Almost two years since its start, the Syrian revolution is still dissipating the darkness of 50 years of Baathist rule. An initially peaceful uprising turned into an armed conflict, but this did not make it deviate from another mission it has had in addition to toppling the regime: shedding light on Syria.
Because of the revolution, we have started learning the names of cities and neighborhoods, and we have seen the faces of the revolutionaries, and the passion with which they are protesting. We have realized that we knew nothing about Syria, and we are still learning. True, the tragedy has spread all over the country, and around 20% of the infrastructure has been destroyed by the regime, but the darkness is gradually lifting.
For example, now we know that a museum in Damascus has been categorized as the world’s 10th most important. Who was aware of that? We got to know only when the museum was closed, and its contents transferred to the central bank. We also got to know a lot about historic sites in Syria through reports about looting. We never knew about underground rap groups or techno music. We used to be impressed by the courage of Iranian directors such as Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Abbas Kiarostami, but we never paid attention to Omar Amiralay and Osama Mohamed Ali.
The poor, who make up the majority in Syria, are no longer invisibleHazem al-Amin
In the past two years, the regime killed 60,000 Syrians. The number is frightening, but it is paralleled by something intangible and perhaps even more brutal: killing Syria's soul.