The article below was the first article I wrote celebrating the dawning of the Syrian Revolution. I did not know then that my life was going to change out of recognition. All I felt was that a door suddenly opened before me as I walked into hallowed ground, into freedom, freedom for the millions of the Syrian people. I wrote it in London where I came to live initially after I had left my home in Damascus in fear in May 2011. What sparked the Syrian Revolution was the brutal imprisonment and torture by the authorities in Daraa ( a city in southern Syria) of a group of children who wrote on their school walls slogans inspired by the Arab Spring, calling for freedom and the toppling of the regime. Shortly after, a schoolboy by the name of Hamza was captured and savagely tortured to death then his corpse was subjected to terrible mutilations. Daraa rose. The rest is history.
How safe was Syria for the children of Daraa, how safe was Syria for Hamza and his fellow murdered children? Even as we speak now, how safe is Syria for anybody who does not declare undying love for the president? How safe is Syria for those who do not, like zombies, scream their heads off with slogans such as Bashar u-bass (Bashar and nobody else) or with our souls, with our blood we defend you Bashar. How infantile how ridiculous! Syria shall be the country of the free, mark my words, Syria shall be the country of the free and its people will walk tall and dignified, no matter what it takes and how long it takes. Rulers of Syria, you have taken charge of an ancient country which has created one of the oldest civilizations in the world, a proud great country, and humbled it beyond recognition. It should have been the country of the proud, but you made it the country of the sheep, which sees no evil hears no evil and fights no evil except the evils the regime sees fitting. Where is Syria, I beg you point it out to me and the likes of me. Syria dies everyday that your shadows of injustice, cruelty and oppression darken its horizons. If Syria were alive, Hamza would not have died his pitiful devastating death. If Syria were not chained to iniquity and the dark hell of the Mukhabarat (secret police), the death of Hamza would have brought the perpetrators to justice, to trial. An inquiry into his death would have been called for and a fair trial would have been set in motion. Therefore, the honour of Syria stands compromised because of the death of a child, a dark dark death that shames not only Syria but every human being in the world.
If Syria were free the children of Daraa would have been allowed their chant of freedom. They would have left school on that eventful day and gone home to their parents in peace. Instead, they were captured like criminals, imprisoned and tortured because of some anti-government graffiti they left on the walls of their school. We must always remember that this stupid despicable act on the part of the authorities against the children was what first triggered the Syrian Revolution. The rest is history. The fact that the people rose in defence of their children is something to be proud of and to be kept in the collective memory of the nation. I cannot think of a cause more noble, or one worth remembering for all times to come.
And, thus, it came to pass that the Syrians found a voice. It was because of the little children, the little children who were the first to declare something they were not taught, something alien to all the indoctrinations forced upon them: a rebellious expression of will seeking new destiny. For years and years the Syrians bent their heads and walked in bondage thinking they were doing it for their children. But..where are the children? They are in prison delivered to the torturer. So the Syrians learnt how to say No. They at last have discovered that the safety of the sheep is unworthy of them and thus were saved by their children. The children who want to be free. How sweet is the word freedom, how infinite in its mightiness, how indestructible in its fragility? Syria’s revolution is a revolution started by children. What a privilege? It is a revolution almost reborn with a fresh impetus because of the untimely horrific death of a child, because of the desecration of innocence.
Thou shall not kill the children; you shall not kill the children of Syria.
Go in peace Hamza, play in golden green meadows and sing your song of freedom. Syria listens. Syria is awake.
Your turn is next, Dr. (Bashar)