DAY 20 - APRIL 8, 2011
Eager to suppress the growing momentum of the Syrian opposition, Bashar Al Assad heeds calls for change by dismissing his former cabinet and appointing a new Prime Minister, Adel Safar, to construct a more accommodating government. Additionally Assad agrees to grant thousands of depersonalized Kurds, living in Syria, citizenship. Friday protests, following the call to prayer, have become a normal occurrence in most cities around Syria but Daraa continues to be the flashpoint for much of the resistance.
In the last several weeks you and Ali have been watching Al Jazeera continuously for updates about the unrest that has taken over your small city. They are reporting that security forces opened fire on a group of protesters that were throwing rocks. Consequently 27 protesters have been killed today alone, says Al Jazeera. Conversely SANA, Syria's state news channel, said that "armed groups using live ammunition" killed 19 of Assad's policemen during the demonstrations. You are starting to feel increasingly overwhelmed with the information from the television. Yet you cannot stop watching. You are also starting to become skeptical of both news agencies. You are finding it hard to know what is the truth. Today was the third Friday in a row that Emad and Yara have missed school. Ali has not been going into work on Fridays either. Sometimes he watches the protests on the ground, but from afar. It's hard not to, every week the attendance swells.