di tutti i detenuti politici nelle prigioni dell’ Autorità Palestinese e di Hamas
2 – la fine di ogni tipo di campagna stampa contro le altre fazioni
3 – le dimissioni dei governi di Haniyeh e Fayyad per poter ricostruire un governo di unità nazionale che riscuota l’approvazione di ogni fazione palestinese e che avrebbe il compito di rappresentare il popolo palestinese
4 – la ristrutturazione dell’Organizzazione per la Liberazione della Palestinna che includa tutte le fazioni palestinesi e che ritorni al suo scopo originario: la liberazione della Palestina
5 – l’annuncio del congelamento dei negoziati finchè non ci sarà totale compatabilità tra le vari fazioni su un programma politico
6 – la fine di ogni forma di coordinamento con il nemico sionista sulla questione della sicurezza
7 – l’organizzazione di elezioni presidenziali e parlamentari simultanee nei tempi scelti da tutte le fazioni

Gli eventi avranno inizio il martedì, 15/03/2011 alle 11:30 e andranno avanti finchè non saranno accolte tutte le nostre richieste. Ci raduneremo nei seguenti posti (salvo modifiche):
Gaza: Piazza del Milite Ignoto
Ramallah: Piazza Manara
Tulkarm: Piazzale Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jenin: complesso dei garagi vicino al vecchio Cinema Jenin
Hebron: davanti all’ufficio del Governatore (Al Khalil)
Bethlehem: Piazza della Natività
Nablus: Piazza dei Martiri
Giordania e Libano: da definire
Nel mondo: davanti alle sedi diplomatici palestinesi, in coordinamento con le comunità palestinesi in esilio.

http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

Translated into Greek by Christina Baseos, translated into Italian by Mary Rizzo

On behalf of the Palestinian Arab people, on the blood of the martyrs, widows and bereaved, orphans and thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails and all our people in the Palestinian diaspora, we call on all the Palestinian factions to unite under the banner of Palestine, in order to reform the political system in Palestine, based on the interests and aspirations of the Palestinian people in the homeland and the diaspora.

The seriousness of the current phase of Israeli settler incursions and looting of land in our Sacred Jerusalem and the violence of the siege against the Palestinian people in Gaza require us all to stand as one against this brutal occupation.

We have heard that the Palestinian people call for legislative and presidential elections to end the state of division. Yes, we all want to end the division, but we also want a complete re-building of the Palestine Liberation Organization, to include within it all the colors of the Palestinian political spectrum, including Hamas, and to reform it in order to fight again for Palestine’s liberation, as it was initially intended.

We, Palestinian people in the homeland and abroad, have always heard that peaceful actions would achieve victory and restore the land, but 20 years of negotiations have not achieved the leatest demands. Our people remains under a brutal and oppressive occupation that steals land, violate the Holy sites and kills our children, and all of this while the world that claims democracy and human rights is watching and hearing! On the other hand, the resistance is stalling, leaving more than a million and a half Palestinians under Israeli blockade, choking them to the point that our patients, including the sons of the leaders of the resistance, are sent to be treated abroad.

We must agree; it is necessary that we unite for all Palestinians here and there and everywhere, still dreaming of six million Palestinian refugees to return to their homes stolen by the Occupation that only understands the language of force! Let us be strong, let unity be our strength and unanimously agree on a unified leadership that can lead us to freedom with all pride and dignity!

From here we call on the governments of the West Bank and Gaza to respond to the legitimate demands of the people:
1 – the release all political detainees in the prisons of the PA and Hamas
2 – the end of all forms of media campaigns against each other
3 – the resignation of the governments of Haniyeh and Fayyad to re-build a government of national unity agreed by all Palestinian factions representing the Palestinian people
4 – the restructuring of the Palestine Liberation Organization to contain all the Palestinian factions and get back to its initial aim: Palestine’s freedom
5 – the announcement of the freeze of negotiations until the full compatibility between the various Palestinian factions on a political program
6 – the end of all forms of security coordination with the Zionist enemy
7 – the organization of presidential and parliamentary elections simultaneously in the time chosen by all the factions

Events will start on Tueseday, 03/15/2011 at 11:30 pm and will continue until the achievement of all goals. We will be gathering in the following places (modifications possible):
Gaza: the Unknown Soldier Square
Ramallah: Manara Square
Tulkarm: Roundabout Gamal Abdel Nasser
Jenin: complex of garages near the old Cinema Jenin
Hebron: in front of the governor’s office
Bethlehem: Church of the Nativity Square
Nablus: Martyrs Square
Jordan and Lebanon: no location yet
All over the world: in front of the Palestinian embassies, in coordination with the Palestinian communities abroad. TO BE ANNOUNCED!!!

Please join our page.

http://www.facebook.com/Palestinians.United?sk=info

Gaza Youth Breaks Out

Video describing the modern history of  Palestine by Mustapha Barghouti