All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘Damascus’
Readers begin to appreciate what, and how much, they do not know. If this is Yazbek’s work between just March and July of 2011, how many bookshelves could the Syrian story fill? We feel awake splashing our face daily in water – we feel we have caught up having read the news. But every day we learn nothing further, nothing more – the water splashes skin deep. Yazbek’s book tattoos the mind.
Their presence is renowned but rarely witnessed. You hear a lot about their role in the news and from friends who witnessed the tragedies they have caused in the country. Yet regardless of where you stand politically, the mixed feelings they evoke in you as a civilian in Syria are still ambiguous: Russian soldiers.
For many Syrian dissidents who have left the country out of necessity or desperation, it is quite inconceivable that there remain many anti-regime activists living in Damascus. Some of them have given up political, revolutionary and civil activity, while others are still trying to play a role. There are those who have opted to work publicly within organizations that are not banned or persecuted, and those who are still working in secret despite the grave risks that entails. Here they explain their reasons for staying in the capital.
ِAlaa waits for long in front of the records room at the Recruitment Division. He restlessly watches other students withdraw from the ordinary queue, talk to one of the privates, passing them a thousand-pound bill to be moved to the expedited queue. Alaa only has a few hundred pounds on his person, barely enough to go to university, buy some coffee and then go home.
“A little bird told me” is a phrase we were all used to hearing when we were young. Our parents would say it whenever we had tried our hardest to hide something from them, and particularly something to do with school. We never imagined that one day we would grow up to discover that the little bird was real and not imaginary at all. With all the people being detained and forcibly ‘disappeared’, I came across many little birds carrying news to the families who were desperate to hear even a single word in order to ease the pain in their hearts. Hind Majalli was one of these little birds.
Perhaps the most dangerous thing about Bassel was that he could think as the regime thought, and could see reality the way it saw it.