Syrian collective memory https://www.opendemocracy.net/taxonomy/term/17696/all cached version 20/04/2018 07:04:07 en الانتفاضة وإعادة تشكيل الذاكرة الجمعية في سوريا https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/yazan-badran/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B6%D8%A9-%D9%88%D8%A5%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%AA%D8%B4%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B0%D8%A7%D9%83%D8%B1%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AC%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="direction: rtl;">استطاع نظام البعث منذ توليه السلطة في سبعينيات القرن الماضي أن يحكم قبضته على الفضاء العام فارضاً سيطرته المطلقة، ما أدى إلى إحداث فجوة في الذاكرة السورية امتدت حتى اندلاع الثورة في آذار 2011. <em><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/yazan-badran/uprising-and-syria%E2%80%99s-reconstituted-collective-memory">In English</a></em></p> </div> </div> </div> <p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/420901_10151251614795287_1600080262_n-874x492.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/420901_10151251614795287_1600080262_n-874x492.jpg" alt="" title="" width="460" height="259" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'></span></span>بدا الاحتكار هذا جلياً من خلال الترويج لسرد رتيب وقسري مهمته خلق وإدامة وهم التجانس بين مكونات الشعب السوري، بدلاً من تكوين هذا التجانس بحق. وقد تكون مشاركة الطلاب وموظفي الحكومة الجبرية في طقوس شعائرية تعلن ولاءهم للنظام خير مثال على ذلك، فهي عبارة عن عرض لحالة الوئام المزعومة، تقوم بدورها بخدمة الوهم بحد ذاته. لهذا، لم تكن القناعة الحقيقية مطلوبة، ما دامت الجماهير على استعداد لعرض طاعتها الكاملة للسلطة، عندما تستدعي الحاجة (1). وبينما لم تكن هذه السياسة ناجحة تماماً بكم أفواه الأصوات المعارضة للنظام ضمن الحلقات الضيقة، إلا أنها كانت فعالة للغاية في احتلال الحيز العام بشكل كامل، كيلا يحلم أي من هذه الأصوات المختلفة بالظهور.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">كان النهج هذا مفصلياً في إقامة جدران بين السوريين أنفسهم كأفراد وكمجموعات، حيث أصبحت قضاياهم داخلية ونقاشاتهم مجزأة، كما بدأ “الجمهور العام” بفقدان قوته بشكل تدريجي، ليصبح تشكيل الذاكرة الجمعية للوطن وظيفة ثابتة للدولة بدلاً من أن يكون عملية حيوية يقوم بها المواطنون. لهذا كله، فالعقود الخمسة الأخيرة تمثل فجوة في الذاكرة السورية، كما أوردت سابقاً.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">خاض الشعب السوري خلال الفترة هذه اضطرابات وأحداث أدت إلى تغييرات سياسية واقتصادية واجتماعية جذرية (زيادة العسكرة في المجتمع منذ أوائل السبعينيات، التورط في الحرب اللبنانية، الصراع الدامي مع الإخوان المسلمين في أوائل الثمانينيات ومجزرة حماة، القتال الداخلي بين حافظ ورفعت الأسد في ال84، الأزمة الاقتصادية في الثمانينيات، موت حافظ الأسد وتسلم بشار الأسد مقاليد الحكم، السياسة النيوليبرالية منذ عام 2005 وغيرها..). بالعودة إلى هذه التواريخ التي غيرت وجه سوريا إلى الأبد، نجد أن السرد العام لهذه الأحداث -إن وجد- يتم تحريفه ليطابق الرواية المعتادة للنظام السوري. أما الجهود الفردية لمواجهة احتكار السلطة للحقيقة، فقد اقتصرت -بسبب ضغط النظام- على مجالات ضيقة من النخب، وكان تأثيرها ضئيلاً جداً.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">من المؤكد أن الأحداث هذه تمت مناقشتها وتداولها من قبل الأفراد في المنازل وضمن حلقات صغيرة، ولكن كما يتضح من المثل الشعبي “الحيطان لها آذان”، فإن السوريين لم يشعروا بالأمان حتى في منازلهم الخاصة. على أي حال، فإن عدم قدرة هذه الجموع على إيصال صوتها إلى الحيز العام، جعل من تجاربها متحيّزة ومقتطعة وتفتقر إلى الوضوح. على سبيل المثال، فإن تجربة السوري وقراءته للصراع بين الأسد والإخوان المسلمين في ثمانينيات القرن الماضي، تختلف اختلافاً جذرياً اعتماداً على مكان إقامته حينها (حلب – حماة- اللاذقية).</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">عند اندلاع الانتفاضة التي عمّت أرجاء سوريا في آذار 2011 انهارت جدران الصمت جميعها في آن واحد، وقد كان للتكنولوجيا دوراً كبيراً في ذلك، فقد منحت الكثير من الأفراد منبراً لتبادل الخبرات والتعلم من بعضهم البعض. وعلى الرغم من أوجه القصور فيها، إلا أن هذه الأدوات الجديدة سمحت للجماهير بالتجمّع لأول مرة في عهد الأسدين الأب والابن، وتحدي جميع محاولات النظام لفرض سيطرته من جديد.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">الرواية السائدة والبعيدة كل البعد عن الواقع، انهارت على نفسها بطريقة مذهلة، وتركت خلفها فجوة زمنية عمرها نصف قرن لا يمكن لأحد ملأها إلا السوريين أنفسهم. لقد منحت الانتفاضة السوريين فرصة تاريخية لإعادة النظر بتاريخهم الذي خطته يدا النظام، وإعادة كتابته، لذلك فإن أعداداً متزايدة من الأعمال الأدبية بدأت بالتركيز على تجميع ونشر وتبادل هذه الخبرات التي سبق أن كانت متقطعة وشخصية، وتحويلها إلى صورة أكثر تماسكاً ودقة.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">التركيز الخاص الذي يحظى به هذا “النوع الأدبي” الناشئ يدل على تكريس السوريين قدراً كبيراً من الجهد للتعمّق في الفترة الأكثر إيلاماً في التاريخ السوري، ومعاينتها من وجهات نظر مختلفة. ذكريات المعتقلين السياسيين وقصصهم داخل السجون على سبيل المثال، ترسم صورة أكثر واقعية ووضوحاً لحملة الاعتقالات الواسعة التي شنها حافظ الأسد في الثمانينيات، كما التفاصيل المهمة عن مجزرة حماة المروعة والصراع البعثي- الإسلامي، وعن الرعب اليومي التي تعرّضت له التجمعات المدنية في المدن الكبرى أيضاً.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">قد لا تكون هذه العملية تعاونية على الإطلاق، فهي غالباً ما تأخذ طابعاً تنافسياً تتبارى فيه التجارب والقصص التي تستخدم بدورها كأداة سياسية في الصراع الحالي، إلا أنها بالرغم من ذلك، تثري رواية السوريين لماضيهم المفقود على المدى البعيد.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">كما أثبت الهزل السياسي أيضاً مكانته كحالة استثنائية في هذا السياق، فقد استطاع رغم الخناق الأمني أن يستمر كوسيلة رئيسة في مكافحة هيمنة النظام، وإن كان ذلك نتيجة الطبيعة الحميمية للحيز الخاص الأكثر أماناً، وهي ميزة تفسح مجالاً لوسائل الاتصال البدائية هذه. بالرغم من ذلك، فقد لقيت النكتة السياسية اهتماماً استثنائياً بعد بدء الثورة، وجهوداً حثيثة لتجميعها ونشرها (2).</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">إن هذا التعاون بين openDemocracy و حكاية ما انحكت بعنوان “الانتفاضة: نظرة نقدية” (Looking inside the uprising) ما هو إلا محاولة لمعاينة هذه العملية التي شرعت بها الانتفاضة السورية منذ ما يقارب الأربع سنوات. سيتم ذلك عبر المزيد من التأملات والبحوث التحليلية التي تبين كيف تحاول الحركة الاحتجاجية في سوريا توثيق نفسها بنفسها، وإن كانت قد بدأت بوسائل بدائية، إلا أنها ستتوسع سريعاً لتعيد قراءة وكتابة الحقائق الموروثة خلال النصف القرن الماضي برمته.</p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;"><em>ترجمها الى اللغة العربية: رؤى زيات<br /></em></p><p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">—</p><p>[1] Wedeen, L. (1999).&nbsp;<em>Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria</em>. University of Chicago Press.<br />[2] Camps-Febrer, Blanca,&nbsp;<a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2205200">Political Humor as a Confrontational Tool against the Syrian Regime; A Study Case: Syria</a>, 15th March 2011 – 15th May 2012 (12, 2012). International Catalan Institute for Peace, Working Paper No. 2012/8.</p><p>&nbsp;</p> <a name="logo"></a><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 25px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p> <fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/hamzeh-moustafa/%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B4%D8%A8%D9%83%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%AA%D9%85%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%82%D9%84-%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%A8%D9%8A%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D8%A3%D9%85-%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%B9-%D8%AD%D8%AF%D8%AB%D8%9F">الشبكات الاجتماعية في سورية: ناقل تعبيري أم صانع حدث؟</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/enrico-de-angelis/rethinking-syrian-media-arabic">اعادة التفكير بالاعلام السوري </a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%A7">رزان وأنا</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/salameh-kaileh-victorios-shams-mohammad-dibo/%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%A9%D8%9F-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%88-%D9%81%D9%83%D8%AA">ما هي الطائفية؟ حوار مع سلامة كيلة و فكتوريوس شمس</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/salameh-kaileh-victorios-shams-mohammad-dibo/%D9%87%D9%84-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D9%88%D8%B1%D9%8A-%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%9F-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%83%D9%8A">هل النظام السوري طائفي؟ حوار مع سلامة كيلة وفكتريوس شمس-- الجزء الثاني</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Syria Syrian collective memory Arabic language Yazan Badran Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:50:27 +0000 Yazan Badran 88015 at https://www.opendemocracy.net A Syrian fearing exile and return https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/maha-assabalani/syrian-fearing-exile-and-return <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Many Syrian activists have left Syria voluntarily, either being refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death. They face an unknown destiny in exile.</p> </div> </div> </div> <p>In exile, identity is all about moments in our memories and how some of these moments can change our lives, how some stories touch us, some events can shape our identities, and some choices stay with us forever.</p> <p>Since March 2011, many Syrian activists have been forced into exile out of fear, and thus fled from Syria to different countries all over the world. The majority of exiled Syrian activists cited fear of violence as their main reason for leaving; some fled after being attacked and others fled from threats of prison and judicial harassment. Many Syrian activists have left Syria voluntarily, either being refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death. They face an unknown destiny in exile.</p> <h2><strong>Questioning the self</strong></h2> <p>M.SH was born in 1986 in Syria, of Syrian parents. M.SH is a doctor, musician, and actor. He speaks three languages fluently, Arabic as his mother tongue, English and French. He is perhaps best known for his involvement with the Doctors Coordination of Damascus in Syria and later with the Doctors Without Borders Organization in France during the Syrian revolution - his journey of exile. He says, “<em>I was a doctor in one of those&nbsp; field hospitals in Qaboon in Syria and it was an extremely cruel and painful experience.”</em></p> <p>M.SH left Syria for France in January 2012 because of his involvement in Doctors Coordination of Damascus, where they were cooperating with Doctors Without Borders: </p> <blockquote><p>“ <em>I was working with doctors without borders (the famous worldwide NGO) and this put my life in danger, since most NGOs are banned in Syria, especially those who help in the humanitarian domain and show sympathy with the protestors.”</em> He continues, <em>“I still remember having to jump over dead bodies in order to reach the next wounded person coming around. I saw the exposed bone of a human being with skin sagging off his foot. But what felt really the worst was when I was trying to examine the injury of a young guy (hardly 20 years of age) and my index finger just slipped 2cm into his brain.”</em></p></blockquote> <p>M.SH continued his work, but he was arrested and tortured, as it turned out, by his cousin; he explains: </p><blockquote><p>“<em>We had to stand there with our hands handcuffed behind us, facing a wall while the officers started hitting us with cables. Recognizing my last name, an officer who had the same last name as mine, was called over by his colleagues. In fact, he was a relative unknown to me till that time. That was when the special treatment began. I had to kneel down with the officers hitting, punching, insulting and kicking me all over my body. One of them kicked me in the genitals so hard that I nearly fainted. I remember being unable to raise my back due to a kick in the lower part of it. I was literally swinging. My relative then took me to a room where he started hitting my back and left shoulder with an electrical cable. I was so hurt that the skin of some parts of my shoulder was taken off. Finally he released me, threatening me that if I so much as uttered any further protest, he was going to kill me. After this incident, I was known as the person who was tortured at the hands of his cousin</em>”.</p></blockquote> <p>M.SH lived in France for almost 6 months before he decided to leave for the United States on June 25, 2012. In retrospect he was sorry that he left France: </p> <blockquote><p>“<em>When I was there I really hated it but now I look back on this decision with regret, since it was fine compared to the rejection that I initially suffered in the US. At least I had some friends in France, while, in the US, everybody is first and foremost an alien, so to speak. In France, I did not feel much of an alien: the reason I believe is that European people are geographically and historically much closer to where I originally come from. They are more open to other cultures than Americans despite the US melting pot. I think French people knew more about my country and that is why they were more able to accept me, I guess.”</em></p></blockquote> <p>M.SH had his own fears that if he returned to Syria, he would be arrested, tortured and perhaps killed at the hands of the Syrian security and military forces. </p> <p>But he thought he would only be gone a short while, nevertheless: </p><blockquote><p>“<em>When I left Syria I never imagined that I would stay away for this long. My calculation was really that far out. Three months in France or four at the very worst, was what I expected and then I assumed that there would be a no-fly zone or buffer zones imposed by the international community. At that point I resolved that I would go to Turkey or Jordan to try to help the wounded”. But when the situation in Syria became really bad and dangerous with no prospect of a dramatic change on the horizon, I had no choice but to consider political asylum as an option, especially when it came to the point that my French visa was soon going to expire.</em>”</p></blockquote> <p>So another chapter of his journey started in the United States where he was arrested immediately on arrival at the airport for, as he describes it, just telling the truth: </p> <blockquote><p>“<em>In George Bush intercontinental airport in Houston on June 25, after an 11-hour flight and 12 more hours of interrogation, I made only one mistake. I told the truth!! I told the officers that I could go back neither to Syria nor to France. For them I was ineligible to step into the US territory and I had to ask for asylum in the airport. Cuffed as a Guantanamo prisoner, I was taken to the CCA detention center in Houston. I will never forget the humiliation I felt that day and thenceforth.”</em> </p></blockquote> <p>M.SH took a long pause as he relived those terrible moments spent in a US prison. As an alien in a strange land, he was deprived even of sleep, as the only thing that he had left were his memories of a past gone by, nightmares of a terrifying present, and fear of an uncertain future. He was in detention for 48 days, with questions spinning in his head every single hour: <em>“How is the situation back in Syria? How is my family doing? What crime have I committed to be put in this place?”</em></p> <p>On July 12, 2012, he decided to write to his deportation officer a letter asking him to accelerate procedures, because he was not able to stand it any more. Caught between two worlds, he could no longer survive in either.</p> <blockquote><p><em>“<strong>Dear officer,</strong></em><strong>&nbsp;</strong></p><p><strong><br /></strong></p><p><em>I have already been arrested and also tortured back in Syria. Although it’s really different being here from being in any of the Syrian prisons, the feeling that is being deprived of one’s freedom is pretty much the same. I came to the US in order to alleviate my suffering, not to incur another punishment.</em></p><p><em>In the light of the aforementioned, I wish to ask you to arrange the ‘credible fear’ interview for me as soon as possible.</em></p><p><em><br /></em></p><p><strong><em>Many thanks officer.</em></strong><em>”</em></p></blockquote> <p>In reply, his case was referred to the Houston asylum office, and he was released after that in just a few days. He kept waiting for his two hearings; hoping that things would be OK after that. On the day of his first hearing, he was fully prepared. He had thought about every single word he would say, as well as how he should look. He thought about shaving and putting on some aftershave. Indeed, he was expecting anything to happen but not what did happen!!