Seeing our President in Paris gives me a whole set of mixed feelings. It isn’t hard to notice why this is a big event for Syria and Syrians. Ending a horrible 3 years of speculations and dreadful possibilities. The Syrian regime has come out unscathed, stronger and definitely scored much higher than its foes on the credibility scale (ironically enough, that is). They shouldn’t take all the credit though, for what better enemies could you have than the imbecile trio of Bush, the Saudis and the March 14ers. Having the Saudis in a coalition that was oh-so concerned with human rights violations of the regime, was no less comedic than having the March 14ers whining about foreign intervention in Lebanon, and the sectarian nature of Hizbulla. Nonetheless, it would be futile not to admit that they have successfully navigated the most treacherous of waters. As to why did we have to venture there in the first place, that will be up for discussion and disagreement for years to come. No matter what you have to say about them (and there is a lot to be said), I can’t say I’m not enjoying this break from that constant stream of ignorant (if not flat out racist and hypocritical) media portrayal of Syria.
On the other hand, as beautiful and elegant our First Gentleman and First Lady look together as they walk down that red carpet, I can’t help wondering whether people like Michel Kilo, Anwar al-Bunni or Aref Dalileh even cross their minds as they smile and shake hands. As they walk triumphantly through the streets of Paris, what kind of a country do they think of, that country that they left behind. What do they think of that? The poverty, the corruption, the pollution, the monopolies, and the stagnant social, educational, political and cultural life. What about Seydnaya?
I know this post might raise some eyebrows. But I think, it is very sad to see how we are coerced, everyday, to live our lives in that narrow space of black and white, wrong and right. I, for one, don’t feel like I can play that game. That being said, it does not mean that I am simply neutral. I am, and will always be, strongly opinionated. The fact is, I would feel like a hypocrite if I had to tweak or modify (no matter how little) my own sense of the world just so I can join one of them (camps), and be “opinionated”. It would be, and let me quote Wassim on this one, more like “Political cheerleading”.