DAY 8 - MARCH 18, 2011
Yesterday the United Nations Security Council voted in favor of imposing a no-fly-zone over Muammar Gaddafi''s government in Libya. As a result, Syrians feel invigorated to stand up to Bashar Al Assad. There is the sense that if NATO would come to the aid of the Libyan rebels, they will probably help the Syrian people as well. There is the first nationwide protest across Syria. Thousands are attending in Damascus, Banias, and Daraa. The protests seem peaceful. In Daraa activists demand the release of the children that painted the anti-government graffiti on March 6th. In the street people chant "God, Freedom, Syria."
You can hear the protesters chanting outside of your apartment. They wave flags and hold cloth signs with red script, four marchers across. Your son, Emad, 10, watches attentively over the balcony, the third story. Your daughter, Yara, 6, puts her hands over her ears as she leans against your skirt. You wear a hijab that covers your hair, but not a burqa that covers your face. Last year the Syrian government banned face veils, like Niqabs, in the universities. Since then you, and many other Syrian women, have been dressing more modestly. Ali, your husband, 38, watches the protesters with steely eyes. You remember when the Mukhabarat interrogated him for 5 hours at his place of work. You know he remembers as well. You know he is thinking about joining the protesters. But he is still doing just that, thinking... Perhaps you can sway his opinion...
- Tell Ali to forget Assad's secret police. It was only one time. Tell him he has a good life with you and his children. Tell him it isn't worth it. Tell him you will worry about him.
- Tell Ali to join the protesters on the street, three stories below. Tell him Assad has gotten away with his dictatorship for too long. Tell him that you and your family are being marginalized because, even though you are the Sunni majority, the Alawite minority still unjustly reaps the luxuries of Syria.