Here’s admiration to the brave souls in Syria
At the start of this new year, after we in the west have enjoyed restful holidays with loved ones, how many of us are thinking of the plight of those in Syria?
A few nights ago, my husband and I watched disturbing footage, posted on YouTube and shown on CNN, of two police officers, with guns, stuffing a man into the trunk of a car in daylight, in the middle of a street. Another man, presumably a friend, was trying to pull the man out of the trunk. This man, clad in white, had blood stains on his upper shoulder. About a dozen people were near the vehicle.
The footage, shot by a Syrian citizen from an overhead balcony, ended soon after. That image stayed with me for days. Did the man escape? Did his friend save him? Were both men detained and later killed? This image made me think of so many places where similar scenes have occurred under repression, from Latin America to elsewhere in the Middle East.
In Syria, the police are not only torturing and killing adults, but children too. Thousands of civilians risk their lives every day, facing police bullets and tear gas, to meet in public and demand democracy and an end to their government’s brutal rule. Many are doubly risking their lives by videotaping the horrors unfolding in the streets. Snipers have killed plenty of them.
On this first day of 2012, I want to express the utmost admiration for the people in Syria and elsewhere who are displaying tremendous courage every day. I think of the bravery of that man, trying to save the other at huge risk to himself, and of what love and friendship will compel us to do at such dangerous times. That willingness to risk life for that of another, even a stranger, is what gives me hope for the human race. That quality is what promotes peace.
Here, in a land where most of us take democracy for granted, even though it has eroded phenomenally in recent years, I salute those two primary qualities, so commodified since the 1960s: love and peace. Let’s see more of both this year. They start with each of us.
January 1, 2012 at 11:09 am