</p> <p>The minute he entered the courtroom the judge immediately decided to abandon the person who smelled of perfume because the judge was allergic to it. As a result, they postponed his hearing for another year!&nbsp; M.SH is still awaiting some decision on his destiny, remaining without a job, or legal status. He was eligible to receive a state ID and driver license, yet he still cannot apply to universities to continue his studies or find a job since his fingerprint records have him down as a criminal.</p> <p>Despite all these difficulties, M.SH managed off his own bat to pass six exams, five of them medical exams and one for a driving license in the space of one year and three months. M.SH has been physically released from Syrian and later American prisons, yet he is still trapped in this unfamiliar world without an identity, a home, a family and nobody to realize that all he wants is to return to the world that is familiar to him.</p> <p>His final statement concludes: </p> <blockquote><p>“<em>Just talking about this is extremely exhausting. I have had to relive cruel events and revive the same painful feelings I had during the past two years. I remember the many times I had to sleep with all my clothes on, anxious about how I might have to jump from the bedroom window of my family’s fifth floor apartment to the two-meter-high nearby building if the security forces gained entry. I remember the hopes I had in France that I would soon go back to Syria and then the fear when I realized the reality and that the destiny waiting for me was actually unknown. I remember the fear and the rejection I encountered in the US. I remember most of all my mother’s tears when she saw my back after the arrest. These memories are a part of my core being now, and they will never be forgotten.</em>”</p></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 14px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p><p></p><p></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mataz-suheil/clawing-at-sky-fighting-for-political-prisoners-in-syria">Clawing at the sky: fighting for political prisoners in Syria</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/donatella-della-ratta/importance-of-telling-syrian-stories-as-they-should-be-told">The importance of telling Syrian stories as they should be told</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/yazan-alsaadi/syria-storytelling-and-all-things-between-metacommentary-on-%E2%80%98-prisoner-">Syria, storytelling, and all things between: a meta-commentary on ‘the Prisoner Series’</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> <div class="field-item even"> France </div> <div class="field-item odd"> United States </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-topics"> <div class="field-label">Topics:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Conflict </div> <div class="field-item even"> Culture </div> <div class="field-item odd"> International politics </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia United States France Syria Conflict Culture International politics Syrian collective memory Through Syrian eyes Looking inside the uprising Maha Assabalani Sat, 01 Nov 2014 18:41:12 +0000 Maha Assabalani 87366 at https://www.opendemocracy.net رزان وأنا https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/%D8%B1%D8%B2%D8%A7%D9%86-%D9%88%D8%A3%D9%86%D8%A7 <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="direction: rtl; text-align: right;">رزان غزاوي تكتب عن علاقتها المتينة برزان زيتونة: الاسم, المبادئ, القضية و الايقونة المخفية. <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/razan-ghazzawi/razan-and-i">In English</a></p> </div> </div> </div> <p dir="rtl"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/1911106_691852620878867_7378733230773807252_o.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/1911106_691852620878867_7378733230773807252_o.jpg" alt="المصدر: الشعب السوري عارف طريقه" title="" width="400" height="566" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>المصدر: الشعب السوري عارف طريقه</span></span></span>بدأ الأمر منذ فترة من الوقت، حوالي عام ٢٠٠٨، عندما خضعتِ لتدريب على يد محامية عبر البريد الالكتروني والدردشة، حول كيفية كتابة بيان للمطالبة بإطلاق سراح مدون معتقل. بعد بضعة سنوات، اندلعت انتفاضة في بلادكِ ووجدتِ نفسكِ تتعاونين عن قرب مع المحامية نفسها التي تشارك في الانتفاضة بشكل بطولي، إلى جانب العديد من المجهولين/ات.</p><p dir="rtl">تمر الانتفاضات بطلعات ونزلات- وتجدين نفسك وسط حملة تطالب بإطلاق سراحها؛ فتقرأين مسودات البيانات التي تحمل اسمها، وأن تكتبي المقالات عنها- مثل هذا المقال- وفيه تحاولين أنسنة هذه المحامية على الصعيد العالمي، حيث أصبحت تقريبا "قضية" للمناصرة.</p><p dir="rtl">لقد كتبت عدة مرات في السابق، فرزان هي قدوتي ومرشدتي. ولكن ذلك ليس كامل القصة. بالطبع تنظيم حملة مع رزان تهدف إلى إظهار التضامن معها. ولكن في الغالب، إن الأمر هو كناية عن آلية دفاع. فعندما تكونين معتقلة وخائفة عما ستحمله إليك الدقائق والساعات والأسابيع الآتية، فتريدين أن تحصلي على شخص يثير ضجة وجهد لإطلاق سراحك.</p><p dir="rtl">أنا لست متأكدة إن كنت على حق، ولكنني لاحظت خلال السنوات الثلاث الماضية أن أولئك الذين ما زالوا داخل سوريا هم أكثر حرصا على "القيام بشيء ما" من أولئك الذين "تركوا" سوريا مؤخرا. داخل سوريا، تنظيم حملة والدعوة لصالح أو ضد أمر معين لم يعد وسيلة تضامن، إنما وسيلة للبقاء على قيد الحياة.</p><p dir="rtl">لقد كنت في سوريا عندما عرفت بخبر اختطاف رزان. أتذكر أنني كنت واقفة، وكنت قد دخلت الغرفة للتو، وكان رائد جالسا على الأرض نظر إلي وقال لي: "لقد خطفوا رزان". جلست، وقرأت في صفحتي على الفايسبوك وانتبهت إلى أنني لم أكن قادرة على القراءة. فذهبت إلى الغرفة المجاورة وبكيت. رزان كانت قد طلبت مني أن أغادر الشمال لأن تنظيم داعش كان يقترب من بلدة كفرنبل. وقد ألحت علي حتى آخذ مسألة داعش على محمل الجد. بعد ذلك اختُطِفَت.</p><p dir="rtl">في ذلك الوقت، كنت أعمل دون توقف على مشروع، ولم أجد وقتا للأصدقاء والعائلة أو أي تعاون محتمل آخر. كنت أعمل بسرعة، ومن دون كهرباء في أغلب الأوقات أيضا. قلت وقتها: من هم في الخارج سيطالبون بإطلاق سراحها. أما أنا فلا أستطيع. وبعد بضعة أشهر تركت الشمال وسوريا. ذهبت إلى لبنان لأعيش "فترة شفاء"، وهناك تحولت إلى ناسكة، لم أذهب إلى أي مكان- حتى إلى اجتماعات مناصرة للثورة. لم أشارك في أي شيء ما عدا الاعتناء بنفسي. كنت أولويتي الوحيدة. ومع ذلك، لم أستطع أن أمنع ذاتي عن شيء واحد خلال الأشهر الخمسة؛ رزان. قمنا، نحن، أصدقاء وأفراد من عائلة رزان بتنظيم حملة<a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2014/05/27/9592"> #Douma4</a>. وقد عملنا بجهد، ونتائج ملموسة، كما أعتقد، كانت مقبولة.</p><p dir="rtl">لماذا شاركت في هذه الحملة؟ لأن فترة شفائي من الحرب ستطول، وستتأخر من دون شك، إذا لم أفعل شيئا لرزان. وقد مرت أوقات، بطبيعة الحال، عندما فكرت أنني لم أعد قادرة على القيام بذلك بعد اليوم. لقد تعبت نفسيا وجسديا وحبي للحياة تراجع. فكرت بالانسحاب من الحملة. ولكن بعد دقيقتين رديت على عدد من الرسائل الالكترونية حول الموضوع نفسه. إنها مسألة شخصية، ما أشعر به تجاه رزان، هي ليست "شخصية عامة" بالنسبة لي، وليست "مدافعة عن حقوق الإنسان". هي مرشدتي الشخصية.</p><p dir="rtl">في الواقع، قصتي ورزان لها عدة مراحل. وهذا النص يجب أن يقرأ كنوع من الشهادة من امرأة ثورية نيابة عن أخرى.</p><p dir="rtl">منذ بداية الثورة وعندما بدأت بالتغريد من داخل سوريا، في ١٦ شباط عام ٢٠١١، خلال اعتصامات أهالي المعتقلين، وقد شنت قوات الأمن والشبيحة هجوما شرسا، انقضت فيه على الأهالي والناشطين والمحامين المناصرين لحقوق الإنسان. وصلت بعد أن انتهى الهجوم على الاعتصام بثلاث دقائق. وقد تمكنت رزان من الهرب. ثم وقفت في المحكمة للدفاع عن جميع الذين اعتقلوا يومذاك. حتى أنها نشرت بعض المقتطفات من مرافعتها الدفاعية. أتذكر ميمونة عمار يوم كانت حامل حيث نشرت رزان تعليقها على ذلك في المحكمة. ولا تستهيني بالمحامية التي تختار الدفاع عن المعتقلين السياسيين في مثل تلك الأيام. في ذلك الوقت، كان النظام وشبيحته يتساءلون: هل الثورة في الهواء؟ وفي مثل هذه الحالة يجب ألا تحصل.</p><p dir="rtl">‫في تلك الأيام كنت أغرد باللغة الانكليزية باسم <a href="https://twitter.com/RedRazan">@Razaniyyat</a>. وقد خلط بعض الصحافيين والمتابعين بيني وبين رزان زيتونة. رزان هو اسم مشهور في سوريا. وقد ظنوا، أنها تغرد باسم @Razaniyyat‬. وكانت تعيد إرسال كل الرسائل الالكترونية إلي. وإحدى المجلات الألمانية قدمتني عن طريق الخطأ باسم رزان زيتونة. خلال اعتقالي الأول على يد القوى الأمنية، سألني المحقق: ما هي علاقتك برزان زيتونة؟ ويومذاك، تساءلت: هل هو أحمق أم أنه فاتني أمرا ما هنا؟ ما هي العلاقة بين غزاوي وزيتونة؟ أتساءل. يجب علي الإجابة عن هذه "الجريمة". لا، اسمي هو رزان غزاوي، وليس زيتونة. كان علي أن أهجئ له الأحرف ليقتنع، أظن.