Monday, 18 September 2017
This is only a battle in a longer struggle for justice
Yassin al-Haj Saleh:
"The challenge that Syrians faced was to essentially change the political environment in the country, and this challenge has not been achieved. So everything will be worse in the country, Bashar is staying, and it is an occupied country; occupied by at least the Russians and the Iranians.
What remains of the state is the killing machine. There are no services or services are in a pretty bad shape, schooling, almost everything; but the security tools, and the killing machine, is almost safe.
The Salafi-jihadist source of strength is not only arms. They capitalise on destruction, on hopelessness. So maybe they'll be defeated, militarily speaking, but the ground will still be fertile for we can't say now what extremist groups. Everything that caused the dynamics of radicalisation, militarisation, Islamisation and sectarianisation are still there.
The emancipatory movement is weakened. We are the ones, hundreds, thousands of us were killed under torture. Many disappeared and we don't know about them: my wife is one of them, my brother is one of them. Tens of thousands of people are displaced outside Syria in the neighbouring countries and in Europe, but there is a silver lining to this cloud, the creativity of these people on the artistic/cultural level. Maybe we are not powerful or influential, but I think we are trying to produce meanings for this horrible suffering of our country. Syria now is a global symbol in my opinion, and it is not the end of the struggle. Actually, I think this is only a battle in a longer struggle for justice, for equality, for freedom; and I hope that the democratic movement will have important work in this long struggle.
Prison gave me a different maturity, I hope. Now I am more ready to fight for life, and also it was an inoculation against despair. I hope it changed me positively to be a more human agent and struggle for justice."