Thursday, February 23, 2006

The Plight of Syria’s Young Activists!

Writing for Syria Comment, Joe Pace makes an excellent point about the plight of Syria’s young activists. Turned off by the not-too-surprising gap that separates them from the older generation of activists, and making more convenient victims for the predatory practices of the country’s security services, simply because they are unknown figures and their arrests fail to generate any international backlash, these people are the real risk-takers in the contemporary activist scene in Syria, and has been since the early days of independence.

To protect, nourish and inspire these activists, a special network needs to be established one that helps provide them with platforms from which they can declare their ideas and voice their concerns, and conduits through which they can dialogue and debate regarding their country’s future and their role in it.

We, at the Tharwa Project, were on the verge of launching just such a program, when I had to pack up and leave before it was too late, thus availing myself of exactly that kind of opportunity that would not be available to younger activists, as Jo aptly points out. A younger activist would get in trouble for doing much less than anything I have done. My guilty conscience swells with pride.

Now that we are about to resume our activities in Syria again (while I am still wallowing in the relative safety and comfort of life in the Imperial Center), the fate of all those young people who have joined our organization, especially as parts of our One Day for Syria Network, will weigh heavily upon my chest.

You cannot build a meaningful future for the young ones without their participation, but, once they participate, they somehow end up as fodder for “our” causes. In a sense, all revolutions feed on their children and all parents are but pimps, no matter how unwilling.