</p><p dir="rtl">خلال فترة اعتقالي الثانية، والمثير للسخرية، أن المحقق لم يسألني أي شيء عن <a href="http://scm.bz/?lang=ar">المركز السوري للإعلام وحرية التعبير</a>. في الواقع لم يسألني أي شيء. عوضا عن ذلك، كان يتحدث عن رزان، وغياث مطر ويحيى شربجي. وقد أجريت محادثة وحيدة مع يحيى، واحدة فقط. وقد ظن أنني متورطة ضمن الدائرة المحيطة برزان، ولم أكن كذلك. كل ما في الأمر أننا نحمل الاسم نفسه، "رزان".</p><p dir="rtl">وفقط بعد إطلاق سراحي من الاعتقال الثاني بدأت العمل لها. وقد دام ذلك لوقت قصير لأنني كنت أريد أن أنشط على الأرض. لا أريد عملا على الحاسوب- على الرغم من أهمية ذلك. من جانب آخر، كانت رزان تظن أن عملي التوثيقي جيد وكانت تريد تدريبي من أجل تحسين ذلك. لكنني أردت العمل مع القواعد الشعبية، وقد توليت مسؤوليات أخرى ضمن الثورة نفسها.</p><p dir="rtl">بيني وبين رزان ثمة هناك هذه القصص التي لا تصنف بأنها واحدة من نماذج للعلاقات بين الصديقات. لم نكن صديقات. بالنسبة لي كانت المرأة التي تقاطع ايمانها مع إيماني، امرأة عاملة بكد وحيث القيم الانسانية تنعكس على شخصها أكثر من أي قيم أخرى. لقد آمنت بالحق بالمساواة، وأن الجميع يستحق معاملة واحدة من القانون. رزان مناضلة حقوقية لا تكتفي فقط في كتابة البيانات، ولكنها كانت تلتزم قضية حقوق الإنسان والمساواة على مستوى يومي من حياتها.</p><p dir="rtl">رزان لا يمكن أن تكون عنصرية، أو متحيزة على أساس الجنس، أو معادية للإسلام، أو كارهة للمثليين أو أن تطلق أحكاما مسبقة، هي تستهدف فقط المعتدين. المعتدي الذي يرتكب ظلما بحق شخص آخر. فكرة رزان عن حياة الإنسان جد بسيطة، وهو أمر جذاب لمعرفة أنها استمرت حتى في ظل أسوأ الأزمات التي مر فيها العالم. هذه هي رزان، مرشدتي، على الرغم من معرفة اسمها، فلا العالم، ولا حتى العديد من السوريين، يعرفها.</p><p dir="rtl">الولايات المتحدة وقطر وإيران وروسيا يمكنهم إعادتها. هذه الدول يمكنها إطلاق شعبنا من السجن، أو من الخطف على يد المجموعات المسلحة، إذا أرادوا ذلك. لكنهم لا يريدون ذلك.</p><p dir="rtl">عائلة رزان، وعائلات كل المعتقلين والمخطوفين، هم من يستحق هذا النضال. ولا "نهاية" لهذا الكفاح.</p><p dir="rtl">ونحن، سنتضامن معهم وندعمهم.</p><p dir="rtl">ترجمه‫/‬ته الى العربية‫ لموقع<a href="http://www.al-manshour.org/node/6001"> المنشور</a>:‬&nbsp;وليد ضو &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><a name="logo"></a><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 14px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p><p></p><p></p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/salameh-kaileh-victorios-shams-mohammad-dibo/%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%87%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%A9%D8%9F-%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%85%D8%B9-%D8%B3%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%85%D8%A9-%D9%83%D9%8A%D9%84%D8%A9-%D9%88-%D9%81%D9%83%D8%AA">ما هي الطائفية؟ حوار مع سلامة كيلة و فكتوريوس شمس</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/razan-and-i">Razan and I</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/joseph-daher/razan-zaitouneh-and-her-comrades-spirit-of-syrian-revolution-kidnapped">Razan Zaitouneh and her comrades: spirit of the Syrian revolution kidnapped</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mataz-suheil/clawing-at-sky-fighting-for-political-prisoners-in-syria">Clawing at the sky: fighting for political prisoners in Syria</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mohammad-dibo/opening-debate-on-sectarianism-in-syria-arabic">الطائفية في سوريا: من ألفها إلى يائها</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Syria kidnapping prisoner advocacy Syrian collective memory Arabic language Razan Ghazzawi Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:30:19 +0000 Razan Ghazzawi 87300 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Razan and I https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/razan-and-i <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="western" lang="en-US">Razan Ghazzawi delves into her relationship with her mentor, namesake, and towering figure within the Syrian uprising: Razan Zaitounah. An insight into the complicated and deeply personal relationship with a cause.</p> </div> </div> </div> <a name="logo"></a><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 14px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p><p></p><p class="western" lang="en-US"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/10172824_691852620878867_7378733230773807252_n.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/10172824_691852620878867_7378733230773807252_n.jpg" alt="Poster courtesy of The Syrian People Know Their Way collective." title="" width="417" height="589" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Poster courtesy of The Syrian People Know Their Way collective.</span></span></span></p><blockquote><p class="western" lang="en-US">Razan Ghazzawi is a blogger from Syria who started blogging using an alias, Golaniya, when Israel launched a war against Lebanon in 2006. She blogged against racism towards Syrian workers in Lebanon, where she completed her master’s degree. Ghazzawi started blogging under her real name two years later advocating along many Syrian bloggers for freedom of speech in her country. When the Syrian revolution broke out in March 2011,Ghazzawi was among those who disseminated updates on demonstrations taking place across Syria using her real name. She was detained twice during the revolution due to her work with the Syrian Center for Media Freedom. Her colleagues, bloggers Hussein Ghrer and Hani Zetani and her boss Mazen Darwich, are still in prison ever since regime security forces raided SCM office in Damascus 16th February 2012. Ghazzawi lived in Kafranbel for almost a year in 2013 where she founded Karama Bus for psychosocial support that targets internally displaced children in Idleb suburbs. She received a Front Line Defenders' award in 2012.</p></blockquote><p class="western" lang="en-US">It started some time ago, round about 2008, when you're being trained by some hot-shot lawyer through emails and small chit-chats online, on how to write a statement calling for the release of a detained blogger. A few years later, there is an uprising in your country and you find yourself collaborating closely with the same lawyer whose contribution to the uprising is, like many others who remain unknown, heroic.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> Uprisings go through ups and downs – and now you find yourself campaigning for her own release; reading drafts of statements with her name on, writing articles about her - like this one – in which you attempt to ‘humanise’ this hot-shot lawyer on the world stage, where she has now mostly become a 'cause' to advocate for. </p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> I have written so many times before, Razan is my role model and my mentor. But that's not the whole story. Of course, campaigning for Razan is showing solidarity. But mostly, it's a defence mechanism. When you are caged and scared of what the next minutes, hours, and weeks might bring, you would want someone to make this kind of noise and effort for you.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> I am not sure if I’m right, but I have noticed over the past three years that people who are still living inside Syria seem keener to “do something” than those who “left” Syria recently. Inside Syria, campaigning and calling for or against any thing is no longer solidarity, it’s a way of staying alive.