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Local Media, My Mother, My Story, Sami, Syrian Revolution Journal, Syrian TV

Revolution Journal – May 2011

Revolution Journal – May 2011

We thought that my mother’s chemo will be over and she will have to go under surgery later, but the doctors decided it’s too late for her and that we should start preparing ourselves for a great loss. This news added uneasiness to my life, I was already detained a few weeks before – what if they arrest me? Will I miss her funeral? Will I be able to say goodbye? Nonetheless, I continued; I already had a more important reason to go on, and the regime’s atrocities added more to my resilience.

In May 2011, Assad regime attacked the small town of Moadamiyeh, it is on my way to the city center from where I used to live in Damascus. I had to go through check points on my way to Damascus every day. “You’re from Hama. What are you doing here?” was the question I always got. They know for sure that everyone from Hama and surrounding areas hates them. “Am I not Syrian? Aren’t all Syrians allowed to live anywhere they want in their country?”, was my answer to that, which meant, “Yes asshole. I hate the regime but you can’t arrest me!”

My mother had left to Hama after her third chemo round on 25 April 2011, but she had to come back two weeks later. The hospital, al-Bairouni, is at the other end of Damascus, close to Harasta, which was under siege as well. We used to meet at the hospital if she was coming to Damascus from Hama. 8 May 2011 was the day when I lost whatever respect I had for the regime’s army and soldiers.

I took a taxi to meet my mother at al-Bairouni hospital. Moadamiyeh was under siege. I counted 12 tanks from my end – too many for a town of no more than 50,000 people. While waiting to go through the check point, I saw a woman holding her child, crying, and asking a soldier to let her take her child to a doctor somewhere, “She’s been sick for 3 days… I couldn’t find any doctor in town… please… let me go to another town or even to Damascus… she’s a little kid… she has nothing to do with this…” The soldiers asked to check her bag and asked for her ID.

Foolishly enough, I thought that he had some mercy left in his “heart”. I asked the taxi driver to wait – “maybe we can give her a ride to the city”. The taxi driver didn’t like the idea and wanted to go, but I insisted on waiting. “You had it coming. Your people are responsible for this… they shouldn’t have protested… go back!”, the soldier said to the woman. I was appalled and shocked. The taxi driver wanted to leave when he heard this, but I told him to wait. “Please, let her go. I can sign anything for you to guarantee she will come back… or at least, let me take the child to a doctor and get her back as soon as I can.”, I said to the soldier. The taxi driver panicked. When the woman heard that, she started begging the soldier to let me take the little girl with me. The soldier pointed his gun at me and told the taxi driver to start moving. I still can hear the woman crying in my head whenever I remember this story – it’s only one story.

I was in rage when I arrived to the hospital. While we were waiting, there was an army soldier in his late forties there. It was the first time when I thought of Syrian army soldiers as enemies. I couldn’t stand looking at him, but I had to. I was angry, and I told my mother, “If your brother wants to visit you after his work, he must go home first and change his clothes. As long as he is in the army, I won’t see an uncle, I will see an enemy.” Ironically, it turned out to be a fact later. Two of my uncles are now the enemy.

15 May is the day commemorated by Palestinians as Nakba (Catastrophe) Day. Assad regime mobilized Syrians to go protest close to the Syrian-(israeli) borders, unprotected, of course. It was the regime’s message to (israel), “we were able to protect this borderline for 40 years and this is what you get if we leave”, more or less anyway. (israel) fired and shot at protesters to help serving the regime’s propaganda – what an ingenious way to collaborate! However, a great Palestinian guy was able to cross over, go through Palestine, and arrive into his hometown; Haifa. He was all over the media a few weeks later.

On my birthday, I got the usual birthday wishes – my friend told me that my next one will be in a free Syria. I told her I didn’t believe that – it was still protesting and demos, we lacked organizing, and we lacked solid political plans. “I don’t really believe in demonstrating. We should be working on another level. Let’s try to find lawyers, and use your father’s help to draft a constitution. Let’s surprise the regime and the world and show them our true potentials and abilities.” My friend called me a pessimist, and said, “there is time for all that later. We have to overthrow the regime first.” It was then when we started to disagree about long-term plans. It was also when my friends started calling me a pessimist and a non-believer in the Syrian People’s strength. I just responded with, “I am being realistic. We cannot take down a regime of this strength and influence like this.” Sadly, I was right. However, it didn’t take my friends a long time after that to start thinking the same way as I was thinking. I guess they were just so enthusiastic about the demos.

I had to leave Damascus for two nights, leaving my mother there. I arrived on a Monday morning for her chemo session, but I couldn’t reach my place to take her to the hospital. I wrote about this last year. Click here.

