Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ashamed of being Syrian!

I woke up this morning on the news of “Angry Syrians set two European Embassies on fire”.

I felt furious for this kind of response. This is not us, or at least, not what I thought we were not!

I welcomed, both, the commercial and diplomatic actions in response to the cartoons that mocked the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and for once, I felt that we are reacting in a civilized manner! Not any more!

While I’m 100% convinced that the “Syrian Regime” had a hand in what happened. I still cannot understand the concept of being driven like a sheep. To me, those people who were sabotaging and burning the embassies seemed like stupid sheep led by a smart shepherd.

The demonstration had been set to be on Saturday, the off day of
all the western embassies in Damascus so they avoided any human casualties. This means they had already planned on letting angry/religiously-charged demonstrators go inside the buildings. The way the riot police was seen on TV and in photos suggests weak protection of these buildings. Furthermore, as a Syrian, I know that we have a strong security forces that can do anything to stop any unwanted gatherings, demonstrations, or actions with scales of responses that vary according to how bad they want to stop them.

All the above make me believe that our regime played a role in all this in a way or another!

Why? Someone may ask.

To send a message to the west demonstrating the alternative that will rule Syria in case the west decides to overthrow the current Syrian regime, I would answer.

I have always been proud of being a Syrian, today, and for a slight of a moment, I felt ashamed. But shortly after, I thought, I’m Syrian and they are not, and if they were, they are they ones who should be ashamed, not me.

Photo by El Sirio


Omar said...

furthermore.. it means that the regime has finally extended their hand towards the extremist power in the region to form a coalation against the "others"..
today, I officially didn't go out of my place.. not because I was afraid or anything.. ot was because I am ashamed of walking among civilized people, because I, in my own personal view, represent a barbarian ethnic group that has zero or less mind power when it comes to decision making..

mark my words..
in a few years.. we will be looking up to Kabul when it comes to standards of living!!!!

god have mercy on our souls

Ihsan said...

Recently, the radical Islamists seem to be the stronger base to rely on in case of any danger.

This is nothing but more of a total selfishness of our regime who would shake the hands of the devil if that give them more time in power!

And the people are just blindly following....

Viva Syria-stan

Anonymous said...

for the record, Syria is ashamed of you

The Syrian Brit said...

Anonymous, Syria should be ashamed of those thugs that ran chaos in my beautiful city.. Those hooligans that were driven like sheep (well-said, Ihsan..) did what they did under the guise of defending Islam.. NOT IN MY NAME!.. NEVER.. Yesterday was a dark day in Syria's modern history.. For the first time in my life, I, too, am ashamed to be Syrian...

CWHinch said...

When I heard about the cartoon I was taken back. I am not a Muslim and only have a superficial knowledge of Islam. Still, respect must be given to all religions. I would venture to say that any can be twisted to include violence in its name (lest we forget the Crusades or even the Troubles on Northern Ireland). Perhaps a reading of Jonathan Swift's GULLIVER'S Travels might highlight the absurd.

My point is that I was struck first at the disrespect the editors showed. Then dismayed byt he violent reaction of Muslims. Finally I was disgusted by my own prejudicial thoughts.

Violence is not a Muslim trait. It is a human trait. The degree is probably a result of the percentage of fringe/extremeists in a crowd.

After all, people go crazy evena t sports many riots in America when a city's team wins a championship?

Benjamin said...

What happened today disgusts me, but hardly surprises me.

Don't be ashamed of being a Syrian. Take stock of what happened and learn from it. Your country is more than its government or even the momentary sentiment of its population. You, as well as most of the population, didn't contribute the burning of the embassies.

I am an American: I don't agree with everything my government or the American populace has ever done, is doing or will ever do. I still love my country. Sure, what happened with these embassy burnings is a problem that has to be acknowledged and confronted but don't despair. All we can do is try and contribute to making the situation here in our countries and work for a tomorrow that is better than today.

I think that one of the things that is disturbing about these acts is that religion should be a force that prevents violence and mayhem. When riots happen elsewhere in the world, we chalk it up to weak personal character and immorality. You don't see people who are genuinely religious having a part in such affairs. Religion is supposed to encourage civility. Instead, it seems that in the Middle East religion is too often a facilitator of these sort of problems.

Shannon said...