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> I was in Syria when I heard news of Razan's kidnapping. I remember I was standing, having just entered the room, and Raed who was seated on the ground looked up and said, “They kidnapped Razan.” I sat down, checked my Facebook page and I remember not being able to read. I went to the other room and cried. Razan had asked me to leave the North if ISIS was approaching Kafranbel. She urged me not to take ISIS lightly. Then she got abducted. </p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> I was working non-stop on a project at the time, and could not find time for friends, family or any other potential collaboration. I was working flat out, and without electricity most of the time too. Those who are outside will advocate for Razan, I said to myself. I can't. A few months later I left the North and Syria. I went to Lebanon for my “recovery phase,” and there I was became a hermit. I went nowhere - not even to a pro-revolution meeting. Nor did I take part in anything except taking care of myself. I was my only priority. Nevertheless, I couldn't keep myself away from one thing in these five months; Razan. We, my friends and family members, started organizing a campaign for the<a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2014/05/27/9592"> #Douma4</a>. We worked hard, and the outcomes, I think, were fair. </p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> Why did I get involved in the campaign? Because my recovery from war would be permanently on pause, certainly delayed, if I didn't do something for Razan. There were times, of course, when I thought, I can’t do this any more. I am psychologically and physically tired and my love life is in decline. I thought about quitting the campaign. But only two minutes later I am sending follow-up emails. It's personal, what I feel about Razan. She is not a 'public figure' for me, nor even the 'human rights advocate.' She is my personal mentor. </p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> Actually, the story of me and Razan has several phases. And this text is one that must be read as a sort of bearing witness on the part of one revolutionary woman on behalf of another.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> Very early in the revolution, when I started tweeting on the ground in Syria, on February 16, 2011, at the Families of the Detainees sit-in, the security forces and Shabiha had launched a fierce attack, hitting out at families, activists and human rights lawyers. I arrived after the three-minute sit-in had finished under attack. Razan had managed to escape. Then she stood up in court to defend all of those who were detained on that day. She even published some of the quotes she had recorded from her defendants. I remember Maimouna Ammar at the time was pregnant and Razan published her comment in court. Never take forgranted the lawyer who chooses to defend political defendants in days like these. At the time, the regime and its Shabiha were wondering: is revolution in the air? If it is, it must not happen.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> During these days, I was tweeting in English under <a href="https://twitter.com/RedRazan">@Razaniyyat</a>.&nbsp;Several journalists and followers started mixing me up with Zeitounah. Razan is a common name in Syria. They thought, she's the one tweeting under @Razaniyyat. She would forward all these emails to me. One Dutch magazine introduced me by mistake as her. In my first detention by the security forces, the investigator asked me: are you related to Razan Zeitounah? Ever since, I have asked myself the question: Was he stupid, or am I really missing something here? How could Ghazzawi and Zeitounah ever be related? I wonder. I actually had to answer for this “crime": no, my name is Razan Ghazzawi, not Zeitounah. I had to spell out the words for him to get the logic, I guess.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"> In my second period of detention, ironically enough, the investigator did not ask me one thing about the<a href="http://scm.bz/?lang=en"> Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression</a>. In fact he was not asking me anything. Instead he was talking - talking about Razan, <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghiath_Matar">Ghiath Matar</a> and <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yahya_Shurbaji">Yahia Shurbaji</a>. Only one conversation ever took place between me and Yahia, only one. He thought I was involved in Razan's circle, and I was not. I just happened to carry the same name, “Razan.”</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">It was only upon my release from my second imprisonment that I started working for her. It only lasted a short while because I wanted to be active on the ground. I don't want online work – regardless of how important it might be. On a side note, Razan thought my <a href="http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/">documentation</a> was good and she was all for training me to be better at it. But I wanted to work in the grassroots, and I picked other responsibilities in the same revolution. </p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">Between me and Razan there are those tiny stories that do not belong to and cannot be classified as one of those typical close relationships between friends. We weren't friends. To me, she was the woman whose path is always crossing mine, a hard working woman who values human life more than any other values favored by other humans. She believes everyone is equal and everyone deserves the same treatment from law. Razan is a true human rights activist who doesn’t just write statements, but actually commits to advocating human rights and equality in her daily life.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">Razan cannot be racist, sexist, Islamophobic, homophobic or carry a prejudice, she only targets abusers. An abuser is he who commits a form of injustice against another. Period. Razan's idea of human life is this simple, and it's quite admirable to see it remain the same during the world's most recent crisis. That's Razan, that's my mentor; despite knowing her name neither the world, nor many Syrians, even know her.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">US, Qatar, Iran and Russia can bring her back. Those states can bring our people in detention, or kidnapped by armed groups, back if they want to.<span style="line-height: 1.5;">They just don't.</span></p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">Razan's family, and the families of all detainees and captives, are the ones who will carry this fight. There is no "end" to this fight.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">And we, people in solidarity, will stand behind them.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/joseph-daher/razan-zaitouneh-and-her-comrades-spirit-of-syrian-revolution-kidnapped">Razan Zaitouneh and her comrades: spirit of the Syrian revolution kidnapped</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mataz-suheil/clawing-at-sky-fighting-for-political-prisoners-in-syria">Clawing at the sky: fighting for political prisoners in Syria</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/leila-nachawati/kafranbel-paradigm-of-creative-storytelling-part-12">Kafranbel: a paradigm of creative storytelling (Part 1/2)</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/donatella-della-ratta/importance-of-telling-syrian-stories-as-they-should-be-told">The importance of telling Syrian stories as they should be told</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/yazan-badran/uprising-and-syria%E2%80%99s-reconstituted-collective-memory">The uprising and Syria’s reconstituted collective memory</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/leila-nachawati/syria-and-emergence-of-grassroots-artistic-production">Syria and the emergence of grassroots artistic production</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Syria kidnapping prisoner advocacy Syrian collective memory Through Syrian eyes Looking inside the uprising Razan Ghazzawi Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:33:18 +0000 Razan Ghazzawi 86309 at https://www.opendemocracy.net Clawing at the sky: fighting for political prisoners in Syria https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/mataz-suheil/clawing-at-sky-fighting-for-political-prisoners-in-syria <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>"It is the most monstrous thing they can do to the Syrian people”. Fadwa Mahmoud, mother, wife and comrade to forcibly disappeared leftist activists, tells us her story of pain and perseverance on the second anniversary of her family's abduction by the Syrian security forces.</p> </div> </div> </div> <a name="logo"></a><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 14px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p><p></p><p><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/524821_404521736321545_1369008946_n (1).jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/524821_404521736321545_1369008946_n (1).jpg" alt="Fadwa Mahmoud and Abdulaziz Al Khayer looking over Damascus. Photo courtesy of Fadwa Mahmoud. All rights reserved." title="" width="460" height="345" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Fadwa Mahmoud and Abdulaziz Al Khayer looking over Damascus. Photo courtesy of Fadwa Mahmoud. All rights reserved.