The Mondassin theory evolved into “armed groups” as I previously said. Later, it evolved in Bandar Bin Sultan and Saad Hariri joint plan to destroy Syria. Addounia TV kept promoting that theory for a while, along with broadcasting staged phone calls claiming nothing is happening in “certain areas”.

(I don’t recall if this happened late April or early May.) My brother wanted to leave back to KSA where he lives. He called me saying that he heard on the news that borders between Syria and Jordan were shut down. “I don’t know… al-Jazeera says the borders are shut down by Syrians… while Syrian TV says they’re not..” I told him that Syrian TV is always lying, but I also never trusted al-Jazeera, so I used the easiest way to check. I called a taxi driver who works between Jordan and Syria. I told him I wanted to go to Amman, but he confirmed al-Jazeera news. “They told us to go back, but they said it is temporary”, he said. I asked him to “define temporary”, but he was unable to, “You know Syria, nobody knows anything about these decisions”.

Gay-wise, here are some examples of what was happening:

A BIRTHDAY PHONE CALL:

My Gay Alwite “son”: Happy birthday mum… I miss you… but I am shocked… you’re anti-regime?
Me: Yes, sure I am… and you’re not???!!!
Him: Well… you know that I don’t like the regime… but I do believe it’s a conspiracy…
Me: You’re just a kid… mum still loves you though…
Him (laughing): you don’t want to talk about it…
Me: I don’t think there’s anything to talk about… Deraa is under siege, and so are many other areas… children don’t get enough food or medical treatment… I don’t think you can accept that… I know you…
Him: I think you’re exaggerating… like al-Jazeera and all foreign media…
Me: OK baby… just take good care of yourself… I do love you… bitch!
Him: I love you too mum… I wish I could come and visit you soon…
Me: You can come whenever you want… I was fired because I didn’t write about the “parliament farce”…
Him: Really… assholes… it’s their loss…
Me: I know babe… thanks… go now… I said too many keywords, I think the phone call is being recorded now…
Him: I think so too… love you mum… take care…
Me: Yes… you too…

The son turned out to be “momma’s boy”… He eventually became anti-regime… it took him only 3 weeks after that…

A CHAT:

Guy: Hey sexy… I miss your @#@!.
Me: lol… how have you been? Did you find a job?
Guy: Yes… I am at work now actually… (He works for the government. He said it on chat.)
Me: lol… and people wonder why we’re having a revolution…
Guy: Revolution! You’re not serious… it’s chaos…
Me: OK… whatever… let’s not talk about politics then…
Guy: You’re “Mondass”?
Me: Proudly… a Gay Mondass. 🙂
Guy: I have always had so much admiration for you… why? Why are you anti-regime?
Me: I am anti-all regimes… it comes natural with me…
Guy: Yes… but Dr. Bashar is a great man…
Me: Seriously? This great man’s laws will put you in jail for being what you are… GAY… I’m sure he won’t include this in his so-called reforms… especially now… after al-Sham Higher Institute for Islamic Studies and Research… and after lifting the Niqab banning law…
Guy: He just wants those idiots to calm down…
Me: “those idiots” are Syrian People… you’re one of them somehow… aren’t you?
Guy: no… I am with Dr. Bashar…
Me: OK… good luck…
Guy: let’s be honest… you’re Sunni and you want this Alwite to be out of power…
Me: First… I am atheist… Second… despite the fact that you don’t even know what my family’s religion is… you just assumed that all opposition people are Sunnis… and this is why you’re pro-Dr…
Guy: well… are you Sunni?
Me: Hello!!! I am atheist… lol… besides… you know my Christian friends, right?
Guy: Yes… I do…
Me: Well… almost all of them are anti-regime…
Guy: Well… I am a Christian… and I am pro-regime… I love Dr. Bashar…
Me: OK… good luck…
Guy: I still don’t understand… I have always admired you… and I have always asked your opinions about everything…
Me: hmmm… so… you think I am intelligent?
Guy: Yes…
Me: and you will always seek me advice about issue you might have?
Guy: Of course I will… you know that…
Me: well… I am telling you honey… this regime is corrupt… it’s murderous… take my advice… stop supporting them…
Guy: I think it’s better we try to be friends without talking about politics…
Me: OK… good enough for me…but I have to leave now… I want to join a demo…
Guy:OK… OK… BYE…

At a gay friend’s place, gay people danced to the tune of “People want to overthrow the regime.” They just made it faster with a tabla. It was a gay oriental dancing gig – a nice chill-out night. Some of these men were pro-regime, but the majority were not. It proved that homosexuality brotherhood prevails over politics. “Homosexual Sisterhood” might be a good name for a new party, don’t you think?

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