In March of 2009 I wrote on this blog: Live and Let Live in response to what I considered to be the latest bigoted outcry on the Syrian blogosphere against homosexuality. I was convinced that whoever was attacking homosexuals and their basic human rights would not simply stop at that but might eventually assault my own rights as a liberal and a secular humanist to freely express myself. It was the first time I enter into a direct confrontation online with some of those who were on the other side of what I always believed to exist in Syria, a social and intellectual chasm of religiosity. I claimed then, and I still do, that Syrian individuals, families and communities are divided along lines defined by their degree of adherence to religious practices and traditional mores. Later I was candid enough to confess that my champion defense of secularism was possible only because I lived in a country where my liberal stand was tolerated as long as I didn’t dig deep into politics or point my finger in the wrong direction. I never played hero and I admitted that had I been living in Saudi Arabia or Iran I would’ve not dared being so outspoken against institutionalized and organized religion.
We are, however, at a critical point in history. Those whom ideologies and theocratic beliefs I oppose were not and will never be my personal enemies. I say that despite the fact that when they disagreed with me they attacked below the belt. That never stopped me from reading the more adept ones continuously. Although I don’t comment on their blogs I cannot but admit my deep admiration to their insight, foresight and courage during this time of strife.
To them, to all readers of this blog and to every person with the love of Syria running through their arteries and veins I hope for better days ahead when freedom doesn’t mean treason anymore and when the right to dissent is embraced in the same manner the obligation to conform is applauded today. I will continue to blog for the love of Syria. May she rise stronger with our differences. May these differences unite us in a way our similarities were unable to. Souriah w Bass!