February 22, 2012
February 13, 2012
February 12, 2012
What Syria needs is an informed and mobilized public that is ready to
challenge authority on every stance. The days of obedience and
unquestionable loyalty are over. The walls of fear should be
demolished and the chains of submission must be dismantled. A
fundamental belief that all women and men are created equal needs to
be established. A celebration of diversity instead of suspicion in
others ought to be the attitude. The fact that Damascus and Aleppo
have not revolted should raise many questions. People of great
knowledge, wealth, and wisdom reside in these cities. Their views
should be studied and their concerns should be considered. Anti-regime
protesters have a grave task ahead of them. Not on the battlefield but
in the hearts and minds of every Damascene and Aleppine. Weapons of
pens and keyboards not swords and rifles should be in every hand. An
armed confrontation will only dramatically increase the bloodshed.
There is still a place for soft power, the word of mouth, debate, and
education. All that is worth it takes time. Because what Syria needs
is a countrywide reconstruction not an illusion of a revolution.
Whitney Houston passes away and it triggers global grievances. A hundred people are killed in Syria on the same day and it doesn't receive a quarter of the media coverage that Whitney did. Is Whitney's life worth more than a hundred Syrians'? Probably not. I would argue the problem lies in the way the deaths have been reported. On the one hand we have pictures, videos, songs, friends' memories, families' speeches, and on the other hand we have mere statistics. Numbers are raw and cold. They tell us nothing about the individual. That's why one report of a boy with a name, a picture, and a story resonated more than a 100 or even a 1000 deaths reported as numbers. Gather names, collect pictures, and tell the story of the human behind every number. Perhaps soon Syrians will get the coverage they deserve. RIP Whitney Houston and Hamza Al-Khateeb.