Monday, November 21, 2005

Time for the Big Names!

In this particular time when the Syrian regime looks like it is having a field day of activities and demonstrations coming out in its support, one of the worst things that could happen to it and which could come as a slap in the face that could help so many people snap out of their fear-induced coma, is for a group of well-known Syrian artists, including actors, singers and painters to come out and say: enough is enough. We won't stand idle while our country is being led to an abyss. We won't let our leaders put their particularistic interests above the national interests.

Indeed, some members in the opposition should attempt to spend more time doing some necessary and long overdue public relations exercise with the country’s better known artistic talents, especially the older generation, which still commands much respect on account of their previous “patriotic” stands, and because they have always been more inclined to stand by the regime in times of crisis. For any number of them to come out against the regime at this stage will, therefore, have a wider impact.

Getting the support of this group will not be easy, of course, considering their history with the regime and the usual fear barrier which seems to loom more heavily in their minds than those of authors and academics, for instance. Still, no one has actually tried to lobby these figures. No one has actually tried lobbying anyone period. The opposition groups continue to wait for people to come to them rather than attempt to go to the people. This failure is increasingly inexcusable at this stage. The country’s crisis is growing deeper by the day, and the need for an internal push against the regime at this stage is stronger than ever.

The time to act is now.