The Gruesome And The Gathering

Artist, writer, blogger, European. Following the Arab Spring since its breakout. Currently active supporter of the Syrian revolution. Glad to live in times never expected.

Many terms created by the whole spectrum from grassroots activists to self-claimed political experts are surrounding around the situation in Syria. From ‘crimes against humanity’ over ‘orchestrated genocide’ to ‘civil war’ a shower of explanations is flooding the readers and interested ones daily via the global media.

Forget all those bloomy definitions. Simply imagine the biggest hostage-taking of the human history. The Assad clan is keeping more than twenty million people as hostages. Having only the choice between fleeing from their home country or accepting the arbitrariness of the ruling minority consisting of a few families and their well-trained security staff committing all the crimes against humanity in blind loyalty.

Image courtesy of Lina Melhem taken on Mar 15, 2012 in Munich during the rally 'One Year Call For Freedom'

As a citizen you have normally besides your obligations your basic rights, in some countries more than in others but generally spoken you have the possibilities at least to raise your voice publicly, to organize yourself together with other ones, to demand your rights. The Syrians don’t have those rights or even the chance to stand for them without risk to become arrested, tortured, killed Detainment, blackmailing, collective punishment – the catalogue of cruelties is enormous. Even if you’re able to leave the country you’re all but in the safe haven. The regime embassies are tracking you in  case you raise the voice too loud against the authoritarian system. I’ve heard it so many times up till now: ‘I’m not afraid about me. I’m afraid about my family members still being inside.’ The threatening aren’t very subtle, in contrary, often they are very direct. Last week I met a young Syrian, in the beginning of the twenties, on the first sight a typical young guy you meet, find on the streets or in the cafes almost everywhere. He told me being arrested for some weeks in Palmyra, one of the regime’s infamous torture prisons. Simply the look of the scars all over his arms gave me the goosebumps. His only ‘crime’ was being against the murderous politics in his home country. He was not a member of the ominous ‘armed gangs’ Assad is mentioning on every occasion. He had carried no guns or something with him while he protested with others. He was just one of the more than twenty million hostages demanding help. And he had great luck to get out of the torture machine inside unlike many others being now here in Europe in apparent safety.

Still having the Russian officials in our ears – ‘no intervention please!’ – we have to ask us if that dubious double standard is any longer tolerable. Under the umbrella of their diplomatic immunity the shabiha (the ‘ghosts’, a term especially used by the Syrians for the regime loyals acting more or less merciless) envoys and their staff are not only disrespecting the rules and laws of other countries, they’re violating them.

What the world is witnessing now since more than one year is the desperate attempt to get rid of the hostage-takers – by the hostages themselves, not by some special units together with a handful of top negotiators. It’s not a Hollywood movie with a pre-written happy end. It’s literally bloody reality still based upon an open end script (despite the resistance movement becoming stronger) and instead of supporting the courageous civilians the global elite of representatives is stage-managing a proxy war only to avoid taking responsibility for those,  more than urgently needing help.

A tragedy? A shame? A disaster? All of it. Only the iron will of the Syrians themselves for regaining freedom and dignity is granting the continuing decline of the regime sacrificing their lives for a better future their offspring deserves. In the daily news we are mainly confronted with blank amounts of killed civilians. But behind each martyr stands a human life that ended abruptly leaving a mourning family and shocked friends behind.

And on the day of the successful finishing of the revolution the world leaders will be there – doesn’t matter if they’re from East or west – should better not expect being welcomed in gratitude. The free Syrians will think more than twice with whom they get in touch in common after all they’re enduring while the world is sitting on the cozy back bench watching and watching and watching …….


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