Not every call for freedom will result in improved political and civil liberties. Not every call for an end to corruption will result in greater prosperity. Not every cry for justice will result in the release of those unfairly detained. But when there is a call, someone must listen…
…and the people of Syria have finally spoken.
As the revolutionary wave was unleashed in the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf, it was taken for granted that certain countries were inherently immune to this wave of change and Syria was one of them. But let us be clear, this was not because of the lack of valid grounds for long overdue change. It was because the regime was believed to be repressive enough to stifle any popular attempts to bring the system to account. Initially, small demonstrations in Damascus and northern Syria lacked the necessary momentum to spread across the country. The regime looked safe…but it wasn’t. A regime that always puts security before the needs of its people is not sustainable. A leadership that has stagnated in the hands of a few for decades cannot last forever. A system that is based on fear is never safe.
Interestingly enough, all of the above applies to almost every Middle East, North African and Gulf country to different extents. So it is that Syria, just like the Tunisian and Egyptian regimes that fell, and Libyan and Yemeni regimes that should follow suit, wasn’t as different from its regional peers as we were made to think. Likewise, Syria just wasn’t stable because it was “closely linked to the beliefs of the people.”
And so the courageous people of Deraa rose and others followed. People sprayed the graffiti, chanted the slogans, and ferociously tore down and burned the symbols of dictatorship and repression. The People’s Palace is now listening but does it truly understand the “beliefs” of its people and its aspirations? Does it truly have the will to change, if only at its own pace as it has said? And now, only now, can we ask ourselves, will the people have the patience to wait for that change to take place?
Calling for revolution and demanding change is easy, but it will come only if the people, the men and women of Syria, want it to come, as they will have to pay the price for this change and nobody else but them.
Although the metaphorical wall of fear has had its first major crack in Syria, it has not by any means fallen apart. It will take time and more so in one of the most repressive countries in the region. For change to last, it will have to come from the people of Syria and a price will have to be paid, just as the price paid in Tunisia, Egypt, and that continues to be paid in Libya and Yemen. The struggle for freedom is arduous. But a struggle of the people, by the people, and for the people of Syria first and foremost will be the only way of establishing a form of government and regime that lasts.
If this is what this conspiracy is all about, then so be it…