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!


Anonymous said...

في الحياة اثنان: متحدث و مستمع .أن تكون متحدثاً فلك حرية الرأي و أن تكون مستمعاً فلك حق التحكيم. في العالم الافتراضي و بما أن الجميع قد اختاروا حرية الرأي فكلهم متحدثون و إن كان هناك من يستمع فهم قلة يكتفون بالإنصات دون إدلاء الحكم للاختلاف بين العالمين. كن متفائلاً , عندما ستطبق حرية الرأي في الحياة الفعلية ستكون عبئاً على من اختارها , لأنه سيضطر أن يعد للمئة قبل أن يرد السلام . فالحال على ما هو إلا أن المقياس قد تغير من 1:500 إلى 1:100

Shannon said...

You're definitely a true patriot and probably the only one among your critics who dares to hope.

Through Gracepeace said...

تبرىء الكلمات في القلوب

ثم همس الرب في قلوبنا...
الكلمات تصل حيث لا يقدر السلاح

سألنا حكيم قريتنا، كيف ينزل الدفء
على النفوس والشيطان
قد ألقى بسمومه المفضلة
خوفاً ويأساً وكراهية
على القلوب البريئة
كما الرماد من محرقة السعادة

كيف تنام عيون الايمان
وسرير الأمل
تفترشه ملاءة القنوط الشاحب
وعيون الحنث الفاسدة
تنتهك حرمة الكلمات المقدسة
وتسعد باغتيال هدايا السماء

وسألنا :كيف يبتسم الخير
ويصفع الكره الفضيلة من وجه الخجل
و أتباعه يشوهون ويحرفون فى نفوس ضحاياهم
حتى يصل الاعتقاد
بأن الإثم فضيلة والقتل عدالة والكره هو الحب

تحدث الحكيم
بصوته الخفيض وقال
أن للشيطان أتباع
يغتسلون في أنهار النبيذ في حادي*
وبعشق السخرية الفارغ
يحصدون نفوساً مغشوشة جنيت بمنجل الانتحار

مستحيل أن يكون الطريق إلى الفردوس مرصوفاً
بجثث الأبرياء - عبر نهرٍ من الدم
اعتنقوا مد الحق وجزره الرائع في قلوبكم
تقبّلوا الشك والعار أينما كانوا
لكي تدركوا أن النفس تسعد بالعطف وليس بالانتقام

سطع صوته كالضوء وقال:
ابحثوا بشجاعة في أعماق قلوبكم
بلا نفاق ولا خداع ولا إجحاف
وحين تلمسوا الايمان هناك
ستنزل الكلمات الالهيه دواءً للقلوب
مثل مطر أبدي يجذبه البحر دائماً
حتى يرتفع ليملأ حرم النفوس
بودٍ عميق هادىء ويغدو سلاماً
على شواطىء العزم الالهي.

[أرض الموتى في الأساطير الاغريقية*

أبريل 2006

abufares said...

That's good stuff Ihsan, real good.

Anonymous said...

I don't think you're backward! I've been on the net for ten years, and in the beginning, after a while, I didn't even look for forums anymore, because the comments were so vapid, and violent. At the time I was mostly looking at American sites.

I don't like it when people don't exercise the self control to not violently threaten someone to shut-up, but from what I've seen of other nationalities, it seems like very many act this way. In fact, people did not act like this in the US when I was growing up, but now behavior has degenerated, and they do.

Here's a story to encourage your self-expression. The tiny country of Iceland(population around 300,000)very prosperous now, was the exploited colony of Denmark until it achieved independence after World War II. Their main problem was great poverty. One author Halldor Laxness decided to depict the life of the common people accurately in his novels--so that meant describing poverty so severe that making pancakes from flour was a holiday treat--usually they ate dried fish. Everybody hated him! Then he won a Nobel Prize for Literature for his novel Independent People.

roudy said...

I guess u missed the point here, as u r committing the same mistake the west makes when dealing with our issues... even when u labled those people as "close minded" u still took their says and related it to islam and constitution (accordingly)as if they were appointed by islam (in one case) or by the state of syria (in the other) to judge who is a muslim and/or a national syrian and who is not. i see this approach as similar to the one used in the west to point to muslims as "bin laden followers" as if we "majority of muslims" give a thing about this idiot...let me put it this way: every time al zawahri or bin laden send a msg or what ever from their caves, the west media take that and echo it as if it was the muslims god's msg to the world...while we dont even take this stupid guy seriously or take his shit as being related to islam in whatever way. nevertheless, the west media insist that this idiot speak for us!! for some reason they want to build a big thing of him. e.i., of nothing...but they have their reason, they want to play on the fear factor. but i see u r doing the same thing even without noticing it..who r those guys? who do they represent, do u give a shit about what they say? let them talk...speak up their minds, after all we/you believe in freedom of speech so let them talk! threaten! show what they r made of, yet they will get no where.. they will stay where they are live and die in their anger hatred and misery. one final thought: men shu byshkee el 3arabi?

Ihsan said...

Roudy, (dozey)

Those do represent a portion of our people, not a small one however.

I didn't say "Syrians" or "Moslems", I said a "set of close-minded Syrians". What the westren media is doing is showing that you, me and many people like us are no better than Zawaheri or Bin Laden...or at least..we follow them....but what I said was strictly about certain category of people that lives among us...moreover, I didn't use my e-authority in that forum to ban them or to silent them because as you said, this is part of the "freedom of expression"..but that doesn't mean they didn't get into me and pissed the hell out of me...and I simply expressed that in writing in my blog...not in pressing on the admin's control buttons in that site.

We are all entitled to speak..and in many times, we stop being able to take it anymore....I reached that level, at that time.