Amal Hanano (@AmalHanano) | September 9, 2012 at 14:33
Yesterday, there was a thick, glossy magazine on my counter, one I would have once flipped through with interest … in another life. Now I throw them away unread. I can’t remember the last time I read anything that wasn’t, in some way, about Syria. Every day I read about Syria to be informed. Sometimes I end up outraged at the criminal lies spewed by regime supporters and other times I’m inspired by the amazing stories of our defiant people. But sometimes, very rarely, I read something that is exactly what I need to read at exactly the right moment. Maysaloon does it. And so do you.
You’ve talked before about scorching Syrian land and now you describe floods in our Aleppo. What has the regime not done yet in attacking the Syrian people? It seems every criminal act and every environmental calamity have been used as weapons against the people.
Tamer’s loss is a grave one, as was every loss of the innocent, talented, brilliant lives of those who fought because of their unwavering belief in the people and their just cause. What your mother and sister are going through in Aleppo is devastating. But Assad has made death and suffering the norm and as you said, the act of living itself has become our people’s defiance. They resist by merely surviving even while they are hungry, thirsty, wounded, homeless… Our people have accepted everything but humiliation.
Since I heard about and saw the water flowing into the streets of Aleppo, I’ve felt numb. Like the first time I watched Baba Amr being shelled, or the first time I saw a charred body in Anadan, or the first time I watched someone pick up body parts of a man I knew off the pavement in Homs, watching our precious water spilled on the streets as carelessly as the precious blood that has been flowing for months left me unable to comprehend. What you wrote took me out of my numbness and forced me to feel again — feel both hope and despair. And your words did the almost impossible. They told me, despite it all, everything is going to be alright.
That’s why I read this blog.
I want to thank every foreign fighter who is present on the battlefield that was once the vibrant city of Aleppo for lending us a hand when everybody else failed us. While we are let down by the entire world, these brave souls are risking their lives. I remember how we used to applaud and glorify every Arab and non Arab including many Syrians who fought along side the Palestinians in 1948, that same act is now considered “the danger of foreign jihadists”. The spin doctors have no limits or shame.
In the past 300 years, there has never been a prolonged conflict without foreign fighters eventually taking part. If we want to see a war where foreign elements dominated the conflict, take a look at the Spanish Civil War. Syria has nowhere near that level of foreign involvement.
In the days of yore, the menhebakjis could at least seek refuge in the illusion that Aleppo was a pro-regime stronghold. But the fact that the Assad brigades (down from divisions) have not been able to recapture the city after two whole months speaks volumes about the true situation in Aleppo. Even Baba Amr fell after just one month, and Assad hadn’t even used his airforce. Aleppo has proven just as resilient, tenacious and dedicated as any town or city in Syria.
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