Amidst Geopolitical Concerns Don't Forget: Syrians Have a Stake in their Future, Too

Artist: Sulafa Hijazi
By Greg Hom
Apr 4, 2013

I know I am not alone when I say that I am disheartened by the violence in Syria.  While news out of Egypt is not necessarily rosy- authorities this list week detained journalists and other leaders- it still seems like there is hope and energy there to move past the history of the Mubarak dictatorship.  Tunisia just hosted the World Social Forum!

Meanwhile in Syria, the violence seems crazy and people are flooding across borders. On the level of regional politics, the Arab League welcomed the Syrian opposition to represent the country, signaling that they see no future in a relationship with the Assad government.  On the world stage, Iran's relationship with Syria is seen as a major reason that the United States hasn't armed the Syrian opposition.  

But for voices that aren't part of the normal news cycle, I think two interviews from the website should be read this week. It's a relatively new website that's published in both Arabic and English.  

The interview “What Good Are Free Elections When A Country Is Destroyed?”with Syrian Kurdish writer Baderkhan Ali describes the author's feelings on the current revolution, but also describes what's going on with the Kurdish population, and their role in the current conflict.He says of the Kurdish struggle for inclusion:

Despite all the meetings and discussions, despite all of the Syrian opposition’s desire to have the Kurds join them, no Syrian political entity has actually even accepted the Kurdish demands. There’s been no legitimate recognition of the rights of Syria’s Kurds

Another interview worth a read is “Blame the International Community for Extremism" with Omar Edelby, a spokesperson for the Local Coordinating Committees that have done a lot of on the ground reporting on the Syrian conflict that the international press picks up.  This interview made the organizing side of the revolution much more real for me, and took it outside the realm of Syria being just a proxy war for greater regional and world interests, reminding me that people have a stake in creating something new in the country, and have to do more than shoot their way to it.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the entire War Times project

Greg has written book reviews for Left Turn Magazine, and volunteered with Prison Radio.

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