Barometrically Yours!

A second round of investigation by the Military Security Apparatus took place earlier today. It lasted for only one hour. It did not include a meeting with the Brigadier General, as had been scheduled, because he was busy again. Instead, the meeting will have to take place tomorrow at 9:00 am. What a fortuitous start for an average Syrian day! 


Still, the conversation that took place with his aid this time revealed a lot, enough to change my thinking about this whole development and to put things, I believe, in clearer perspective. I had earlier believed that coordination was lacing among the various security apparatuses, but perhaps the finger prints of our new Minister of Interior can already be seen here. At least the basic report about me (including my Daily Star articles, my public lectures and meetings in DC, and the Tharwa Project (Advisory Board, Funding and Affiliates) has been distributed to all branches of security, and each seems to have been charged with the task of making its own inquiries with me. So, there will be probably more rounds to come in the near future. I will be making the route, as they say here in activist circles. My initiation has finally begun.

Does that mean that my colleagues in civil society circles will become any less suspicious, or even envious, of me, seeing that I am now forced to partake of the same… disgusting little dish? I seriously doubt it.

Being a liberal in this imploding part of the world, means that I am more of a heretic than a dissident really. Other than to the small and seemingly marginal group that shares in the heresy, one way or another, I can belong to nothing over here. I can believe in nothing that seems too indigenous. Indeed, I sing a totally different tune, one that will not be appreciated any time soon. I am forever off-key around here. I am a heretic. If anything I have to say today is ever going to be appreciated widely by people here, this will not going to happen for a hundred some years. And though I am always willing to be surprised, I have long reconciled myself to that. Being solely recognized by my fellow heretic suffices me. Well, it will have to suffice.

As such, those who doubt the ability of “me and my ilk” to change things hereabout do seem to have a legitimate point, but that’s only because they misunderstand the nature of our intended role.

We are not meant to be the real leaders of the change process at this stage, but merely the catalyst thereof. More importantly though, we are also meant to function as barometers, noting the direction of change, its depth and of the intentions, abilities and mandate of the reform elements within the regimes. Because, after all is said and done, we are the only minds out there that have accepted the fusion of east and west and are actively trying to come to terms with the myriad implications of this acceptance. Pragmatic arrangements can be struck with many different groups out there, including those with Islamist tendencies (we all know what sort bedfellows politics produce at occasions). But real understanding and acceptance of the nature of global dynamics and modern values can only be worked out through us. Or do you expect an Islamist, communist or a Baathist to deliver on this?

So, here I am, little old me, holding the very credibility of the mighty Syrian regime in the palm of my all too fragile and shaking hand, and the only reason why they can still, nonetheless, be tempted to intimidate me, and perhaps seek to build some kind of a case against me on the long run, (what’s it going to be, I wonder: espionage, accepting foreign funds, hurting the image of the country, opposing the constitution, who knows?), is the fact that they don’t know that yet.

They really don’t who I am or what I do represent, despite my repeated attempts in a number of articles to explain that to them. The voice of international actors might be louder here. Indeed, the voice of international actors should be louder here.