Why the Silence?

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Why the prolonged silence, my friends are asking me privately, despite the proliferation of events and developments that should command my attention and response? What? Don’t I have anything to say about the developments in Nahr al-Bared? The assassination of MP Eido? The Hamas take-over in Gaza? Ghadri’s visit to Israel? The establishment of the international tribunal? Don’t these developments warrant some kind of a response from a dedicated opposition figure?

But then, that is exactly the problem. I am indeed dedicated to working for the achievement of certain goals, such as the dissemination of a democratic culture in our region and empowerment of a new generation of young democratic leaders therein, but oppositional politics per se have always been more of a distraction than the real deal for me. This is so at least with regard to the manner in which they are being practiced. There is much left to be desired here to say the least. People who have the means don’t know how to invest them properly for the sake of the cause they suppose to believe in, and people who don’t have the means spent most of their time worrying about getting them, and accounting for them, than to be able to do what is actually required to advance the cause. 

Meanwhile the regime can spend literally hundreds of millions of dollars to advocate its point of view, which, no matter how illegitimate, will always have a large enough audience, seeing that the possession of power is in itself a sufficient measure of legitimacy to many, if not most of the relevant actors, even observers.

So what the hell am I trying to say? I don’t know really. I think I just can’t think of any other way to say that I am severing my association with the National Salvation Front. The Reason? A loss of faith really, but then not only, or necessarily, in the NSF itself, but in the current political processes unfolding all around us at this stage, and in the ability of any of the established oppositional groups as a whole to do anything to make themselves relevant and effective.

There are ways for doing that of course, it’s not the lack of ideas and possibilities that is the problem here, but the lack of necessary means and the right personalities, in other words, the same old seemingly insoluble problem.

Still, I cannot give up of course, this is not about giving up, this is more about the need to take some time off, to take a step back, to try to brainstorm a little, to collect my thoughts, and some more energy, to plod on.

It’s about finding the energy to keep on muddling through, because that’s what the challenge is all about: muddling through, muddling through to the last gasp of time within us. 

17 thoughts on “Why the Silence?

  1. Ammar,
    As much as I may have respect to u as an individual, I share many Syrians’ despise for the NSF.
    Good luck, and hope to see you back soon enough.

  2. Another great middle east blogger bites the dust because of BIG BROTHER. What a shame. I hope you can come back at a better time.

  3. Dear Ammar,
    Whatever your position with the people you are working with, we know you are not like them and you are sending completely different messages and ideas. Do not forget your message is directed not only against the regime it is also against some of the people you are working with. You are advocating civil rights and free speech, but the others, all they want is to change the regime. They are talking politics but you mainly are talking social change. You are a fresh voice in the middle of the oldies. Do not despair and do not take your contribution lightly. You are for real and they are preserved mummies. Every picture you have posted, every cuss you’ve contemplate and every mistake you made were a refreshing new wind blowing in the face of the in Statu Quo of Baathis or MB or those clans parties representatives. I know there are the regime and the oppositions and I know the oppositions are not homogenous. But it is not only the conduct of the regime that we should be against. We should be also against those old principals and old believes behind it. The electorate opposition work was the real thing that backward country needs. The civil rights support you have offered and the refreshing coverage have been completely new. This work is a blow in the face of those who keep shouting whereas people fed up from yelling.
    I do not have the resources, but I think your pain will be heard and will be answered.

  4. Ammar,
    Focus on the excellent work that you do through Tharwa, stuff that you can feel good about and approach in a positive way.
    I never thought the NSF was the right fit for you anyway, as you know.
    And whatever disagreements people have with you, no one can take away from you that you are a true Syrian, which is much more than I can say for Farid Ghadry.
    Good luck my friend.

