This month's topic on Creative Syria‘s Blogger Forum was titled, “If you had the choice what would you change in Syria?”…
The views ranged from those that advocated the political reform as base, to those that saw that social reform should be the kickstart.
Abu Kareem, gave a very interesting multiple leveled analysis of where he sees Syria now, and what should be done:
If there seems to be unanimity in Syria about the need for reform, there are great differences about what to reform, how much to reform and how fast. The unprecedented regional instability is being used effectively by the entrenched authoritarian government as an excuse to pushback against calls for political reform. There is also reluctance among the people, for different reasons, for rapid, radical political change. The source of this reluctance, beyond Syrians’ penchant for caution, is clear. If independent opinion polls cannot tell us what Syrians want, we can safely surmise what they don’t want: any change that will cause the type of implosion that is currently occurring next door in Iraq.
Wassim simply wants Justice. In his articulative way, he explains what that means, and why Justice has been missing in our country for so long…
My tendencies are for a typical Chekovian style of justice where all would end up dead and justice served to its fullest, yet the weakness of the flesh and the wants of the individual sometimes render such solutions as impossible for all. Still, we can make changes individually and dare I say it on a government level without throwing the baby with the bathwater. As Muslims would say, “God does not change what is in a people until they change what is within themselves” a saying I am particularly fond of and which applies for many Syrians. When was the last time you actively inquired about somebody who was poor in Syria and needed something, did you help them? There are Iraqi refugees who haven’t got enough food to eat, after the media hype died down did you ask about them, buy a bag of groceries and visit them every week. If you are a rich ‘mas2ool’ (official) how much does it cost you to run a soup kitchen every week, or to buy domestic goods instead of spending your money on frivolous consumer items imported at great cost to Syria from the very countries which are trying to subjugate everything you are? Do you really need all those cars? Do you care what people think of you if you don’t wear designer clothes?
Yazan, feels that the identity crisis within Syrian youth is the most important place to start with.
I would say, among all the fundamental issues that our country (Syria, in the tightest geographical sense that is) is suffering from at the moment, whether it is a failing economy, a rising sense of consumerism, the issues of democracy and human rights and the constant retreat of secularism against conservatism, among many. The disintegration of our sense of Identity strikes as the most alarming. (The space is too limited to go into the clear signs of this disintegration.)
Ford Perfect, says he would change, Nothing.
So what would I change in Syria if I had a choice? Nothing – especially if the drivers for change are born to solve problems in the West. When healthy and strong political and economic institutions finally emerge in Syria, organic change and a smooth cutover will occur naturally. Meanwhile, support is all what the Syrians want, not change. They are changing already.
And finally, Bridget Palmer, wants Syria to stop making changes.
If you had told me two years ago that there would be a KFC in Damascus by now, I wouldn’t have believed you. Sure, we had Hesburger (jokingly called “Hezbollah Burger” by us and our friends…probably in bad taste) out in the Dummar suburb. It was never clear to us why this Finnish burger chain was allowed in the country and all the American varieties weren’t. The Hesburger manager’s explanation was that any company with Jewish investors was not allowed to set up shop in Syria. Whether his explanation is accurate, I’ve never been able to find out. In any case, that’s certainly not the reason I think these businesses should continue to be blocked from entering the country.