I completely understand how difficult it is to at once be proud of who you are (when I think of being American, I think of my family and the great things I've learned from my grandparents and all they've fought for, and this makes me proud) and at the same time, ashamed. I remember after Sept. 11th, I was living in Russia, and the disgust I felt when I would hear about innocent muslims (or anyone who *looked* remotely Middle Eastern) being harassed and killed. I remember the shame when I would hear otherwise educated Americans calling for illogical violence...

I wish I knew what to say besides I understand how you can feel. You guys (I guess by this I mean all the bloggers I've read) truly are the hope of Syria.

Maya said...

I admire your blog Ihsan and all your writings.
"Ashamed of being Syrian" .
We were all shocked to see what was going on that night when some ..I don't know what to call them, were burning embassies.
You can't say you are ashamed of being a Syrian because it has nothing to do with being a Syrian, i think it has to do with how some people think and act.
Not all Syrians approve this way. We find these acts in the USA, Europe, everywhere.
So its not about being Syrian, American or whatever.
Its about being civiized.
And i'm sure if the Prophet Mohammad was alive he wouldn't approve such acts because Islam is not a barbaian religion.

Lilly said...

Am with Maya you shouldn`t be ashamed. i was in Syria when it happened and it did upset me as many other Syrians living abroad would be.

Lilly said...

Am with Maya you shouldn`t be ashamed. i was in Syria when it happened and it did upset me as many other Syrians living abroad would be.

no one said...

salam ,

i have been reading all the posts regarding what had happened several days ago.
as far as i understood, u all have agreed that it's the syrian regime who planned for this.
the reasons stated above explained why they have done this.

well, i have another openion to say,
i don't belive it's the syrian regime who has done this, for a simple reason coz
firstly, the out come of this will be losing europe from their side and Bashar is in bad need for anyone to stand in his side, especially in this time.
so why would he risk their friendship.?

secondly, bashar has been and still working to picture Syria as a civilized and secured country, and what happened totally destroyed this image, if any was taken by the westerns, and would give america another reason for the world to say that they should remove Bashar.

now what i wanna say that who ever was behind this wanted syria to lose europe's friendship, and wanted Bashar to see that they can do what ever they want here in Damascus, and that he can't control in his own country.

i belive that politics is a dirty game but i also ask myself when anything happens, who is having the benfit from it?

now i know that i can't win in any discussion with u ihsan,:)
just felt like saying this

Malte said...

HI Im a Danish Citizen.
First of all, I dont think you should be ashamed of being from syria, You have'nt thoosed your Goverment.
I am ashamed of being Danish, my Goverment handle this situation redicules. I wish I could say I was from sweeden.

Its a really good job you are doing with this blog.


Bunch Of Trouble said...

Unfortunately evil is a foot in the world. People are going to have to stand up for what they believe in and let's hope they believe in civilization, respect, equal rights, and tolerance. If that's not on the agenda, we are all in a bloody mess.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

natasha said...


over hear, in Israel, there are all sorts of words on the news saying that Muslim folks (ofcourse I don't think all) think those cartoons are the work of the Jews and all sorts of Anti-Semetic rhetoric that goes with it, such as holocaust cartoons and what have you -- any of you guys hear or see anything like that? I'm not convinced of everything I hear on the news. Wonder if you know of anything?

Frankly, for me, I don't care if there are dumb cartoons about the holocaust etc... I've seen some weirder stuff. I just think it would be really weird if it is in fact true and folks think that somehow, Jews are the reason for all of this too. Sometimes I think it is just the Israel goverment using this situation to further convince the Jewish people that they are allways in danger and turn people against people etc...

I wish I could fly over to Syria and turn on the news and understand it. I bet we all hear different stories...

Francis said...

Dear Ihsan

Just reading this, as a rich Europian woman, The Netherlands
It is an interesting thought that your gouvernment has something to do with all this
I do nut judge nothing
I read Francis

Yael K said...

I found your blog through the fantastic initiative of the Volksrant blog and am really glad I did.

I think people from every country have times when they feel ashamed because of the bad (sometimes really horrific) behavior of fellow countrymen --who, of course, don't have the wits or grace to be ashamed of themselves. We all feel frustration and shame when it is the lunatics who make the news and therefore seem to represent the rest of us.