  5. You are a dreamer with a good a vision. And most of us respect your views, admire your good skills and appreciate struggle for a truly democratic Syria. Welcome back 🙂

  6. Ammar ,
    I am glad you are leaving that self centered organization , If i were you i would look to see if the offer to help Syria from within is still there , if it is i would take it as i explained to you long time a go , Helping Syria is more important than who is doing it and i think you will be a good person to do it , please do not ask me to speak to anybody in the Syrian government on your behalf as i know nobody there. I believe that your character will be an asset to Syria .

  7. I did predict this outcome – vicissitude – sometime ago. Remember the thing about heresies? Being exiled and detached from the same people you want to help? The forces you want to oppose who are so organized and so intimate with the grassroots? It is time to get out of the ivory tower and get down to earth! So, what is heresy after all? Is it any thing other than a spoiled kid’s indulgence? It can all be read from the posted photo before you read the article!

  8. Dear Ammar,
    We discussed at the time your decision to join the NSF and my position was that it is a good thing. Not because I could see any hope for good things to come out of the NSF group, but because it was a necessary experience that you needed to go through. You already experienced the disappointing side of trying to help the regime in reforming Syria, now you experienced the other side of trying to help “the opposition” reform Syria.
    I think most of your readers believe you are a potential big asset to Syria. We all look forward to the fine-tuned approach you will take in the future.
    Do you take requests? 🙂
    Here are mine:
    1) The road ahead is much longer than you hoped it would be. Walk, don’t sprint.
    2) Take everything, no matter how wrong, with a smile. If you want to help, you would be more useful if you are not angry or frustrated.
    3) Apply your reform efforts equally to the regime, opposition, people, system, mentality, beliefs … if you concentrate on one party only, you will not be a trusted messenger.
    4) Your links on this blog are are ONLY to sites that share your goals and hopes. For example, you found this neocon tool to be more worthy of your support than this group of good, honest and intelligent Syrian bloggers?
    The best way to advocate democracy and tolerance to opposition is to demonstrate the same yourself.
    5) Enjoy the summer 🙂

  9. Honestly Ammar, don’t you find it ridiculous that a self praising (this group of good, honest and intelligent Syrian bloggers), self centered, and a proponent of farcical arguments whom you yourself described as such sometime ago to be coming forward with words of encouragement to you? In other words, trying to take advantage of some perceived weakness? I mean what are his credentials after all? A computer technician? That is it?

  10. The perceived weakness is yours Mr. anonymous. When you have the courage to use your real name then we’ll see.
    I told Ammar once that I do not have his fortitude… I do not feel more “powerful” than him by any means.
    The intelligent, honest, and good Syrian bloggers are from all types .. you are assuming that I am as undemocratic as you are by inviting only those who share my own point of view to that forum … you are totally wrong. look at the names there again .. Rime Allaf, Golanyia, Syrian Brit … you have a problem with those Syrians?

  11. And for your information, I went out of my way to invite more “opposition” bloggers but everyone answered “I would love to participate but I am very busy this month”… including Ammar.

  12. It is good that you invited those opposition bloggers. And it is good that you got the proper response, i.e. no takers for a silly offer. But guess what alex? You’re at your best when you’re in a state of monologue. So keep talking to yourself. It is like what some creatures do when they re-chew and re-digest the same food. What do they call that kind of activity? Could you remind me, please? You’re familiar with it, I guess? You must be; it is your specialty.

  13. That’s right Norman, this sounds like my friend Gibran the superior Lebanese who loves Syrians and loves minorities as well.
    Gibran, did you read what Haaretz said about this “silly” Golan Heights project?
    And with over 1000 Israeli visitors from that article, it was surely not a monologue. We have over 250 long comments that are part of conversations with many of the 19 Syria bloggers who wrote.

  14. If you want name names you better be specific. Who are these: Gibran, G, Fares? Never heard of them. Don’t fall into false assumptions, fool.

  15. Ammar,you are a jewel.
    asad regime will die sooner or later but what is important is the syrian society which is eternal and it’s in this field that we must invest our forces.
    Best regards.

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