</span></span></span>Her name is Fadwa Mahmoud. She is a lifelong Syrian political dissident, born in 1945 and a veteran member of the banned <a href="http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=48362">Communist Action Party</a> (CAP). In the past year and a half as an exile she has become a mother figure to fellow political dissidents who, like her, have sought refuge in Beirut (Lebanon) from Bashar Al Assad’s security forces. </p><p>But above all, Fadwa wishes to be known as the wife and the mother of two leftist opposition activists who were forcibly disappeared two years ago near Damascus: <a href="http://free-syrian-voices.org/abd-al-aziz-al-khayyir/">Abdulaziz Al Khay</a><a href="http://free-syrian-voices.org/abd-al-aziz-al-khayyir/">er</a> (63), head of the CAP and a leading figure in the opposition group '<a href="http://carnegie-mec.org/publications/?fa=48369">National Coordination Body for Democratic Change</a>', and her son <a href="http://free-syrian-voices.org/maher-tahan/">Maher </a><a href="http://free-syrian-voices.org/maher-tahan/">Tahan</a> (31), a young civil activist who followed in the footsteps of his mother to fight for a democratic Syria. Along with them disappeared <a href="http://free-syrian-voices.org/iyas-ayash/">Iyas Ayash</a>. The three are part of the same political coalition.</p> <p>They were <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/fr/library/asset/MDE24/010/2013/fr/2555f1c6-5935-498d-8c80-d4be024f994e/mde240102013en.html">abducted </a>by the Air Force Intelligence&nbsp;on their way from the airport into the city, on September 20, 2012. They were on their way back from a diplomatic visit to China, returning to participate in an opposition conference (<a href="http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=50209&amp;lang=en">Syria salvation conference</a>) at the heart of Damascus. The participants were given guarantees of safety by Russian, Chinese and Iranian foreign ministries - the powers with influence over the regime. Assad himself denied on an interview in 2013 that his secret police had taken them, but Fadwa insists it is the dictator’s forces who have them. She does not need my questions to begin talking: it is clear she has to tell their story.</p><h2>The abduction</h2> <p>“We know everything that happened because there were five people in the delegation that came back from China. They were driving two separate cars back from the airport. Abdulaziz and Iyas were in one car, driven by Maher, who had gone to pick them up. The rest were in the other car. The three of them disappeared, the activists in the other car were able to pass the checkpoint and gave us information”.</p><p><span style="font-weight: normal;">Mahmoud is soft-spoken and at times her emotions surface, but her voice doesn’t break. She explains that, when the delegation landed on the day of their disappearance, Abdulaziz Al Khayer was interrogated on his own for about half an hour, inside the airport. The officer that interrogated him (she calls him “captain”) let him go with the pretext that they were looking for someone of the same name. Mahmoud lets out a small smile: the explanation to her seems absurd, because Al Khayer is very well-known in Syria.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">“While he was being delayed inside, I called Maher, who was waiting in the car. That’s when he told me: ‘Abdulaziz just came out’. Ten minutes later, Iyas’s mother also called Maher, on their ride back to the city, but the phone was by then out of service”. Fadwa believes the abduction happened in this small window of time, immediately after they left the airport.</span></p> <p>“In 2012, the highway from the airport to Damascus was totally under the control of the regime. There were no ‘armed gangs’, as the Government says”, assures Mahmoud. Everyone waited for Abdulaziz to come out when he was initially delayed. The first car to leave was carrying the rest of the delegation. Iyas, her son and her husband were driving behind. “The fact that the first car was at the front and didn’t encounter any problems shows that the road was safe”. They passed a checkpoint on the road, near the airport. The party members who were in the first car told her the officer they saw at the checkpoint was the same that had interrogated Abdulaziz half an hour prior.</p> <p>The car her son was driving was forcibly stopped. And they were never seen again. The conference they intended to attend, however, carried on, and Mahmoud went there and spoke to the Russian ambassador. “I told him: ‘You are responsible, he came here under your protection”. He promised to work on it, but after two months without any new information, Mahmoud went to talk to him again, this time taking Iyas Ayash’s mother with her. “I told him I was very worried about their safety, and he answered ‘We are worried as well’. This made me panic; I asked him whether they had been killed. He answered they were alive, but the circumstances were very difficult”.</p> <h2>Enforced disappearance - why?</h2> <p>She thinks the regime didn’t detain them publicly in order to avoid a diplomatic clash with its allies. “The pressure of these countries was the only reason why the meeting was happening”. Mahmoud hasn’t talked to the Russians since. “Their attitude was disgusting. They did nothing to guarantee their safety”. She spoke at the European Parliament last year, and she says an MP took an interest in her story and spoke to the Syrian government. To no avail: the regime has always denied the presence of the three comrades in their prisons, <a href="http://syrianobserver.com/Features/Features/Weekend+Assad+Why+Would+I+Arrest+Abdulaziz+alKhayer">Assad himself denied Abdulaziz's abduction in an interview</a>. They claim the rebels have them. “The state media said armed gangs kidnapped them so many times that the rebel battalion controlling the Damascus countryside felt the need to release a statement saying they would never detain someone like Abdulaziz, because their causes are not opposed. I have some inside sources who have told me they are okay, I’ve had information this year that they are in the hands of the regime”, she explains.</p> <p>“I want to send an international plea of solidarity, to put pressure on the regime so that they admit they have them”. She lives in perpetual fear for their safety, “never knowing what will happen to them tomorrow. Some days I find it difficult to stay emotionally stable”. Fadwa's dreams are now very humble, she wants to have the 'privileges' of the loved ones of political prisoners: “At least they know for certain the fate of their loved ones. They know where they are kept, and sometimes they can visit them”.</p> <p>Fadwa Mahmod, or <em>Khalto </em>[aunti]<em> </em>as she is lovingly known by the Syrian exiles in Beirut, is no stranger to the horrors and torture under regime detention. She was imprisoned herself<span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">from 1992 to 1994</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, for being a member of the <a href="http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/04/communist-action-party-in-syria.html">Communist Action Party</a>. Her two sons were 9 and 6 at the time. “My brother was at the time head of the prison I was kept in”: he headed the Investigation Branch in Political Intelligence. She lived “in the worst humanitarian conditions possible”. This made matters worse for her. Her brother fely obliged to prove his loyalty by treating her particularly badly: “I was detained in my pyjamas and I lived in them for a year and two months, the time I spent in the basements of the branch before I was transferred to a prison”. Other detainees were allowed clothes, and the activists who were arrested with her only spent 4 months in security before a transfer to prison, in which conditions are relatively better.