Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ali Ferzat's Pen is Mightier than Bashar's Sword

It was like a bad flashback.  In the 1980s Selim Al-Lawzy, editor of Al Hawadeth, a weekly critical of the Assad (senior) regime was found murdered and thrown on the roadside on the outskirts of Beirut.  One remarkable detail stuck with me to this day.  Both his hands were severely mutilated before he was killed.  That detail stuck with me because of what it says of the viciousness of the people who committed the crime.  It was not enough to kill the man, the tools of his trade, his mode of free expression, his hands had to be destroyed first.  The message was clear to all those who would dare speak ill of the despot; even he knows that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Today, Ali Ferzat, the brilliant Syrian political cartoonist, was abducted by masked men in Damascus, savagely beaten and left at a roadside with both hands broken. Why? Because he dared express himself freely and speak his conscious openly and courageously; a recent cartoon apparently compared Bashar to Ghaddafi.

1 comment:

Melody of Middleeast said...

Dear Levantine Dreamhouse

I am writing on behalf of Dr. Imad Salamey Associate Professor of Political Science at Lebanese American University. My name is Naghmeh Mahmoudi, assistant of Dr. Salamey.

As part of a research program inspired by the Arab spring and protest movement in general Middle East, we are conducting interviews with protest movement leaders and activists who have organized mass action in 2011. The research program aims to determine main characteristics of the reform movement in terms of common and different traits across countries.

In connection to this, we would like to seek your assistance in recommending Syrian activists and protest leaders in-country or abroad who are willing to be publically interviewed for academic research purposes. We hope that you can help us locate possible participants. If you are an activist in or outside Syria, we would like to have you as a participant as well.

The interviews will be carried out via phone or email. We would thus appreciate relevant contact information.

Your support in this regard is very valuable, we’re hoping that the research findings will shed the lights on the main drivers for change in the Middle East and contribute to a greater understanding of contemporary Middle East.

I regret that I had to contact you through your blog, but I hope that you can provide me with your proper email. You can contact me on my email.

Best regard,
Naghmeh Mahmoudi
Research Assistant of Dr. Salamey, Lebanese American University
MA student in Contemporary Middle East Studies, University of Southern Denmark

Imad Salamey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Political Science
Lebanese American University
P.O. Box 13-5053 Chouran
Beirut, Lebanon 1102-2801
Tel: 961-1-786-456 Ext: 1494
Fax: 961-1-867-098