Monday, December 23, 2013

Revolution no more in Syria

“Our revolution is finished,” says Zigga. “Now, it is just thieves remaining.” Zigga and his companions, are abandoning the frontlines, disillusioned with a revolution gone awry. It has been hijacked by armies of jihadists fighting for groups loyal to al-Qaeda. “If they want a car, they say ‘Allahu Akhbar’ and take it. If they want a wife, they say ‘Allahu Akhbar’ and take her,” Zigga says. “This is not Islamic and it is not what we were fighting for.”

Insurgent groups have long fought over the spoils of war – looting and pillaging – while profiteering from smuggling operations and a booming kidnap market.

“All the scum bubbled to the surface. In wars like this the worst people tend to become the most powerful,” says a security advisor working in Syria.

“We used to have all the sects living together: Alawite, Christian, Yazidi, Druze,” remembers Hassan, one of Zigga’s companions who had been fighting the regime until a few days ago. “Now, we ask, are you Alawaite, are you Christian? If someone is Alawite we kill them,” Hassan says, while running a finger across his throat.

We all want to live in a society that is fair and equal and we all want what’s best for our children. But too often these common sentiments are separated by made-up constructs of nation, race, religion and politics. Often leaders who have much to gain from division and strife perpetuate these constructs. The cycle will continue until Syrians can they throw off the shackles of hatred that have enslaved the nation. Things will not change until people realise that they have more in common with each other than they are made to believe. The people of the world share the same hopes and passions.

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