The Syrian Diaspora in the US
Some Sacramento Syrian Americans with ethnic roots or ancestry in Lattakia, are watching the Syrian Uprising from the comfort of local news online and in the mainstream media, what little coverage Sacramento has of the uprising. Finally, the people of Syria are demanding that the Syrian President leave office. Sacramento has a growing Syrian American community made up of diverse ethnic groups such as Christians, Moslems, Armenians from Syria, Druze, and other ethnic groups that at one time lived in Syria. Some Sacramento women are married to Syrian nationals or spouses of Syrian ancestry who have relatives in Lattakia and other Syrian cities. View the video on uTube where Syrian Americans protest in front of the White House in Washington, DC, along with Americans from Libya and Yemen on March 27, 2011.
Sacramento teachers, students, and people taking courses in Middle East area studies or history are becoming the latest news watchers. With the lack of media coverage on mainstream TV in Sacramento, the people themselves with family ties to Syria are keeping in touch through the Internet and uTube videos when Internet connections are available and wondering whether the mainstream media or the people involved in the uprising and their families, some of whom are in Sacramento, have become the major media sources to the uprising and quest for democracy.
So the local community also has joined in wishes for a truly democratic government to finally come to Syria. If you’re an American from Sacramento, don’t travel to Syria. There’s also the situation where American wives of Syrian nationals are affected as well as travelers in general. See the article,Syrians detain 2 Americans during demonstrations – Sacramento News.
Lattakia, Homs and Mouddamiyyah as well as Dara’a still are having bloody clashes. The BBC Arabic service reported that at one point there were more than 300,000 protesters demonstrating in different parts of Syria. Finally, protesters are openly demanding end of Assad rule, chanting “Assad Go Out” and “The People Want To Topple The Regime,” defacing Assad’s posters wherever they found, and destroying Hafiz Al-Assad’s statue in Deraa.
Some are shouting, Bashar, Get the (expletive in Arabic) out, and giving the posters the sign of the back of the shoe (an insult). The beautiful beach resort town of Lattakia and the symbolic significance of Hama’s major demonstrations are now involved in the uprising. Yes, Lattakia is under siege.
Unlike Deraa, Lattakia is ethnically mixed, with Sunnis, Alawites and Christians living together. So the regime is playing the ethnicity card, showing its sectarianism. The President and his family are Alawites. Hey, if you’re not related to the President’s family or Alawite, you have a snowball’s chance at a barbeque of getting the type of job you trained for in college or med school, for example.
The regime is enlisting groups of Alawites from nearby villages to join in the crackdown against protesters, and depicting the protests as being anti-Alawi in character despite the absence of any sectarian slogans from the protesters’ chants. Four have been reported dead, the situation could escalate further over the weekend, according to the latest news from the Syrian Revolution News Round-up.
In Douma (Damascus suburbs) protesters established a Liberty Square and wanted to stay there until regime-fall. They were dispersed after several hours by security forces using tear gas and live rounds, several were injured, but protesters to have regrouped after security forces left, reports the news from the Syrian Revolution News Round-up site.
If you want to keep up to date on what’s happening in Syria, you might put your email address on the Syrian Revolution News Round-up to find out what’s happening. It’s free news and is sent to anyone interested in the news from Syria.
Here’s hoping the population finally gets what it wants for Syria, democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion….And for those struggling to support their families, jobs in keeping with the people’s training and education. You have a Syrian diaspora of 16 million people around the world, including those in the USA, who want the ability to survive in peace.
It’s about human rights and family life. The large Syrian American population representing diverse religions and groups include Syrian Christians, Moslems, Armenians from Syria, Druze, and other groups want peace in their country, a chance to earn a decent living using the skills that they were trained for, and a democracy for their friends and/or relatives in Syria. The iron-fisted torturer whose family has ruled since 1970 needs to give way to a true democracy focused on human rights, peace, and freedom of the press. It’s about health.
Syrians are tired of secret police breaking into their homes at night, dragging away men at random whether they have an opinion or not about the government, and being tortured by being dumped into a barrel of feces and given electric shocks or beaten on the head with wooden boards. Often charges are trumped-up for no reason at all.
And especially vulnerable to torture are Syrian Americans returning to visit relatives in the old country. Anyone can be jailed for any trumped-up reason the secret police are ordered to make up. The only way out of Syria in some cases are by bribing the jailers to let the men and women out. It could happen to anyone. That’s why the people are rising up and won’t take the iron-fist of torture any longer. Power to the people’s quest for true democracy and human rights. It all starts with freedom of speech, education, and freedom of religion. What happens to Syria now, depends upon its citizens.
According to the NY Times, security services and the military sealed off Latakia (a northwest-coastal Syrian town and palm-lined beach ‘resort’) one day after witnesses and human rights groups reported that government forces opened fired on demonstrators and protesters. That flare-up of violence followed days of protests in the southern Syrian city of Dara’a, where government forces also opened fire, killing dozens.
The protests began after the police arrested and held a group of young people who scrawled anti-government graffiti. The government has blocked reporters from entering in Syria. As a result, no accurate figures of how many people were killed can reach the mainstream media in the US or around the globe.
Syrian Americans are getting news updates also from Internet emailing lists and Yahoo groups as well as uTube videos. Some of the people have become their own reporters, where reporters are not allowed, if the people in Syria with video cameras can hold onto their recordings and find ways of releasing videos online. For more information on getting news about the uprising in Syria check out the websites, Yahoo groups, and/or mailing lists, “We love Syria” and news groups in addition to Twitter. Check out the Syrian Revolution Digest(Damascus Bureau) online, in English. And for information on the global Syrian Diaspora, see the site, Syrian Diaspora.