Friday, May 12, 2006

A Thousand Words...












A picture is worth a thousand words it is said and these three still pictures of the recent demonstrations in Egypt say plenty. They are emblematic of all that is broken in our part of the world: The insolence and brutality of those in power, the absence of freedom of speech, the absence of freedom of assembly and the absence of the rule of law.

Above all, the photographs show the utter contempt with which rulers deal with their citizenry. To the rulers, citizens are pawns, not breathing, living individuals but a protoplasmic mass that can be trimmed, cut, disposed off and sacrificed at the convenience of the rulers. Apologists for these regimes claim that we Middle Easterners are like unruly children in need of paternalistic authoritarian regimes. Trouble is, implicit in a paternalistic relationship is the presence of a certain affinity between the ruler father figure and the ruled. No such affinity exists. This is more akin to an abusive family relationship where the child is slapped even before they open their mouth.

As offensive as these images are, they represent the tip of the iceberg. If this is what the regime, without a hint of shame or embarrassment, is willing to do to its people in public, just imagine what happens when the cameras are not present. I am not singling out Egypt; at least in Cairo, there were enough journalists to actually capture the images. No such demonstration would be allowed to even start in Syria, except of course, if the intention is to burn down a foreign embassy.

These images not only offend me but they also anger me and trigger a schizophrenic personality shift in me from a cautious believer in gradual change from within to one who wants to see someone, ANYONE, come in guns blazing to get the bums out. But then I see Iraq.

7 comments:

Yazan said...

beautifully put...

AhmadK said...

what can i say?

The Syrian Brit said...

Abu Kareem,
Once again, you have put in words, so eloquent and poignant, much of what I, and many like me, have been thinking about...
We are, truly, caught between a rock and a hard place!.. On one hand, there seems to be little hope that change will happen from within, and on the other hand, change that is forced through by an outside power is likely to be catastrophic on all levels.. I guess one must continue to hope that the opposition, both inside and outside the Country, can somehow come together and affect some meaningful change... I, for one, am not holding my breath!..

Abu Kareem said...

Syrian Brit,

Always good to hear from you friend. By the way, any idea why some of the best -most critical- (internal) Syrian blogs have been so quite in the past 6-8 weeks? The Damascene blog has not posted anything new since early April. Ayman Hourieh's Syria Planet, the Syrian blog aggregator was always quickly picking up my new posts but has not done so for several weeks. Are they just giving up or are Bashar's minions up to no good?

The Syrian Brit said...

I, too, have noticed that.. I do know that , in their attempt to silence aparticularly sharp-tongued blog (The Syrian Domari), the afforementioned minions have managed to block EVERYTHING on blogspot.com, then they refined the process, and blocked only that particular blog.. Mind you, Damascene Blog is not on that platform anyway.. I do hope that they have not given up.. I do hope they are just busy and preoccupied with daily life.. (that is, usually, MY excuse!!..)..

Ayman Hourieh said...

Just wanted to let you know that the Syrian blogs aggregator is up and running at www.syplanet.com, the other Syrian blogs archive seems to have been stopped as a result of the sad shutdown of SyriaMirror.

Abu Kareem said...

Ayman,

Thank you for the update and keep up the great and important work that you are doing. I adjusted my blog listing to account for the change.