Saturday, June 24, 2006

Our best friend, Syria

I wrote about these events at the time they happened, but here are additional pictures and videos.

A week after the university rally, a city-wide demonstration took place, culminating in a pro-Syrian celebration at the stadium in Jelaat Park. As you can see, this pro-Syrian and anti-nothing (almost) march was a very jovial affair. And although we're counseled by our embassy to stay away from public gatherings such as this, Jeremy managed to go undercover and get some good photos and videos.

Unfortunately, despite a few shots from different angles, we never found out who gets Freedom, Justice, and Our Love. The last line of the poster was obscured in every one. My guess is that it said Syria or Palestine. Ten points if you can spot the mukhabarat agent in this photo (and we know they were there, because one of them approached Jeremy about taking pictures).

I don't know where the march began, but these pictures were taken as they marched down Autostrad near Kuliat al-Adab. Eventually, they wound their way up El-Eskaan and parallel streets, including "Iron Maiden" street that runs directly next to our apartment, and then up Sheikh Saad to Jelaat Park.

"Yay, Syria!" was the primary message of the day. The secondary message was "Yay, Bashar!"

I can't understand exactly what they're chanting, but it certainly has rhythm. The building in the background is one of the DU dorms, the one on which someone spray-painted "Che Vive" in big letters (what is the Arab fascination with Guevara, anyway?).

I don't know where they got this pickup truck, but I love it.

The nastiest the rally got were two signs we saw that said "Bush, Go To Hell," and "Bush, Shut Up." That was it. From my point of view, it was a tame, fun, citywide celebration of Syrian nationalism, and everyone seemed to be on their best behavior. I'm sure some of you could tell me you saw otherwise, but on the whole, it was an impressive display.
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Alex said...

Bridget, today's question was easy .. it was even easier to spot the moukhabarat agent among the demonstrators than your previous challenge to spot the Walkman among the animals.

And, regarding your second question:

The poster said:

Freedom, Justice, and Our Love to beloved visitors: Bridget, Jeremy, and Miriam Damascus

was the invisible last line on that poster.

George Ajjan said...

If the moukhabarat is the guy in sunglasses, then they are getting a bit more slick but still too obvious.

Zenobia of the East and West said...

You don't understand the Arab fascination and adoration for Che Guevara!!!??????

It seems obvious to me.... that CHE is the supreme revolutionary anti-imperialist symbol..... And a MARTYR! at that.... so of course... they (we) all worship him....

Bridget said...

I'm from America. What would I know of anti-imperialist martyrs?


Thanks for the explanation.

Fares said...

Syrian Canaries