Friday, May 19, 2006

The Lionators of Syria!

No, this is not some fancy conspiracy theory that I am about to outline here, it is the reality we have been facing for many years now under the rule of this reform-minded president and his clique of brothers, cousins and in-laws. The Damascus Community School (DCS), popularly referred to as the American School, is currently being squeezed out of existence, or at least, its Syrian students are, so as to fill the empty seats in the Shoeifat School owned by, who else?, the President cousin, Rami Makhlouf, AKA, the Raminator of Modern Syria.

Recent developments in this regard include: refusal to renew the work permits of the American teachers at school, challenging the license under which the school has been operated for decades now, and using the case of an unfortunate accident that took life of a 12 year old student from the well-known al-Samman family, who have my sincere condolences on this tragic loss.

In this latter case, the attitude of regime officials is hypocritical to a nauseating degree, because if you want count the number of students who die or get hurt as a result of poorly planned excursions in the Syrian public school system, or as a result of their participation in various Baath camps, including the infamous Tala’eh and Shabibah, the number will be in the hundreds, you heard it, hundreds, every goddamn year.

To be more specific though, and so as not to create a wrong impression, the cases of death run between 10-20 per year, the remaining aces are of those who get seriously injured even maimed. The figures are based upon estimates of a colleague of mine who works for the Ministry of Education and who has, for years, tried to raise awareness in this regard to no avail.

The link to the Shoeifat School is also based upon contacts with people who are familiar with its inner workings. The reason I have all these contacts is because I used to teach at various diplomatic schools in the mid to late 90s (including a short spate at DCS itself), and I know many of the people who continue to work in this field. Indeed, my contacts tell me that the high fees charged by Shoeifat are discouraging people from applying, and that, often, people with means, like the Sammans, still prefer the already established and reputable DCS to this new project that continues to be mismanaged by Rami’s people. So, here is Rami now working, as he usually does, to shut down the competition in a continuation and furtherance of the project to transform Syria and everything Syrian into the private estate of the Assad-Makhlouf clan.

And do the voices of reason out there want to do? They want to give these people more time to prove to us that they are indeed reformers.

Every development out there, small or big, seems to inform us in every conceivable way that these people are thieves of the pettiest variety there is, and still, we continue to be told to look at them as reformers, and to give them more time to work out their magic.

Well, they are working out their magic all right, and just look where this is getting us.

Now Nour, the girl who died in that tragic accident, will become a symbol around which regime officials will attempt to rally angry Syrians against the American imperialist pigs, using the grieving father as an involuntary spokesman, in a heinous act of necrophagia for which we have long become accustomed. Our transmogrification into virtual Eaters of the Dead continues apace. This is the essence of the Assad magic. Abracadabra everyone!

Our mice are lions, and our thieves are Robin Hoods, and our killers are but saviors of all that is good. But do tell me please, are you any good? ‘Cause, you know, you can’t be saved if you are not good.