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Zein Al Malazi, Aleppo
I belong to the 80s generation, and was born during the Muslim brotherhood uprising in Syria, when the Assad regime punished them with barbaric reactions until they fled the country. That was an warning for the two next generations to never try to oppose the regime.
My generation have witnessed the era of Hafez Al Assad (The Father of Bashar) for a while, then Bashar Al Assad. Fear for the regime is one of the first things parents used to learn their children.
Luckily I had a free thinking family. My father is a lawyer, my grandmother is from Hamah (the city that the Assad-regime destroyed during Muslim Brotherhood uprising). We used to talk and discuss freely at home. I can’t recall anything that my parents prevented me of doing, unless it would lead me to deal with the regime.
Because in Syria, nearly every group of citizens was suffering from the regime. My homeland was a big prison for most of us. Churches was monitored by accomplice clerics. Islamic education was only allowed at Assad’s Fatwa schools.
Most of the Armenians chosed to migrate after Hafez Al Assad’s coup, and those who stayed did not have any other choices.
Kurds were not allowed to talk their language and hadn’t the same citizenships as others, while Druze & Ismaili communities tried to live isolated from the rest of the society. According to the Syrian Constitution, the Baath Party is the only allowed political party in Syria, and Bashar is the leader. Law forbids creating other parties or groups, and any political activist who threatens the regime will be detained and charged with fake cases.
For example, I know of a communist who was jailed for being a jihadist... The systematic violence by the Syrian regime represented by Assad family was not limited to political and religious domains, but involved all other areas. For example: the educational sector was only focusing on promoting Assad’s family stories and how they had won wars and achieved successful political affairs.
And we have tried so many times to change this system. In the beginning of 2000, the Damascus Spring Declaration tried to work for democratic changes in Syria. But they were detained, and all liberal voices silenced. A political initiative that was buried before it was born.
Another incident happened in 2004, when Kurds started to demonstrate, claiming their rights, and refusing the unfair treatment by the government. And as expected, the secret security service detained and tortured the activists and crushed the demonstrations.
Assad has way too much blood on his hands. There is no chance for Syrians to survive from this bloody nightmare unless the current regime falls and leaves Syria.