« Home | Iraqis go home » | Breathing life into history » | Bully boy » | Syria and Jordan co-ordinate their strategies » | King Abdullah in Damascus » | The Outsiders » | Jebl Qasiyoun » | The magic of Sham » | Finding home » | The coming storm » 

Thursday, November 22, 2007 

Poking the Arabs - Faisal al Yafai

Interesting piece by the Guardian's Yemeni journalist who used to live in Damascus.


"In Syria, jokes about the brutality of the army have faded since Bashar al-Assad came to power, because he has clamped down on the culture of immunity soldiers used to enjoy. Criticism of such excesses is now permitted, because they are framed in the context of the government not living up to its stated ambitions.

In fact, Assad is said to greatly enjoy jokes about the regime and gains kudos from ordinary Syrians because of it. It is a curious phenomenon: the head of a regime enjoying jokes about his own regime's apparatus. In other places this might be seen as arrogant, as if Assad were laughing at the people. But it isn't seen that way and one of the reasons it isn't is because Assad is not generally perceived as the architect of the regime, only the inheritor of it, and so Syrians can believe that their views of what is ridiculous about the system are shared by the president".

Very interesting..thanks for bringing this up. Are you in London now?

Post a Comment

Links to this post

Create a Link

About me

  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
My profile

Syria News Wire discussion

Syria News Wire - the most comprehensive source of Syrian news on the web

  • The Syria News Wire now provides news for Cafe-Syria. To find out how to get exclusive Syrian news for your site, click here.

Get Syria News Wire EMAIL UPDATES

  • the important stuff: you can cancel any time, your email address wont be used for anything except Syria News Wire updates - this is an ad-free site
  • Enter your email address below to subscribe to The Syria News Wire...