Friday, December 08, 2006

A reason why we are backwards in a way....

I have had access to the internet for 10 years now and ever since, I started doing more than surfing, as I had my first website online before we had internet in Syria, although I was living in Syria at that time. I used to access the internet via dial-up accounts Jordan and Lebanon and had a fight every once and a while with my parents about the phone bill. I had made several types of websites, one was Islamic in which tried to show the Islam as I see it. I was one of the first members of one of the largest Syrian website, I had argued many times with the owners about having discussion forums in the site with full freedom of expressions, with not redlines of any kind. I prevailed or they just got fed up with me, I'm not sure which one, but the result has been a 100% free forums where people can discuss literally anything with no fear of any moderation of anyone interfering and telling members what to say and what not to say.

I was a discussion forums freak for years, I was wandering from a site to another, Pro-American, Pro-Israeli and anti-Arabs and spent countless hours defending my country and my origins and in many times, my religion. I did the same in Arabic sites but I was kicked out, ignored, or feared. I only had the freedom in certain western discussions groups. I wanted to have the same, but with Syrian concentration. I wanted to let people say what they think, feel and want, regardless of what it was. The discussion forums were started at that Syrian site and have been known for the ultimate freedom.

I want to mention something about me on the side: I do criticize a lot, that's part of my nature. I criticize anything that I don't like or feel that it's not right. I say what I think, I speak my mind no matter how hard my criticism is. I'm not in the business of making people hear what they want to hear.

Back to the forums, for years and as a result of the freedom I was giving; I have been accused of infidelity by Moslems and of being biased to Islam by Christians. This has always assured me that I was neutral, yet, giving e-Syrian citizens something new that not anyone can handle; freedom of expression.

I, myself, with an alias name, participated in discussions, started up my own topics, and of course, my criticism came in act as I always had something to talk about. I was bold and daring in my approaches when I want to point the so many negativities we have as Syrians and Arabs, I was hated so much by people, all sorts of people. I was ok with that. Again, I'm not in the business of making people feel good by telling them what they wanna hear.

Anger grew against me for criticizing the bad aspects of our life and practices. None has ever argued against what I say, yet, the always argue about the idea of saying or highlighting them. They claim that we should be optimistic and give a good picture about ourselves and about our Syria… a SYRIAN site among ourselves!

Just yesterday, some of them expressed their wish of me being stripped off my Syrian citizenship. I have to admit that this has gotten into me and I'm so angry at that. Since when we have the right to say who loves Syria and who is not? Since when we have the right to point our fingers of treason at other citizens just because they say something that we cannot deny it exist?

Just for being who I am, I got accused by so many closed-minded Syrians of infidelity, which means, in religious terms, I should be slaughtered. Now I got accused by another set of closed minded Syrian of treason, which means, in constitutional terms, I should be hanged to death.

Is it true that what we have had of oppression over the years was the appropriate thing to have? As who knows what would have happened if we had full freedom of expression in the real world. People could be killing each other just for thinking differently and for loving what they love in a different way!