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My Mother, My Story, Sami, Syrian Revolution Journal

Revolution Journal – January 2011

Revolution Journal – January 2011

I remember that day vividly – Bin Ali escaped. Of course he was able to escape with a fortune, and also was able to find refuge in the most oppressive Arab country in the region, KSA, but still, he escaped. The rage of Tunisians and their resilience to pursue a better future for their country was inspirational. “Lucky them, they must be proud of themselves”, a friend told me. With a sigh, we continued working on writing the documentary about Syrian governments throughout the modern Syrian history, hoping that it will show how democracy declined in Syria after the Baathist came to power, even if not explicitly, but we were always good at implications.

My sick mother came to Damascus, we found out later that what she has been suffering from was cancer, and it was stage 5. Between the documentary and my mother, it was hard to keep up with the civil movements in Syria. Some friends were arrested because they wanted to have a candle march in solidarity with Egyptians. Everybody loves Egypt, but Syrians have much more respect for the country and for the people.

My mother was still unable to walk, and I had to deal with all family members that I don’t talk to and who wanted to support her. She needed all love and support she could get, and I needed some more time to complete the research and the script for the documentary – well, nothing is perfect.

January 30th was my nephews birthday. I missed it, my mother missed it – actually everybody missed it. The world was hung on to the images coming from Tahrir square, and we were amazed by the stupidity of the Egyptian official media and the kind of obnoxious propaganda they were running 24/7.

It was becoming more dangerous to talk about politics in public – more dangerous in Syria means extremely dangerous, since “dangerous” was the norm. I met a nice Tunisian guy who came to Damascus at that point. It was nice to sleep with the victorious Arabs. His perfect butt made it even more enjoyable.

There was a call on Facebook for a “Syrian Day of Rage” on February the 5th. Suddenly, the banned Facebook became accessible without a proxy. Is the regime becoming more aware of the necessity of reforms? Knowing that any kind of comprehensive reforms will lead inevitably to the fall of the corrupt Assad regime, we doubted that this might be the reason. We were right; the “Syrian Day of Rage” Facebook page was a trap by the Syrian mukhabarat. [1] They only unblocked Facebook to be able to track those who like the page thinking it is a real call.

Meanwhile, gay life was still the same. More gay people got more afraid to talk about politics, and they were trying to enjoy whatever fun they can have. Private parties, which are the Syrians substitute of gay clubs, were still banned and dangerous. Hanging out in parks and cruising areas started to become extremely risky.

January ended with many Syrians being arrested, and with Egyptians occupying Tahrir Square.


[1] Mukhabarat: Secret police, and intelligence services.

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