Posts Tagged ‘war’

A late afternoon weekend market in Hama, Syria, back in 2006. In the background is the city famed Noria (ancient water-wheel).

These past days, I have been following the news from Syria in disbelief.

What surprises me the most is not the Syrian government’s defiance against international pressure, sending in tanks and shells to quell rebellions in Hama and other cities; the unexpected are images of Syrians taking to the street openly.

“We don’t talk about politics,” this line parroted by nearly all Syrians I met during my travel there in late 2006 still ring in my ears, and the violently muted reactions of Syrians whenever I broached into domestic politics filled pages of my diary.

Back then, I had arrived in Syria shortly after the 34-day war in neighboring Lebanon, the fighting ground for Israeli and Hezbollah military forces. The Syrians displayed their solidarity with Hezbollah, Lebanese, and Palestinian victims in the conflict by putting up “anti-war posters” in the streets; laymen became learned commentators of the conflict, everyone had a piece to say about the US-Israel conspiracy against the Arab and Muslim world, and anti-Zionist views abound.

But, the moment I tried to veer the conversations to domestic politics, I rammed into a wall of silence. “We don’t talk about politics,” came the reply, end of candid conversations, and in a forced-polite manner, I would be showed the door out of teahouse, carpet shop, cobbler stall, local home, etc. (more…)

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局面越是严峻,越需要冷静,日子也要如常过下去——这是奥马一贯的作风,这也是许多阿富汗人,因过去30多年来都在大大小小、断断续续的战争中度日,而学会的生活态度。 (more…)

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奥马今年初患上短期失忆症,这是因为一次前往边境出差时,遇上了游击队和官方军队的枪火冲突,脑部受到震荡,一些近期发生的事记不起来,又或者变得有点健忘。庆幸的是,这只是短期的后遗症,医生说会康复的。一定要好起来啊,我每每想起这事就会在心中默念,因为我不知道应该向谁祷告好…… (more…)

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Received an email from A the other day, as usual, it was brief but full of troubling news.

“Yesterday here in Kandahar city a remote control blast took place at a police check post in district #6, an eleven-year-old child was riding on a donkey loaded with explosive device, eight casualties and three injuries reported. With bad luck, three of the casualties are my cousins.”

This is not the first time since I last visited him in Kandahar, Afghanistan, four years ago that such unfortunate news reached me via emails. (more…)

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