Editor's Notebook

From Within and Without the Arab World

By Elie Chalala
(Artwork: Courtesy of Eyad Freeman Facebook )

 

Comments, Opinions, Translations

O' Victims: Who really killed you?

We began to notice that the Syrians were being required to document and prove the identity of their killers, even while being driven to their own slaughter. How are we supposed to determine that the man who is tortured, insulted, and threatened with the rape of his wife, until he died from the horror of pain, was a victim of the regime's brutality? We wish he had found the time to record his testimony and send it to us via "YouTube" just before he died, so we could then verify it and examine the possibility of taking his side.

It is even more bitter when we know very well who is the victim and who is the executioner, yet chose silence and waiting.

From Diana Moukaled's column in Asharq Al-Awsat, January 24, 2013
Translated from the Arabic by Elie Chalala

The statement by Ms. Moukaled is quite relevant. There is every indication that the Syrian state media has been of the worst quality, thus why it has sought out the assistance of the pro-Assad Lebanese media. Some Lebanese journalists, and many of which are supposedly "leftists" and pan-Arabists have been increasingly mimicking the Syrian state media, especially when one of its stars (Ghassan Jawad) made a recent death threat on Al Arabiya News channel against Ammar al-Qurabi, the chairman of Syrian National Conference for Change. Ironically, Jawad (who is a poet and author of hundreds of articles!) was subsequently given an audience on more than one of the Lebanese main channels (MTV, LBC) to insure "objectivity" in the political discourse. Since massacres have been committed on an almost daily basis, denying them has become a "mission impossible." The most effective weapon in exonerating the Assad regime in these massacres has consisted of concocting a strategy that admits the occurrence of the massacres, but only to lay blame on the opposition. The above translated excerpt from Diana Moukaled's column implicitly and ironically addresses this issue, of when the dead are required to furnish the evidence that implicate their tormentors, and by this relieving the journalistic community of finding the real perpetrators.

From the Facebook of Ossama Mohammed

The books of Colette Bahna

"The book of Exodus"

Between 2011 and 2013, Syria has experienced waves of migration unprecedented in the annals of its history. Some departed carrying their children and whatever belongings they could salvage. Others left carrying their fears and pain, and many, many more left carrying their nation's dream. In the diaspora, some died of the cold, hunger and pain. Others died out of humiliation, displacement, and separation. But many refused to die; they were kept alive by nostalgia and sorrow,  becoming specters, their frail bodies ever prey to the merciless winds of a most bitter exile.

"The Book of Return" 

Edited translation by Elie Chalala

From Azmi Bishara's Facebook

Modern history has never witnessed a regime that felt entitled to bomb its own "cities" and their inhabitants over so long a time nor was allowed by what is called the "international system" and the "world" to do so.... A conspiracy? Yes, but it is a conspiracy against the Syrian people.

History has no record of a people who have resisted for such a long time under attack, whether by an external or an internal.

History has not known a revolution that has been bombarded from the air by a regime whose opposition lacked any substantial means of defense. Thus, men venture out with little than their bodies to wrest control of military airports.

And so more history records that which it did not know before.

January 17, 2013.
Edited translation by Elie Chalala.

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