Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Syrian witness speaks!

I've dabbled with blogs before and frankly I believed they were for self centred yuppies (and westernised wannabe's) who needed another way to feel they were special and unique. Suffice it to say, I still think so, however, not all blogs need to be that way. After coming across As'ad Abu Khalil's excellent blog http://angryarab.blogspot.com I am now sufficiently motivated to add my voice to the growing community of Arab bloggers giving a critical and Arabic perspective on the events and people of the Middle East, free from Orientalist assumptions and prejudice. A large part of the dissatisfaction will no doubt be directed against the Israeli state, however, I've always felt that as a nation, the Arab world must direct it's most scathing criticism and self analysis to itself. We need to look within to resolve our faults, but more importantly, to rediscover our strengths. Maysaloon.blogspot.com is born!

For those of you unfamiliar with the name, Maysaloon is significant to all Syrians and is remembered every year on July 24th. It is on this date in 1920 that the heavily outgunned and outnumbered Syrian army and volunteers, under Defense Minister Yousef Al Adhmeh, faced off the invading French army. Needless to say, they were crushed. The following day the French army marched into Damascus and Syria was now under French mandate (read occupation). The writing was on the wall in one event which epitomizes Western meddling in the Middle East. The French General Gourad had gone straight to Saladdin's tomb near the Ummayad Mosque, kicked it and proclaimed, "Saladdin, we are back!". Why on earth would a twentieth century General think himself a crusader from the twelfth century, or at least their representative? An interesting question...I'll leave it to the reader to mull over.

I've chosen the name Maysaloon because it represented a turning point for the Arab world, certainly not the only one, nor the most important. Just another turning point, not just for Syrians but for all Arabs, the lessons of which must be memorised and passed on in the collective culture and experience of what we call the Arab world.


TRUE said...

Hi Maysaloon,

I’m quite impressed with the depth & passion behind your posts, all the best and keep it up.

At the same time, I was hoping if you could drop by from time to time and contribute to enrich our discussions on OTW’ walls http://7ee6an.wordpress.com/


Anonymous said...

Why do you narrow the scope as Arabs but not all easterns and muslims? i am a muslim, turk feeling as an eastern and united with all eastern society by means of destiny