Updated on 10 March 2016
Above: Remembering International Women’s Day – images of women in Syria.
Below is a message from a local in Aleppo, Syria. It begins with a reference to a recent article in the Boston Review.
Message from Aleppo
“The best thing outside powers can do in the interest of peace is to include civil society groups in future negotiations, listen to what they have to say, and refrain from imposing top-down solutions that ignore the Syrian people”.
The above paragraph mentioned at the end of an article on Boston Review , called “Syria after the Ceasefire”, by Stephen Zunes:
However, if the Syrian people dared to say that they want Assad, the western powers will either punish the Syrian people more and more till they are all well tamed; or the western media will explain what is happening as “Syrian people are not free, they are terrified from regime repression and punishment. They are forced to vote for Assad”. Therefore, let’s go and free those people by killing their leader and destroying their army! …. Superman is coming to rescue the Syrians!
Although the article is talking about how complex the Syrian crisis became, but they are mentioning all the stereotypes and clichés, as tiding themselves with ropes and asking stupidly: “what a mess! What shall we do now?”…
Imposing democracy on countries and societies that have different ruling types, is like imposing Apple Macintosh operating system upon a Microsoft Windows one: We’ll have a failed and damaged PC. The usual next argument that comes after that mess would be: “Now that we have a damaged PC, what shall we do to clean the mess?”. The PC could be useful only for junk markets, where people can buy its dismantled contents by piece. Dismantling war-torn countries and societies have the same result and future.
After years of 24/7 brainwashing of the world with tons of lies, on all type of media, in focusing on spreading democracy by force on other nations, or changing regimes that don’t obey them, and after all these evil strategies were in vain; perhaps they could solve the problem by removing the “democracy glasses” they forced the globe to wear in the first place. Let alone that no one believe that they really wanted to spread real democracy and freedom in the world. It’s all phony and fake versions of democracy that destroy nations.
Syrians were living peacefully for decades, happily and independent. We had corruption? And who doesn’t have? We needed some reforms on politics? Many reforms actually took place between 2000-2010, and the old corrupted figures left Syria before 2005 to live in abroad with their stolen fortunes (who later became supporters to the so-called rebels). Yes, new layer of corrupted figures started to pop up, and it’s just a continuous work, just like cleaning and vacuuming houses, there will be new dust covering the surface every week, you deal with new dust by vacuuming it again, not by burning the house and bring it down upon the heads of it’s inhabitants.
I always asked normal people over here, such as taxi drivers, how were their lives before the crisis. They always say that they were so happy. Everything was cheap. The poor and rich were working and happy. On weekends you would see the poor ones parking their mini pickup vehicles or bicycles on the highway outside Aleppo in front a green zone (we call that area al-Mohallaq), gathering with families in a picnic and BBQ activities, smoking Sheesha, and eating corn in summers. Those were the poor ones’ weekly entertainment, where they might stay from midday till midnight. It was peaceful. Today, it’s the other way around.
What I always used to say is that before the crisis, Syria had almost 80-95% of what any nation seek to have (75-80% legal and straightforward progress, 15-20% corruption in its best, where the progress is possible after paying bribes, something no one is proud of but we can’t do much about it unfortunately), we only missed 3-5% of political reforms and freedom. This whole crisis, destruction, cleansing, uprooting people from their homes, poverty, refugees problem, infrastructure systematic destruction, raping women, beheading innocents, looting, erasing priceless heritage and historical and sacred buildings and architecture, creating all zombie-like trash criminals that invaded us from all over the world….. All that and a lot more, had been made in the name of gaining those missing 3% of rights. As result, Syrians lost 80% of what they had before, and didn’t gain the 3% they were promised to have! Today we might still have 20% of our origin rights and order, however corruption is controlling more than 75% of it. In the past, bribes were somehow like taxes in the west, we pay it to one party (corrupted employee) and guarantee that our problem going to be solved, or the paperwork going to be submitted. Today, people might pay hundreds and thousands – if not million -folds, as bribes, ransoms, taxes, looting and theft; the paying is for too many parties; and there is no guarantee whatsoever that we will survive!
Still, the same lame mentality, of searching for solutions, by concentrating on their first big fat lie of toppling leaders and replacing them with puppets, in the name of freedom and democracy. Some misleaded Syrians still running after those rosy lies, like thirsty travelers in the desert running after mirage. They just don’t want or can’t wake up and smell the coffee.
The road to Aleppo is still under daily attacks, and the SAA is protecting it. Sometimes the terrorists are occupying little part of the road for couple of hours before defeated or fleeing the scene. People are traveling on it safely, yet it’s still a worrying subject for every traveler.
