Saturday, 11 February 2012

Freedom, Liberty, Syria

The events that are taking place in Syria are an affront to democracy and human rights. How did things escalate so far?

Since Dec. 18 2010 a revolutionary wave of demonstrations and protests have occurred in middle eastern states. The Arab Spring has created revolutions in Tunisia and then Egypt, in Libya and in Bahrain. The Arab Spring has spread to Morocco, Yemen, and Syria. Each revolution has its own nuances and particular grievances but something they share in common is the widespread use of cell phones and modern communications technologies over the internet to capture the uprisings.

The Syrian revolution began when a group of teenage boys spray painted anti-government graffiti on their school. The Syrian police arrested and tortured the school children leading to public protests and more violence. The Syrian government uses extreme violence to stop what they say are terrorists and criminals but many innocent Syrians have been killed in the ensuing conflict.

I found some interesting documentaries on that describe the situation for civilians in Syria.

Images of a Revolution: The Arab Spring on Film

Inside Story: Has Syria Been Given a License to Kill?

Both of the links above will take you to footage from Aljazeera English.

I once went to school with a fellow from Syria. We talked about politics on occasion and I can remember asking him what his favourite thing about Canada was. He told me it was the freedom and I laughed a little, I guess I take it for granted, I didn't really understand. My Syrian classmate said that he enjoyed jogging around campus without having to have a security pass. He told me that he didn't have the freedom to move around much back home in Syria. After watching the above documentaries I think I can appreciate more of what my colleague from Syria was trying to impress upon me.


  1. A disturbing story indeed. Hopefully it will end soon. It is true that we take our freedom for granted.

  2. I've learned through my education no one is ever truly free, but there are definitely degrees to freedom. This is a rather in-depth sociological concept that I won't go into, but I think as Canadians we are much more fortunate than those from other countries in more ways than just issues of freedom.

  3. Ian, similar to you I have a friend that is from Syria and he says many of the same things. He was here for his education and would like to return to build a life in Syria. But has not returned based on what is going on in his country. I do hope that the country stabilizes and this all ends very soon.