On Sunday, February 24, 2013 Yassin Bakoush, one of Syria’s most talented and adored comedians, was killed as he drove through a rebel-held check-point in the Assali neighborhood. He was on his way home to the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus, an area that has witnessed unyielding combat between the regime and rebels. Not surprisingly, the regime blamed “terrorists” for his death, relying on a rhetoric that has become ever more stale, transparent, and tragic.
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Syrian official and unofficial media, especially its supportive machine in Beirut, known as the 'rejectionist media,' loses no time giving credit where no credit is due: the generosity and the sympathies of the Syrians toward the Lebanese and Palestinians in war time are attributed to a regime that fired no single shot at the state it claims to be at war with! The pro-Assad media keeps crediting the Assad regime for good deeds of the Syrian people who welcomed tens of thousands of Lebanese refugees during the 2006 war between Hezbollah and Israel.
Raghad was thin and her appearance was as spare as the room that had become a new home to her and to her mother, her six brothers, and her uncle’s family.
Her thinness resembled the stem of basil she carried with her to the refugee camp. Her mother had yelled, “We have no place for the basil. Leave it!” But Raghad didn’t listen. “If I leave it here it will die, ma!” She carried it in one hand and a bag full of possessions in the other… no toys.
Over the years, we have devoted generous space to covering dissent by Arab intellectuals, especially the Syrians. We believed that most of them who were arrested and imprisoned for long periods of time (poet Farag Bayrakdar, 14 years; Riadh al-Turk, 17 years; Yassin al-Haj Saleh, 16 years) had been seen as members of different leftist and communist parties, thus posing threats to a repressive regime.
It's okay to cry a little for Syria and her people.And it's also okay to believe freedom is near.
The tsunami of Tunisian revolution toppled Arab dictatorships. Although Husni Mubarak believed Egypt would be immune to the fate of Ben Ali’s Tunisia, he soon was overthrown. Gaddhafi, Africa’s self-proclaimed “King of Kings,” said Libya would be different, as well. There was no difference except that he became a war criminal, who didn't hesitate to blindly bomb Libyan cities with Grad rockets. In the end, he was captured in a drain. So closed the history of the crazed despot.
Prison: A Geography of Despotism without a Place in the Nation
“Your Silence is Killing Us” was the slogan put forth by the peaceful Syrian opposition on one of its many Fridays. It has become a sort of tradition to give a different name to each Friday the protestors demonstrate against the Assad regime. This title was also used in an article by Ahmad Ali al-Zein, published in Al Hayat newspaper on August 10, 2011.
Everything I read about Ghayath Mattar confers an image of a young man who was a model activist in the ongoing Syrian Revolution. Ghayath was a pacifist and advocate of non-violence, states the Madrid-based Syrian exiled author Nawal al-Sibai, according to the website Aklam Hurra (Free Pens).
I have become dreadfully weary throughout the past two years of the rhetorical practices of apologists for the crimes of Mideast dictatorships. A particularly unnerving yet predictable example of this is the conspiracy theory that has been promoted since the very beginning of the Syrian Revolution.