September 8, 2012

Syrian civil war - and the children

This is an internet video that someone sent me for my interpretation of what is going on - a child in some sort of cape standing in front of the flag used by the Syrian opposition, wearing a headband of that same flag, obviously being coached by a man (I assume it is her father, uncle or another relative).

When I saw the opening, I thought, cute little girl, sweet voice (my translations):

"I am 'Amurah from Syria."

She continued (with coaching for each phrase):

"I am sending a special greeting to the revolutionaries in Dayr Az-Zawr, the revolutionaries in Homs, the revolutionaries in Idlib as they face death, and Dayr Az-Zawr as they face death."

Okay, maybe a bit much to have a child send greetings to revolutionaries.


"By God, leave, Bashar! Leave, Bashar!"

No real problem with that, but I think she's a bit young to be indoctrinated with this political rhetoric.

Then I think it crosses a line:

"The people want the execution of al-Asad."

It ends with the chant:

"Syria - freedom! Syria - freedom! Syria - freedom!"

The sign around her neck is a bit blurry in the video, but I think it reads, "Youth of the Syrian Revolution - to Victory of the Syrian Revolution."

The flag is not the official flag of Syria. This flag was the official flag of the Syrian Republic (as opposed to today's Syrian Arab Republic) from 1930 to 1958, when it was changed to the current flag to reflect the brief union with Egypt. The opposition refers to this flag as 'alm al-istiqlal, the Independence Flag.

I was struck by this video. I support the Syrian opposition. That said, my youngest granddaughter Alexa is about 'Amurah's age - Alexa is not touched by civil war. Too often, we forget the psychological stresses and impacts on the children in these crisis areas. Much the same, I guess, as on the children in the Israeli town of Sderot who live with rocket attacks virtually every day. (See my article, Sderot, Israel - "Rocket City" opens new school.)

Something to think about.