Saturday, November 05, 2011

Is a New Syria Possible?

Today I watched a man speak to the Syrian people, not at them, for the first time in my life. I like Bourhan Ghalioun and his speech today, on the eve of the Eid holidays, is an important statement and a media coup against the Syrian regime. In the speech he has promised reforms, honoured the martyrs and promised a future Syria in which there will be no torture, nepotism and sectarianism. The Kurds will have their rights restored to them fully, and Syrian citizens will be equal under a fair and just constitution. He also acknowledged the efforts of the Syrian soldiers who have defected, and asked the Syrian army to uphold its oath to protect the country and not a regime. He has also warned that those who shoot people will not be excused if they say they were just following orders.

Ghalioun emphasised that whoever kills his people, steals from the country's wealth, and that his future is a trial, and that his rule will end. This was a subtle warning to the Assad regime. He also warned that reform and a transition will not be easy, or quick. He has said that the council has many options, and that they have requested that the United Nations send independent observers to Syria. His soft spoken and calm manner is, in all honesty, a soothing balm to the turbulence and anger that many Syrians have been feeling over the past eight months. There was something in his speech that has been missing in discourse about Syria for a long time, hope...

Overall, I found the speech inspiring and it caused my skin to tingle. For the first time, I see a Syrian speaking to Syrians using clear, logical language. There was no rhetoric or tired slogans, and complete empathy with what the country is undergoing. Unlike the insulting and condescending speeches of Bashar al Assad, Ghalioun empathised with the sufferings of the average Syrians, and didn't insult our intelligence with talk of conspiracies and subversive groups. For the first time in my life, I feel that I could belong to a real country.

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