August 16, 2011
‘There will be no inter-sectarian war’

‘There will be no inter-sectarian war’

Published by Courrier International, France, on August 12th, 2011
Photo credit: Manaf Azzam

If the writer and activist Samar Yazbek agrees to speak to the press, it is not only to narrate what she has endured in his country – intimidation, threats, forced visits of cells where young demonstrators were beaten and mutilated . The young intellectual, from the Alawite community [to which belongs the Asad family and several figures of the regime], prefers to speak as an ordinary citizen who wants to denounce the dictatorship in her country.

“As a journalist and writer,” says Yazbek, “I have a vision for the future of Syria and, after a period of simple observation of the protest movement in its first two months, I decided to speak, to write and support those who demonstrate for freedom and who suffer this terrible repression. I want to denounce all violations of human rights being committed in Syria,” she says. “That is what pushed me also to join the “coordinating bodies” that organize the protests. They are doing an admirable job and became the driving force behind the protest movement.”

Ms. Yazbek and added: “I am an activist who expresses the anxiety and concerns of my country’s women, now engaged in the political struggle [against the regime of Bashar al-Assad]. So far I wanted to stay away from politics, but I could not endure the horrors around me, and am based on the principle that the people is always right.” “We wanted to terrorize me by forcing me to visit prisons to see the horrors, the consequences of the torture of arrested protesters,” she says, explaining she could also leave the country “because “they had better things to do “…

For Samar Yazbek, her role in post-Assad Syria will not change. She wants to continue to perform as a journalist, while devoting herself to writing books. The survivor activist announced that her next writings will be inspired by the “trip to hell” that has been imposed upon her, denying, in response to our questions, that Syrian women have been less present than men in the mass movements . “Women, she said, were and are more efficient than men, particularly in the areas of logistics, communications and intelligence. They can not go en masse in the streets of major cities where only men are the front line.”

As for the differences and lack of cohesion in the ranks of the Syrian opposition, Samar Yazbek has recognized these facts, saying it could lead to anarchy, as it happens following the collapse of dictatorships. “But after these tragic developments, our people are perfectly able to avoid the chaos and especially the inter-sectarian war that is anticipated. All communities are engaged in this struggle for the liberation of Syria, and a sectarian civil war is impossible” she says while ensuring that the revolt which we are now witnessing is essentially secular and that the Christians of Syria are involved, contrary to what is suggested by the authorities.

“Christians are particularly active in the coordination located in major cities and province,” Ms. Yazbek said. “By appointing a new minister of defense of Christian faith – the General Rajah Daoud – the regime wants to involve Christians in the fight to make the military command responsible for what will later be described as the massacre of Sunnis …” says the journalist who continues to insist on the multi-confessional aspect of the “coordinating bodies “. “These organizations, she said, symbolize the equal sharing of responsibilities in a movement of national and popular character that needs the participation of the Syrian people as a whole.” In conclusion, Samar Yazbek sends a message to her countrymen: “Do not be afraid because you face death with courage, and so our people will win.”

French version available here.