Friday, April 01, 2005

Freeeedoooooooom! Baath-Style

Yes. Freedom. The travel ban I am told will be lifted tomorrow. I will be able to travel freely again. The investigations will be stopped immediately. I am a free man again.

How did this happen? Let me just say that someone way high up the chain still thinks “I am a patriot.” He called me in yesterday and told me so himself. He frowns upon everything I do, he asserted, but he still believes that I am a patriot, and because of that, I will not be bothered again and I can still carry on with my activities, but I should be very careful so as to avoid being used by external forces.

What does this mean? Well, I am free for now, it seems, but I am also being carefully watched. Or, to put it in other words, I am officially, and whether I like it or not (and how can I conceivably not like it - this highest honor that can be bestowed upon a citizen of this country?) under patronage.

So how do I plan to use this “freedom?” To leave the country, of course, albeit, at a less hurried pace.

I can now wait for Mouhannad and Ola to finish their exams, and I can help Khawla in person scout for an apartment in Lebanon, so we can slowly move out by the end of the summer to where we can still manage our projects, without having to constantly worry and fret about our safety.

Indeed, Syria will still have influence in Lebanon, but I doubt they will use it to "get me" there, I am not really that important. I am only a dissident, after all, and not a perceived business partner who refuses to play ball anymore. In fact, the whole point of insisting on leaving at this stage, despite assurances that I will be protected, is to be able to avoid getting classified as such. This is the most dangerous position of them all, you see.

For when you are under patronage, you have to play by the rules. You cannot afford not to play by the rules. And since I cannot play by the rules… And since I cannot afford to pay the price for not playing by the rules... I might as well just leave the place where the rules apply, and go to where I can play by some other more acceptable and affordable rules.

So, for all those who have supported me throughout the last few weeks, I simply say thanks. For when words fail, this is the only word I know that still has some meaning.

And don't worry, there is still enough crazy things around to keep me blogging for a long time to come. So, keep on coming, you hear?