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."

Support for pro-reform demonstrations has gained momentum in other parts of the country, but in Aleppo everything is still quiet. You stream the first protest live over the internet and watch as men, women, and children chant together. You wonder how long it will take before that is happening in the streets of your city, your town of over 2 million people, Syria's most populated, and one of the world's oldest. You know that, across the Arab Spring, everyone tends to gather on Fridays, after the mosques let out. You hope that when Aleppo joins the demonstrations they are close to your madrasa. That way it will be easier to escape your father when you join the chanting.