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A Syrian-American Perspective on Current Events in Syria.

 Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
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 Lahab Assef Al-Jundi
A Syrian-American Perspective on Current Events in Syria.
by Lahab Assef Al-Jundi  FollowFollow
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Lahab Assef Al-Jundi: Was born, and grew up, in Damascus, Syria. Attended The University of Texas in Austin, where he graduated with a...read more degree in Electrical Engineering. Not long after graduation, he discovered his passion for writing. He published his first poetry collection, “A Long Way”, in 1985. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary publications, and many Anthologies including: “In These Latitudes, Ten Contemporary Poets”, edited by Robert Bonazzi, “Inclined to Speak, An Anthology of Contemporary Arab American Poetry”, edited by Hayan Charara, and “Between Heaven and Texas”, edited by Naomi Shihab Nye. His poems were selected in 2009 and 2010, by The Poetry Society of America, for display on Dallas’ DART trains (Poetry In Motion Program), and on San Antonio’s VIA Transit system buses (Poetry On The move program). His new collection “No Faith At All” is forthcoming from Pecan Grove Press in 2012. He currently lives in San Antonio, Texas.
A Syrian-American Perspective on Current Events in Syria.
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WITH PEOPLE DYING BY THE HUNDREDS in Syria, and with tanks, missiles and combat aircraft,  being used to destroy whole neighborhoods in just about every city and town, the country is unmistakably at war; a war between a dictatorial regime’s military might, and people who could no longer live with oppression and humiliation.
I fault the regime fully and completely for deliberately and brutally dragging the country into this bloodbath.
Along with acts of bravery and heroism on the part of the people, fighting one of the largest militaries in the region, images of abuse and of inhumanity toward the “enemies” are now coming to us from both sides of the fight. Individual and group acts of revenge and vigilante justice are taking place and are displayed daily for all to see on YouTube, Facebook, and other media outlets.
War is never “pretty,” and there is nothing “civil” about it. It represents our failure, as human beings, to find ways to settle our differences peacefully. It can bring out the best, along with the worst, in any people.
It is good to keep in mind that the Syrian Revolution started, in March 2011, as a peaceful movement for change; a change to freedom and democracy in a country that has known neither for many decades. For months after that it tried to maintain that posture, while the regime continued to kill peaceful demonstrators in cold blood week after week. Defections in the regime’s ranks, of soldiers and officers who refused to kill their own people, started the calls for armed resistance as a form of legitimate self-defense. The Free Syrian Army was born as a result. It now includes civilian volunteers in its ranks.
Any number of scenarios may unfold in the coming weeks (or months!). These include a sudden collapse of the regime, a coup d’état by remaining “loyal” troops, a foreign intervention that could take the form of a no-fly-zone and/or “safe zones”, the spread of the conflict into a larger regional war, or a bloody stalemate that drags on indefinitely!  Obviously, for the sake of all Syrians, especially the civilians who are paying the dearest price for the escalating violence, the sooner this war is over the better.
Today we are a long way from those “innocent” early days of the Arab Spring, but I do hope that when the battle for Syria is over (and the regime is dead and gone), that those early days are not forgotten.
The peaceful Syrian people demonstrated and sacrificed for the right to live in freedom, dignity and peace. I hope that the beauty and purity of those aspirations will survive, and triumph, over the chaos and madness of war. Translation: الناس يموتون بالمئات كل يوم في سوريا. الدبابات والصواريخ والطائرات المقاتلة تستخدم لتدمير أحياء كاملة في كل مدينة. البلاد في حالة حرب. حرب بين جيش نظام عسكري ومواطنين لم يعد بإمكانهم العيش تحت القهر والإذلال.

ألقي اللوم على النظام بشكل تام وكامل لجر البلاد إلى حمام الدم عمدا وبطريقة وحشية. جنبا إلى جنب مع أعمال الشجاعة والبطولة من شعب يقاتل أحد أكبر جيوش المنطقة، نرى صور سوء المعاملة والوحشية تجاه "الأعداء" تأتينا الآن من كلا الجانبين. أعمال الانتقام و"العدالة الأهلية" الفردية والجماعية تجري ويتم عرضها ليراها الجميع على موقع يوتيوب والفيسبوك. الحرب ليست ابدا "سهلة"، وليس هناك شيء "حضاري" حول هذا الموضوع. الحرب تمثل فشل الإنسان لايجاد سبل لتسوية الخلافات بالطرق السلمية. تكشف الحرب أفضل، جنبا إلى جنب مع أسوأ، ما في أي شخص. بدأت الثورة السورية آذار 2011 كحركة سلمية من أجل الحرية والديمقراطية. لعدة أشهر بعد ذلك حاولَتْ الحفاظ على هذا الموقف، في حين أن استمر النظام بقتل المتظاهرين المسالمين بدم بارد بدون توقف. بدأت الانشقاقات في صفوف النظام، ومعها بدأت الدعوات للمقاومة المسلحة كشكل من أشكال الدفاع المشروع عن النفس. ولد الجيش السوري الحرة نتيجة تلك الأنشقاقات. اليوم نجد أنفسنا بعيدين عن تلك الأيام "البريئة"، لكنني أتمنى أن لا ننسى تلك الأيام الأولى بعد أنتهاء معركة سوريا (وبعد أن يكون النظام قد مات وانتهى). الشعب السوري نزل إلى الشوارع وضحّى بكل غالي من أجل حقه في العيش في حرية وكرامة وسلام. آمل أن جمال ونقاء تلك التطلعات سيعيش وينتصر على فوضى وجنون الحرب.

1 comments

Discussion

  8 months ago
I loved reading this, it made me identify again with the people there on the ground and how I would respond...yes...we can only hope our faith will hold with us as God protects us to face the horror. Humans are only so strong, faith must be unbreakable. I can only hope for myself I am as brave as those...read more suffering there in Syria, on the ground, hovering amongst the ruble.