Prolonged crisis widens gap among Syrian people
The longer the current crisis in Syria lingers, the wider the gap
grows among the Syrian people, as the topic of who is with and who is
against the government has become the main talk of the country. The
15-month bloody unrest continues with no foreseeable end so far. It
began as peaceful protests, but is getting more complicated and
intractable with every single day that passes.
The majority of the Syrian families, at least in the capital
Damascus, have members who are against the government and others
The people backing the government neither trust any new comers nor
believe in their means to seize power and drive out the current
administration by force. They believe that all that the country needs is
reform without dragging the country into chaos in order to get freedom.
The people against the government have from the beginning opposed its
crackdown policy towards the anti-government movement. They say that the
government could have handled it differently had it tried from the very
beginning to channel people’s anger rather than oppress it. Those
opponents have sparks in their eyes and they laugh with cynicism and
revenge every time the government is condemned by Western powers over
the ongoing violence.
Most of the families’ quarrels start when they gathers around the TV
to watch what is going on, some want to watch the pan-Arab satellite TV
channels, which tend to highlight the negative and passive aspects of
the conflict and opinions of the hard-line opposition, while others want
to watch the official and pro-government channels that also tend to
assuage the grave concerns of people and instill trust and hope in the
Syrian administration’s ability to overcome the turmoil.
“My brother-in-law has stopped coming to our house, simply because we
are not sharing his point of view over what is going on! ... He is
totally against the government and he knows that we are not like that,”
30-year-old Mohammad said with anger.
“He didn’t even call me to wish me happy birthday,” he added. “When
my sister came with him to visit us, she would tell our mother in
whisper while she kissed her on the cheek to switch the channel and not
to get into political matters while he is there,” Mohammad said.
Many similar stories are being told about family disputes over
different points of view, however those small and in some cases
ridiculous brawls are becoming bigger and more serious division in the
society, given the complexity mix of the Syrian people, who comprises a
dozen of beliefs and sects.
These fights have turned into armed confrontations and crimes in many
areas, specially the areas that have a variety of sects and searing
Opposition protesters have become more reclusive in their own circles
and look in disdain to the government supporters, who are for their part
also look down on the protesters as ignorant mob, who are taking the
country into a muddy future. The escalation of the Syrian crisis to an
all-out civil war is something a lot of analysts and human rights
officials have warned of, especially after the recent massacre in the
central village of Houla that claimed the lives of more than 100 people,
almost half of them were children.
The carnage’s circumstances are still murky with the government and
the opposition trading barbs over it. The international community,
however, has blamed the carnage on the army and a pro-government shadowy
militia allegedly comprises a number of ex- security agents and
mercenaries from the ruling Alawite minority, an offshoot of Islam.
Houla, a cluster of villages, mostly Sunni, located some 25 km West
of Homs city, has emerged as the tipping point in Syria’s 15- month
unrest. A barrage of international condemnation rained down on Syrian
President Bashar al-Assad over the bloodbath in Houla.