In 2009, the Iranian people went to the streets peacefully and protested against the results of the presidential election. Security forces attacked them, killed and arrested many of them, and it was soon over. Twitter was a major weapon in the Iranians’ hands. They spread their news online and made the world realize what’s going on even thought there was no media coverage from any news channel or reporter. That was the beginning of something big that will change the entire area, but no one knew back in 2009 how big this thing really will be.
The Iranians failed to do any change, but where they failed the Tunisian succeeded.
The year is 2011, things have been moving fast for a while in Tunisia. They ended 2010 with demonstrations and started the New Year in the streets. A young man burnt himself to open everyone’s eyes on how bad things were. Many reacted. People went to the streets and demanded change.
In January 2011, I went to Egypt to visit a friend and see the beautiful country. I was in Cairo when Bin Ali flew from Tunisia and the Arab Spring started. I woke up the day Bin Ali left Tunisia and was having breakfast in my hotel where I heard Egyptians talking about going in the streets, and whether it will work in Egypt like it did in Tunisia. Every Egyptian I met during that visit was complaining about the government and the bad economy. Some of them actually said “You Syrians are lucky, Bashar Assad is great and you all love him” I replied with “Bashar Assad is the worst man on Earth and we all hate him, we’re just too afraid to show it”. Yes, Egyptians thought we loved Assad, most people around the world thought so too, just like some of us thought that Libyans loved Gaddafi. How wrong we all were.
A couple of days after I came back to Syria, January 25th came along and I saw the streets I was walking in few days ago being filled with protestors. I followed their news online when the internet was working there, my family and I, like all Syrians, were sitting in front of the TV watching Al Jazeera waiting for Mubarak to step down. February 11th felt so far away, and how happy we were when Mubarak was finished. The tiny light of hope in every Syrian’s heart tripled. Tunisia did it. Egypt did it. It is possible!
Until that day I was terrified, I thought that what happened in Tunisia and Egypt can never happen in countries like Syria and Libya. I knew that Gaddafi and Assad were alike, and that they were different from Mubarak and Bin Ali.
Yemen and Libya followed. I was shocked to see people in Libya going out on February 17th, but when I saw what Gaddafi did, and how his security forces replied, I knew I wasn’t all wrong. He is a murderer, and the Libyans sure showed unbelievable courage facing him. They showed me that they’re so much stronger and so much braver than I thought they were. They stood to Gaddafi. And that did it. That’s when I knew that everything is possible, and that we are next.
Tunisia and Egypt were the first to go, and they didn’t take much time. People died, but Bin Ali and Mubarak gave up fast. Good. Now let’s see Yemen and Libya.
Ali Saleh, what a horrible human being. I never thought anyone can lie and cheat like this. He’s been promising to step down for months. And month after month, he keeps promising things that he never delivered. Someone tried to kill him, he’s become a human toast, yet he’s still lying and cheating. He finally signed the papers in Saudi Arabia, and he’s no longer active president. His regime isn’t over, but maybe things will pick up soon. It will take time to make a complete transaction to a democratic regime, and he might get away with what he did and the money he stole in the past 30 years. Not many people died in Yemen, so I think it might work. Let’s wait and see.
Egyptians didn’t finish either, the rest of the regime is still in charge of things there, but the elections are going smoothly, and that gives me hope for a better tomorrow for all Egyptians. Things will get better there, I know it.
Gaddafi declared war on his people, and lost. He got a bullet in his head and that’s exactly what he deserved. His sons are either killed, captured, or ran away. They did this to themselves. The stolen money is back. Libya will be fine. Many died and many injured. We did not hope for this. But Libya will rise and become greater than ever. The Libyans did it. They overcame the dictator. One of the worst men in history got defeated, but it coasted too much. May God help Libya and the Libyans to get a better and brighter future.
After Tunisia and Egypt, Libya and Yemen, Syria is the only one left. My beautiful Syria. My sad Syria. So let me start telling you all about it.