</span></p> <p>When she came out, her priority was the children. But, “People were saying I was a bad mother for getting into politics, leaving them alone”. Abdulaziz Al Khayer, who had spent 10 years living underground and had been arrested the same year as her (1992), was sentenced to 22 years in prison and would only be released in 2005. Mahmoud never stopped her political activity after prison, despite many of her comrades giving up on the cause. “You can see that with my son Maher. I never pushed him, but he took my example”. </p> <h2><strong>Why pick on Abdulaziz Al Khayer?</strong></h2> <p>Why did the regime make them disappear? Fadwa believes Al Khayer was a potentially unifying political figure in Syria, and thus a genuine threat to Bashar Al Assad. “The regime was terrified of Abdulaziz. The Russians were saying he could become a reconciliatory head of state.<a href="http://syrianncb.org/2012/05/17/syria-in-travail-interview-with-abdulaziz-al-khair/"> He opposed the call to arms and constructed a civil, democratic argument</a> that agreed with both protestors and those silently fed up with the regime yet fearful”.&nbsp;</p> <p>As a prominent figure of the opposition, he is well-known, and has always maintained a non-sectarian discourse which got him popular support across social fault lines. “He influenced the generation of the uprising”, she explains. “He used to be able to sit with them, as if he was their age”. Now she’s had to leave the country, as well as her other son. “The house is now being auctioned. Abdulaziz doesn’t even have a home to come back to”. </p> <p lang="en-GB"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/photo.PNG" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title=""><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/photo.PNG" alt="Fadwa at protest for the freedom of detainees(20/9/14) 2nd anniversary of comrades' enforced disappearance. All rights reserved." title="" width="460" height="345" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Fadwa at protest for the freedom of detainees(20/9/14) 2nd anniversary of comrades' enforced disappearance. All rights reserved.</span></span></span></p> <p>The worst part for those who remain outside is never knowing what can happen to the detainees. Since there is no possibility to negotiate with the regime, it is hard not to succomb to a general sense of despair. “This is one of the most monstrous things that they can do to the Syrian people”. There is very little organised support for the families of the detainees and the forcibly disappeared: “We are all scattered and suppressed since the war started”, explains Mahmoud.</p><h2><strong>The struggle</strong></h2> <p>“The wife of Iyas calls me all the time. She is psychologically very low”. The regime punishes family members. <a href="http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE24/016/2014/en/c9c8fab6-7f99-4ed1-be80-d30ea1124a94/mde240162014en.pdf">Yara Faris</a> was detained for several months after her husband, Maher, disappeared. “Six months ago I was able to visit Yara, my daughter-in-law. Her conditions were the height of dehumanisation and humiliation”. She arrived at 9.30 in the morning and was made to wait until 13.15, for a 10-minute visit. “She was strong, but her situation was bad. They kept her in a cell with prostitutes, to humiliate her”. In the meantime, the guard never stopped harassing Fadwa while she waited. “He kept asking who I was, despite the fact that he knew. I only answered ‘I am a Syrian citizen’. He then asked me why I insisted on making trouble. I told him, ‘No, you are the ones making trouble’”.</p> <p>Fadwa hasn’t given up in getting Iyas, her son and her husband out. Despite her tired eyes, her pride shines through when she speaks. Last Saturday, on the second anniversary of their detention, Fadwa&nbsp;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApJBR1lzIIE&amp;feature=youtu.be">organised a demonstration </a>calling for their release in Beirut, along with other political activists. “I’m not going to waste any of my time. I will use all my energy to get them to safety. I am clawing at the sky, and I will keep clawing for as long as I live”.</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/razan-ghazzawi/seeing-women-in-revolutionary-syria">Seeing the women in revolutionary Syria</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/joseph-daher/razan-zaitouneh-and-her-comrades-spirit-of-syrian-revolution-kidnapped">Razan Zaitouneh and her comrades: spirit of the Syrian revolution kidnapped</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/donatella-della-ratta/importance-of-telling-syrian-stories-as-they-should-be-told">The importance of telling Syrian stories as they should be told</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia openSecurity Syria Through the bars Pretrial Detention torture prisoner advocacy Syrian collective memory Through Syrian eyes Looking inside the uprising Mataz Suheil Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:21:21 +0000 Mataz Suheil 86233 at https://www.opendemocracy.net The uprising and Syria’s reconstituted collective memory https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/yazan-badran/uprising-and-syria%E2%80%99s-reconstituted-collective-memory <div class="field field-summary"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p class="western" lang="en-US">After many decades of strict control over historical narratives&nbsp;under the Baathist regime, the uprising broke this hegemony allowing Syrians to reexamine their inherited history.</p> </div> </div> </div> <a name="logo"></a><p style="background-color: #ededed; padding: 14px; border: 1px dotted #003399;"><a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><img style="float: right; border: 3px solid #fff; margin: 0px 10px 10px 10px;" src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/u537772/UprisingLooinkIn-small-b%20%281%29.png" alt="Looking inside the uprising" width="120" /></a> This article is part of <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0"><em>Looking inside the uprising</em></a>; a joint project between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy.<br /><br /></p><p></p><p class="western" lang="en-US"><span class='wysiwyg_imageupload image imgupl_floating_none 0'><a href="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/wysiwyg_imageupload_lightbox_preset/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/420901_10151251614795287_1600080262_n.jpg" rel="lightbox[wysiwyg_imageupload_inline]" title="hama"><img src="//cdn.opendemocracy.net/files/imagecache/article_xlarge/wysiwyg_imageupload/553176/420901_10151251614795287_1600080262_n.jpg" alt="Example of reclaiming collective memory by Syrian activists. Online campaign to publicly remember the Hama massacre." title="hama" width="460" height="292" class="imagecache wysiwyg_imageupload 0 imagecache imagecache-article_xlarge" style=""/></a> <span class='image_meta'><span class='image_title'>Example of reclaiming collective memory by Syrian activists. Online campaign to publicly remember the Hama massacre.</span></span></span>The last half-century before the outbreak of the Syrian uprising in March 2011 can be accurately described as a memory black hole. The Baathist regime’s stranglehold on public space was absolute and, for the most part, went unchallenged.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">This monopoly of the public sphere articulated itself with an enforced, monotone and simplified narrative that was more concerned with creating and sustaining the illusion of a homogenised populace and controlling it than it was about actively creating such homogeneity. The enforced participation of state employees and students in ritualistic proclamations of loyalty to the regime, for example, produced a monolithic display for the benefit of the spectacle in and of itself. Thus, true conviction was not required from the masses, so long as they were willing to display such conformity in public when called upon.[1] While this approach was not completely successful in curtailing counter-hegemonic narratives in the limited private spheres (nor was it especially concerned with it), it was extremely efficient in dumbing down the public stage and occupying it fully so that no other discourses could aspire to compete.