Exploring Freedom in the new Middle East by Maha

Exploring Freedom in the New Middle East…what a fantastic title of this exclusive article from the developments that are taking place in the Middle East. It is written by another of my exploring friends, Maha, who ends up during her explorations in one of the most spectacular countries on earth- Syria. I once passed through the country, north to east to south by bicycle and liked it the most of the countries I than visited south of Turkey. By far. Great people, great atmosphere and excellent food. Maha gets initially the same feelings and it has become a visit which has changed her life in many ways. I also know that most of my exploring friends come from the West and kind of push their opinions and thoughts on you readers from their Western perspective, no matter how sensible and right they are, they´re not local. Maha is from the area and I feel her views as a young woman is more important than ever. However, as always, I have to add that the views of the writer might not necessarily be the views of the site. And Maha, which isn´t her real name, feels lethally threatened by the authorities, so she stays anonymous. And as you see, real exploring makes a difference!

Exploring Freedom in the new Middle East


Maha A

Syria is one of the most beautiful countries around the world; I am so grateful that I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to explore such beautiful country!! And it happened that I turned to be a witness to a time of change in Syria. But seeing the image of Hamza Ali Al-Khatib, who is just 13 years old has changed all my perspectives.

I wonder if the Syrian regime felt ashamed or felt some mercy with the death of Hamza – I don’t think there is a more provocative image than seeing the blood shed from the body of an innocent child.

The death of this small child should be enough to convict those who committed this crime and must lead to a restructuring of the Syrian regime. Hamza, surprised the Arab awakening movement within the region, with his claim for his rights and his dream of freedom. He paid the price for this freedom when he went out to protest against the arrest of some children in his city (Derra).

Hamza, gave us a model of real resistance by standing against injustice, tyranny, and those who sold false slogans to the people. Today this regime seems to be very weak in front of Hamza’s body and what happened to him in the face of injustice and which used unmoral ways for their own corrupt desires. And this is how the regime handles unarmed protesters of any age.

Torture is usual in Syria and it is not something new or strange – most Syrians have suffered of it for years, especially, in Hama’s events in 80s. And it is normal that people have decided to keep quiet about it because they wouldn’t prefer to end up in jail or tortured by the regime under any circumstances. But in 80s’ events, there was no media to cover what was going on. There was no Facebook or Twitter. So at that time nobody could see the image of the only 13 years old little boy tortured under the name of State Security.

Yet, people are terrified to speak out and if anyone dares to speak out then the regime is able to crack him/her down and threating him/her and their families which have been seen repeatedly.

On the other hand, all this blood and oppression revealed the truth that this resistance does not emerge from the womb of dictatorial regimes, but comes from a desire to be free in a democratic system, which reflect the aspirations and interests of the street.

All this injustice stemming from the defense of an unjust and bloody dictator, has killed an innocent child and revealed a Syria that commits massacres against its own people. The regime’s legitimacy was lost with the first drop of blood shed in Syria and the mask of this regime has been falling down.

What I am sure about it that Syria is going through a very critical mess – the harsher this regime would be, the more tough the protesters on street would be . People who went out to protest have no choices but to carry this out until the end because there is noway that this regime would be able to forgive them.

And here again, I wonder if I would be able to explore blood scent instead of Jasmin scent (Syria famous of Jasmin). I wonder if I can do more than just listening to people’s stories. Finally, in the memory of Hamza Al-Khatib, how many children will die while i will be just a witness who should  go out to search for the Jasmin scent.

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