Will we continue to look the other way on Syria?

There is a need to make a creative and exceptional effort so the Syrian news makes it back to the headlines

Diana Moukalled

Published: Updated:

In the last article of this year, we may be dominated by the desire to resist colluding with the world regarding what is happening in Syria. There is a need to make a creative and exceptional effort so the Syrian news makes it back to the headlines and is freed from those besieging it. Syrian events intimidate the Syrians as well as the world as atrocities continue and the situation changes on the ground.

We, as media, must contemplate and resist the Syrians’ forced complacency towards the presupposition that their death no longer stirs uproar.

The regime’s missiles, barrel bombs, chemical arms, massacres and death by torture are no longer news. Not even children dying of hunger or cold is news. Footage only reaches those who desire to frustrate themselves with scenes thought by many to be extinct.

The Syrians have realized that the footage they took during the first and second years of the revolution no longer affect the public opinion like they did before. In the meantime, there’s a universal antipathy towards Syrian death. This laziness is political, moral and journalistic.

It is as if there’s an Arab and global decision stipulating that we have had enough of Syrian news even if half of the Syrian people die and even if the entire Syrian people are destroyed. Haven’t the photos of the victims of the explosive barrels in Aleppo during the past two weeks found themselves space in the media?

Shocking acts

It’s true that slaughter by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists and some extremist opposition factions still stirs attention. But those shocked by the ISIL’s atrocities without being shocked by the regime’s horrifying acts are dominated by the repugnant idea that the Assad regime, despite its bloodiness and when compared with groups like the ISIL, remains the best option for stability in the region.

Who is responsible for the general disregard of the painful deaths in Syria?

Diana Moukalled

Yes. The Syrian regime has made an effort to invent its image of the Syrian events. Or rather, it made an effort to reinvent its lies. It also contributed to marketing the ISIL and similar groups until the Syrians’ screams being killed by the “secular” explosive barbells faded away.

Despite that, the Syrians have not become tired.

In the past year, many cameras have recorded Syrian deaths. It was the toughest year as brutality increased. Cameras became the most important factor during moments of murder. Sometimes, murder was even carried out for the sole purpose of videotaping it and broadcasting it to the world.

Who is responsible for the general disregard of the painful deaths in Syria?

Is it human nature which calms down when it gets used to something, even if it’s murder in the most hideous of forms? Or is it both a political and journalistic incapability to keep the Syrians’ cause alive? Has this incapability resulted from the desire to escape and not see the ongoing suffering?

Here we are, receiving a new year of the Syrian war in footage. So, will we continue to look away?

This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on Dec. 30, 2013.

Diana Moukalled is the Web Editor at the Lebanon-based Future Television and was the Production & Programming Manager with at the channel. Previously, she worked there as Editor in Chief, Producer and Presenter of “Bilayan al Mujaradah,” a documentary that covers hot zones in the Arab world and elsewhere, News and war correspondent and Local news correspondent. She currently writes a regular column in AlSharq AlAwsat. She also wrote for Al-Hayat Newspaper and Al-Wasat Magazine, besides producing news bulletins and documentaries for Reuters TV. She can be found on Twitter: @dianamoukalled.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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