I, along with the majority of Israelis, certainly wish our crazy right-wing settlers would just find a rock to crawl under and stay there. There just might be enough rocks on the moon to accomodate our settlers and your embassy-stormers --think we can convince 'em to try a little space trip? :)

Chas said...

Hello from Texas, USA! A part of this blog was printed in the newspaper of Dallas Tx, the Dallas Morning News. Your thoughts we're read by me and probably a million Americans. It was in a section "Blog views from the Middle East. Congragulations! You are welcome to visit my blog as well, but it's not as nice as yours.

Anonymous said...

Let’s be Fair

I am amazed at the ignorance of the agreements that allow Embassies in foreign countries. The host government assumes, promises protection, responsibility for all persons and property assigned to the Embassy. Does not the “prophet” say that if someone comes to our home and asks protection in the name of Allah (Blessed be his name) that we are under obligation to protect them? The actions of the people and the governments in these countries have dishonored the “prophet” and the people themselves by these criminal acts.

Perhaps it would be appropriate to close all Embassies and order all non-Muslims to leave all of the Islamic Nations; Islamic countries could withhold all oil exports. Not just European countries but all other nations of the world could expel all Muslims and close all Embassies from Islamic countries. All non-Islamic countries could forbid all trade with Islamic countries, including food, medicine and technology.

I am totally against the continued occupation of Iraq. I, like many others I know, believe we should have invaded Iraq the first time Saddam Hussein fired a missile at our planes in the negotiated “Mo-Fly Zone”, back in the ‘90’s. After destroying the threat to us and the region, we should have left. Then the people of Iraq could have slaughtered each other to their hearts content. Someone would sell the oil eventually.

Most Americans are not like the politicians who talk and talk and do nothing. We yearn for a government controlled by the people as our Constitution is written, not big business. However, if we see someone threatening us, we unite. If someone tells me they will kill me or my family, I personally would immediately attempt to destroy them and any capacity they have to carry out the threat for several generations.

Take note:

Most of the working people I know are upset with George Bush’s handling of Terror sanctuaries such as existed in Afghanistan. We would have much rather seen radioactive fallout over the entire region, thus solving the sanctuary problem there for 250,000 years.

Iranians who call for the destruction of my country; Iran has 40 sites publicly identified for the processing of nuclear material. The majority of Americans are in favor of the U.S.A. giving them all the nuclear material. I believe 40 or more nuclear bombs, out of our still existing stockpile of over 10,000, will solve our problem with Iran financing terrorism or transferring weapons to terrorists for the next 250,000 years.

Syria, we have wanted our government to stop your training and support of Terrorism for decades. Perhaps we can find and destroy those terrorist training camps you deny exist and remove the threat for 250,000 years.

Anonymous said...

u should be ashamed
cos syria is ashamed to have such an ass kisser

bienaimé said...

Dear Ihsan,
I understand your bad feeling regarding what happenned BUT BE ASHAMED for that, in opposite you have to be proud for being Syrian, Arab.
Believe me, as a french i know many people from the West (like some post here) are very happy to put more down the spirit, the culture and the civilisation of Arabs. Big majority (not all) of West people country are more ignorante, arrogant than what you can imagine... They just think about them power, money and piece of meet...
Please Ihsan, stay pround of you, of your culture.
I went many times in Syria and i love your country, this interesting and nice people...
What I observed since few months the mass media in France, Europe and America supported(manipulated) by them governements have start already to target, with giving a real strong bad image of Syria, its governement and its population as well...its the same rethoric regarding Iraq... in listening the media all syrians people have evil inside them...
They want to fight for taking full control of your country (business is business)..
People like you and me don't have to be shame and not have to put our face down!!!
Today, Nobody can say without doubts who did this atrocities against embassies...
Again Ihsan, don't be ashamed !
Its a question of image's power, you can campare between Syria and West countries with them intelligences, they organize and manipulate more atrocities all over the world but they hide by a good comminication and image...
In solidarty with syrian population!


Ihsan said...

About the "ashamed" part.... I will quote myself:

"I have always been proud of being a Syrian, today, and for a slight of a moment, I felt ashamed. But shortly after, I thought, I’m Syrian and they are not, and if they were, they are they ones who should be ashamed, not me."

wared said...

Nice blog Ihasn, keep up the good work