Revolutionaries’ Smile

There is a common feeling that is generally discussed in Syria, well, at least in Damascus where I live. It has to do with the question “what can I do more for the revolution?”.

Most of the people around me have this feeling of guilt. They feel that they can do much more, but there are bigger obstacles, and I guess we’ve found out later that we’re all busy with what we’re doing at the moment, and we face the bitter conclusion that’s best to finish one thing at a time.

Multi-tasking is both dangerous and energy consuming, and one thing we learned from this revolution is that energy is gold that needs to be cherished and saved for worse times.

This feeling of guilt hovers around the detainee inside her/his prison cell, hovers around the many activists in-hiding or forced to leave the country for being wanted by many security branches, it hovers around the ones who sleep 4 hours every night (I personally know a female activists like this). It practically hovers around us all.

This feeling of guilt never leaves our souls, no matter what we do, no matter how many times we get detained, we still feel we could do much more.

What can I do more? and what are these obstacles that are preventing me from doing more?

I can write about those amazing revolutionaries who left their families and children and living solely for this revolution, you see them making jokes and smiling at demonstrations, some were detained and tortured, you stand listening to them speak about their experience with detention, and you know that what you witnessed from detention is nothing compared to theirs, those unknown activists, the unprivileged, who don’t have facebook nor twitter, but they are the very ones who inspire you and make you truly believe, that there is hope.

The three young men from left to right are: Joan Farso, Bassam Al-Ahmad and Ayham Ghazzoul, my colleagues at the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression, detained on 16-2-2012 at Air Force Intelligence then at Fourth Band that’s headed by Maher Al-Assad. Released on 12-5-2012. Family celebrating their release in this photo.

I can write about this female activist I met in Adra prison who has been through sever amount of torture, she doesn’t smile when she tells you: “it hurts all over” but her eyes sparkle, her body is weak but you know she’s not giving up for pain. The physical pain I never experienced did not weaken her revolutionary spirit, and I am left amazed.

I can write about the those revolutionary young men, who gather around a 2$ bottle of Arak laughing and getting drunk after hours of talking about how they escaped gun fire the other day in Damascus suburbs, how they met this hilarious guy from a neighborhood who told them while running: “let’s see who reaches that building first” and the guys forget about the gun fire behind them and focus on getting to that building to hide, first, for no prize at all, just for the heck of it.

I can write about relationship between the detainee and the agent who gives you food three times a day. How sense of trust and respect builds up through time. I have so much to write about this subject, but I can’t for the agents’ own safety and security.

I can write about that sniper in Damascus suburbs who fires everyday at a certain time to tell the neighborhood that he came for duty and to alarm them not to get out. They call him “the merciful sniper.”

I cannot write the details. This blog is heavily censored for my own protection and that of the people who inspire me, every single day.

We may be tired, we may be a little down, we even may be silent to you, I personally came out from prison feeling empty, I called my friend and told him I need you to talk, I need to listen you talking. He talked then I felt OK, just like that, I am doing OK again. I think I do.

I have so much to give, yet I can’t, and that’s OK, it’s OK if you don’t know about the those amazing people, and those beautiful moments, just know that it’s not so ugly around here, and there’s still life and hope, always.

I dedicate this post to the smiling revolutionary, your smile makes wonders in my world.

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10 thoughts on “Revolutionaries’ Smile

  1. Amani says:

    You inspire us all and increase our guilt but also our motivation. With all these high spirits It only can improve :) keep inspiring us

  2. Rabi (AKA: Abu Kareem) says:

    I second that. For those of us twice removed from Syria, you perseverance and determination and above all your principles, inspires us all. Thank you Razan for all you do for the greater good.

  3. MarwaD says:

    Razan.. Your words touched my heart… You said what I feel and what is always on my mind.. I am far now, and i feel guilt all the time, why I am not there, why I am not helping, what more can I do, I am in another country, does this mean I don’t love Syria!! No, I love Syria, she is my mom, my sister, my best friend…. I hope I can do more and get rid of the guilt inside my soul

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