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">This process was instrumental in erecting walls between Syrians as individuals as well as groups, whereby issues become extremely local, debates fragmented and the “public”, was increasingly diluted. The formation of a collective memory of the country became a static function of the state rather than an organic process by the citizenry. Hence, the “memory black hole” moniker.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">During these years, Syrian society went through many upheavals that changed it fundamentally (politically, economically and socially). Yet, looking back at some of these important points--increasing militarism in society since the early 1970s, involvement in the Lebanese war, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamist_uprising_in_Syria">the struggles with the Muslim Brotherhood</a></span> in the early 1980s and the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1982_Hama_Massacre">Hama massacre</a></span>, intra-fighting between Hafez and Rifat al-Assad in 1984, the economic hardships of the 1980s, liberalisation in the 1990s, the death of Hafez al-Assad and transition to Bashar al-Assad, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://sanhati.com/excerpted/4249/">neoliberal policies since 2005</a></span>, etc.-- we find the public record overwhelmingly skewed to the state’s official narration (or lack thereof) of the issues, with little room for nuance. Individual efforts to counter this hegemony found themselves restricted to the small spheres of high culture with very little impact.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">These conflagrations were certainly experienced by individuals and were interpreted and debated in the protection of their private homes and within small groups. These were comparatively safer spaces, but, as evidenced by the telling and common warning, “walls have ears”, even debates in the private sphere felt the chilling effects of the security state. The lack of access to the public sphere, and to effective communication tools, however, rendered these experiences truncated, biased and lacking in nuance as well. For example, a man’s experience and reading of Assad’s struggle with the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s would’ve been fundamentally different depending on his place of residence (Aleppo, Hama or Latakia).</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">When the Syrian uprising exploded across the country in March 2011, the walls of silence in society suddenly broke down all at once. The surge in the use of new technology afforded many individuals a platform to share their experiences and learn of those of others for the first time. Despite their shortcomings, these tools allowed larger publics, than at any time under the Assad regime, to form organically and to challenge the regime’s attempts to reassert control.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">The dominant narrative, already far removed from reality, collapsed in on itself in spectacular fashion, and Syrians were left with a half-century’s worth of memory void to fill. A growing corpus of literature began to focus on <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://syrianmemorycollective.net/">seeking</a></span>, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2014/08/02/10168">sharing</a></span> and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/story/2014/08/13/10197">curating</a></span> these, once truncated and personal, experiences, into a more coherent and nuanced picture. In its attempt to assert a narrative of its own, the uprising gave Syrians the chance to reexamine their official history, and in a sense to rewrite it.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">A topical treatment of this growing “genre” shows that a great deal of effort is dedicated to investigating Syria’s most traumatic episodes more deeply and from different perspectives. Through anecdotes, recollections, articles and books, a clearer and more wholesome picture emerges of the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/9744">mass political imprisonments</a></span> under Hafez al-Assad, for example. The complexities, and <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://7ee6an.wordpress.com/2012/01/18/stories-from-hama-memories-of-painter-khaled-al-khani-part-1/">gruesome details</a></span> of the Baathists-Islamists struggles in the early 1980s: the Hama massacre, the sectarian attacks and reprisals, and the daily terror it unleashed on urban populations in major cities, are also frequently dealt with.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">This is by no means a cooperative process; indeed, more often than not it takes form in the shape of violently competing histories and experiences, which are often used as a political instrument in the current struggle. Nevertheless, in the long term, it allows for the emergence of far richer narratives.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">Political humour is an exceptional topic in this context in that it was one of the few counter-hegemonic devices that were able to survive under the security state. This was due to its intimate nature in the safer private space, a feature that lends itself very well to elementary communications mediums. Nevertheless, political humour also saw an explosive growth in interest after the revolution and in curation efforts devoted to it.[2]</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">In this collaboration between <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en">SyriaUntold</a> and openDemocracy, '<a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening-tags/looking-inside-uprising#0">Looking inside the uprising</a>', we will attempt to examine this process that was launched by the uprising. This will be done through both through more personal accounts and reflections as well as analytical pieces that show how the protest movement is attempting to document itself. It began through organic means, but will soon expand to rewrite and reexamine the inherited truths of the last half-century.</p><p class="western" lang="en-US">&nbsp;</p><p class="western" lang="en-US">---</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"><a class="sdfootnotesym" href="#sdfootnote1anc">1</a> Wedeen, L. (1999). <em>Ambiguities of Domination: Politics, Rhetoric, and Symbols in Contemporary Syria</em>. University of Chicago Press.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US"><a class="sdfootnotesym" href="#sdfootnote2anc">2</a> Camps-Febrer, Blanca, <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2205200">Political Humor as a Confrontational Tool against the Syrian Regime; A Study Case: Syria</a></span>, 15th March 2011 – 15th May 2012 (12, 2012). International Catalan Institute for Peace, Working Paper No. 2012/8.</p> <p class="western" lang="en-US">&nbsp;</p><fieldset class="fieldgroup group-sideboxs"><legend>Sideboxes</legend><div class="field field-related-stories"> <div class="field-label">Related stories:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/donatella-della-ratta/importance-of-telling-syrian-stories-as-they-should-be-told">The importance of telling Syrian stories as they should be told</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/leila-nachawati/syria-and-emergence-of-grassroots-artistic-production">Syria and the emergence of grassroots artistic production</a> </div> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/enrico-de-angelis/rethinking-syrian-media">Rethinking Syrian media</a> </div> <div class="field-item even"> <a href="/north-africa-west-asia/mohammad-dibo/opening-debate-on-sectarianism-in-syria">Opening the debate on sectarianism in Syria</a> </div> </div> </div> </fieldset> <div class="field field-country"> <div class="field-label"> Country or region:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> Syria </div> </div> </div> North-Africa West-Asia North-Africa West-Asia Syria activism revolution Syrian collective memory Through Syrian eyes Looking inside the uprising Yazan Badran Mon, 22 Sep 2014 06:00:57 +0000 Yazan Badran 85874 at https://www.opendemocracy.net