Syria: Black Comedy of the Revolution

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.

Black comedy is one of the ways one deals with traumatic events. The recent events in Syria, while bloody and depressing to many people, have also brought about an explosion of blogs, Facebook pages and articles that try to satirize the events, and point out the absurdities in the official narrative – sometimes in very unorthodox ways.

One of the most popular and talked about of such attempts is the “The Chinese Revolution” Facebook group. The group tries to mirror the events in Syria, and satirize them as if they're happening in China. Through photos, videos and status updates, it mixes real-life Chinese individuals, officials and the names of places with Syrian ones that are made to look, and sound Chinese.

Banner for the satire Facebook group, "The Chinese Revolution"

Banner for the satire Facebook group, "The Chinese Revolution"

One of their latest status updates mocks the government tours conducted for foreign media to show off the latest mass graves allegedly perpetrated by the armed gangs [Ar].

وزارة الإعلام
الصينيين تدعو السادة الصحفيين وإعلاميي القنوات (المحايدة) المتواجدة حالياً على أرض الصين لحضور حفل اكتشاف مقبرة جماعية جديدة في جسر الإيغور..
وذلك غداً في تمام الساعة الثانية ظهراً …
حفل كوكتيل سيتخلل المناسبة.. 

دامت دياركم عامرة بالمناسبات…..

The Chinese ministry of information, invites all journalists and correspondents of (neutral) news agencies that are presently in China, to attend a celebration dedicated to the discovery of a new mass grave in Jisr al-Uyghur. Time and date: tomorrow 2pm.
The event will include a cocktail reception.

May your lands be always filled with great occasions.

The page's popularity encouraged several spin-off pages based on it, satirizing the different Facebook groups that represent the different antagonists in the revolution, including CHANA (purportedly, the Chinese official news agency, based on Syria's SANA) and the Chinese Electronic Army, which satirizes the pro-regime group, the Syrian Electronic Army.

Another satire blog that has become very popular is Syrian Hashish. Written by a blogger who identifies himself as “a Syrian guy born and bred in Damascus, and now is doing his masters, looking for a job, and smoking marijuana in the decadent lands of the West.” His posts attempt to discuss and analyze serious topics related to the revolution, but with a colloquial language and in a mostly sarcastic tone.

In one of his recent posts, he addresses the president after his latest speech.

اخي شلون بدي قلك… عم حس انو في مشكلة اتصال بيني و بينك…حاسس انك ما عم تفهم عليني….مع انك دكتور و صارعين طيزنا بأنك درست بالغرب…انو طز..هي انا درست بالغرب…مرتين…و ليكني مالي رئيس و عايش عين الله عليي و بفهم على كتير ناس و بلقطها عالطاير احيانا و احيانا لاء..بس انت يا حكيم شكلك ما عم تلقطها عالطاير بنوب و بس عم تحاول تقوصها….
انو عن جد ليش هيك عم تعمل؟
Bro, I'm not sure how to tell you this… I feel like there's a communication failure between me and you… I feel like you're not understanding me… Even though you're a doctor, and they've been picketing at our ears about you studying in the West… So what?… Look at me, I've studied in the West, twice… And, I'm not a president but I'm living very well, and I understand a lot of people, and I'm very intuitive sometimes, and sometimes not so much… But, you, o’ smart doctor, seem like you're not intuitive at all… actually, it seems you only know how to shoot.
Seriously, now, why are you doing this?

Al-Mundassah, (The Lurking Blog), which references in its name what the pro-government news agencies call the protestors, is another blog with a heavy reliance on light satire. Since the beginning of the protests, the website emerged as one of the largest group blogs and archives dedicated to the revolution. It mostly publishes reader contributions, both serious and satirical. This post satirizes the state of the so-called national dialogue in the country, before and after the revolution.

- هداك مستطيل شي؟
– ما بعرف و الله
– شكلو مستطيل
– ايه و الله مستطيل…يا محمد شو مستطيل
– هديك مظاهرة شي…
– لاء
– مبلا
– لاء
– مبلا
– انت خائن
– انت جبان
– انت عميل
– انت مخابرات
– انت موتور
– انت غبي
– انت مغرر به
– انت متسلق
– انت مندس
– انت وصولي
– انت سلفي
– انت جحش

و يستمر الحوار..

- Is that a rectangle?
– I'm not sure.
– It looks like a rectangle.
– Yes, indeed. Oh my god, it is such a rectangle.
– Is that a demonstration?
– No.
– Yes, it s.
– No.
– Yes.
– You're a traitor.
– You're a coward.
– You're a foreign agent.
– You're a Mukhabarat (secret service agent).
– You're neurotic.
– You're an idiot.
– You're a tool.
– You're an suck-up.
– You're a lurker.
– You're an opportunist.
– You're a Salafist.
– You're a donkey.

And the dialogue continues…

This post is part of our special coverage Syria Protests 2011.


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