As for the city, and as I mentioned in my last email, the terrorists of al-Nusra in Aleppo city are targeting the Kurds sector of the city so badly. The SAA is defending them from time to time by airstrikes and artillery; but it’s coming on the mainstream media as if the SAA is violating the ceasefire, which is not. Civilians are dying in dozens in the Kurdish sector (Sheikh Maqsoud) after heavy mortar shelling, yet writers are saying that they can’t trust the ‘regime’ in holding the ceasefire! I’m attaching photos that came on the media from over there.
Syria became another Palestine, where the blames always goes on Palestinians reactions, never on Israelis provocations. That is the Israeli flavor in conflicts. Everything so far they blamed the Syrian government of doing it in the last 5 years, they did it themselves. They used chemical weapons against civilians. They besieged villages and towns and cut all food and water supply of reaching them, the hunger strategy in wars. They forced people to leave their homes and to become refugees. They forced people to vote for them and didn’t give them their freedom. They kidnapped cities and tortured masses of people because they don’t share the same religion, sect, or political opinion. They brought multinational fighters (from 80+ different nationalities) to fight with them, years before Syria asks the help of Hezbollah, Iran, Russia (3 nationalities). They did all kinds of atrocities and yet dare to blame it on the Syrian government. That is typical the Israeli flavor in wars. Who targeted hospitals, schools, and markets in Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, and Afghanistan; claiming that the enemy is launching rockets from them? Yet they dare to talk about Russian or Syrian jets attacking terrorist hospitals!
Going back to what the Syrian people want, I’m afraid there won’t be much of them left anymore in the next presidential elections. The refugees in Europe and other countries can’t vote. They had been replaced with multinational fighters. They are the new Syrians now, and they could change the voting results to their sake. Maybe that is one of the reasons of emptying the country of its real people and scattering them in the world as refugees.
9 March 2016
Above: Rose, a former lion tamer now Syrian soldier: “As for my motivation, what brought me here is the homeland, love of the homeland, love of the family, love of the people, love of friends, love of peace, love of the secure life we used to live.”
Above: Images of Rose’s beloved Syria.
Below is a message sent on 2 March 2016 by another local in Aleppo.
– Ceasefire agreement: Aleppo city is much more calmer since the beginning of the agreement, beside some violations took place the first hours of the agreement, and yesterday at 21:50, when 2 mortars shelled on the government held area, followed by ambulance sirens around 22:00. In general, so far, Aleppo city is so calmer than before. No shells, no jets in the sky, no clashes. 80% better than before.
– Situation in Aleppo province didn’t change much, according to news. The terrorists attacked the liberated villages of Nobbol & az-Zahraa with rockets, but there were no casualties. In other areas of the province, fighting is still on going: SAA vs. Nusra & Da’esh; Kurds vs. Turks from the borders; Kurds vs. Terrorists; terrorists vs. other terrorists… Violations of the ceasefire are from the terrorist groups and Turkey.
– Russians recorded 15 violations in Syria in the last 24 hours. Russia said as well that Nusra terrorists were shelling mortars in Latakya province from the Turkish borders (from Turkey). The Turks are targeting the Kurds in Tell Abyad border town, claiming fighting Da’esh on the media!
– Aleppo road had been finally liberated, but needs a lot of repairing. It had damaged so badly. Aleppo was isolated for almost a week of tough fighting to take it back. There were snipers and a lot of mines.
– Prices, obviously, started to jump up because nothing was coming in to the city. Goods and fuel became expensive, part because of the road battles, and part because of the dollar rising price. The crisis traders and merchants were the happiest group of the situation! Prices will take some time till it goes down, when goods and fuel start to enter the city, after repairing the road.
– There are news or gossips about treasons that happened in 3 checkpoints on the road to Aleppo that caused the setback and the loss of hundreds of lives among the Syrian soldiers. The morals are down regarding such news. While Hezbollah brave fighters and Syrian special forces paid high price to liberate the long road, others are bribed because they are corrupted rotten members in the body. The war had exposed the worst things in us, but it had motivated others to do the best they could do. From one side you see the traitors, opportunists, and corrupted ones, on the other side there are the brave heroes and martyrs who are defending millions like myself.
– The thermal station of Aleppo that had been liberated lately by the SAA, needs billions of dollars to start working again. Before leaving it, the terrorists made sure to loot everything they can, and sabotage the rest. Even its fuel, they loot as much as they could, and burn the rest. Aleppo is without power (electricity) for 5 months now, and without water for more than 1 month. Repairing that station will needs a miracle.
That’s all for now. Take care!
In October 2012, not long before he was abducted, US freelance journalist James Foley wrote about the disenchantment of people in Aleppo with the ‘revolution’,