Myth No.2: We have an Identity

Not a single person below 40 years old who lives in Syria has a national identity of whatever sort!! Maybe our loosers fathers who invented the Arab Identity that we have been hammered with all our lives pretended to believe in it, but we never did, we never even bothered to pretend. WE, here, means the vast majority of the generations of Syria who were borne after the Happy Revolution in 1963. That is what they call it: A Revolution. Karfan always thought when he was growing up that "The Revolution of 8th of March" was something like the French Revolution, where masses of poor people rose against the awful King. Only later in his youth, he learned that there was no king and no masses; just a group of gangster army officers who forcefully stole the lead from a group of gangster entrepreneurs.

Karfan never met a single young Syrian who actually believed in Arabism, in term of believing that we should respect other citizens from what is called Arab World just for the sake that they are Arabs. People who live in Syria never respected each other to begin with for them to respect outsiders. We have been conditioned to say that we want to be united with Arab countries in the Gulf, but call Gulf Arabs Dickheads and have the lowest esteem towards them. We have been conditioned to say that we want to liberate Palestine, but call Palestinians Manayek (Assholes) and treat them badly in Syria most of the time or corner them in dirty areas and speak behind their back as if they are invaders from another planets. Ever visited the Palestinian Camp in Latakia or Aleppo? Go and see that environment that is not suitable for even barn animals.
Karfan is an Alawi, but an ignorant one. Up until the end of high school, Karfan was a geek who never really knew what the hell is going around him. That is why Karfan's best friend at high school in Damascus was a Sunni Damascene geek, who also did not know what the hell is going around him. When at university, Karfan tried to hang out with the only person he knew from before, a Christian friend from Tartous. But this did not go beyond the first couple of months. Karfan soon noticed a definite pattern of friendship groups' formation taking shape around him: Alawis, Sunnis from Daraa, Druuz from Sueida, Sunnis from Damascus, Christians. Students from each group would only hang out with each other and rarely have anything to do with the others besides formality greetings. Soon after, he learned that this pattern is actually a mere reflection of the society in whole.

We live all our lives with sub-national identities that range across the spectrum of whatever religions, sects, tribes, and gangs that existed in that land. All real-believer Sunnis have an Islamic Identity that does not have the "Syria" word in it and only has the "Arab" word in it as long as that Arab = Sunni. All real-believer Christians, Alawis, Smaeelis, or Murshdis have a Christian, Alawi, Smaeeli, or Murshdi identities, whatever the heck is that. Kurds, Druuz, Bedouins, and all other weirdo groups in this land have their own identities. All the rest, that is non-real-believers of all the above, have absolutely no sense of identity that exceeds the sense of identity of bears. You want a proof: go ask any embassy of first-world countries in Damascus how many immigration applications they have. Actually, Karfan thinks he owes bears an apology, they do have more sense of identity since they usually don't try to get out of their area nor out of their fur as we try to do.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. An Iraqi blogger--which one, I don't recall--claimed that Palestinians have been integrated into Syrian society as citizens. The only distinction is that their passports list their nationality as Syrian-Palestinian.

Michael in Framingham

23/4/05 01:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We Palestinians living in Syria are integrated into the society having equal rights as Syrians has (free health services, free schools and higher education, we can own properties and so on).
Yes the passport thing is the only thing that distinguishes us from Syrians in Syria and keeps our Palestinian identity. We do not feel as refugees as Palestinians in all other countries but as citizens. Go and ask any Palestinian living in Syria.
I've read this blog and it suffers severely on fact. This blogger is either really ignorant on Syrian issues or has suffered from strange and disturbed surroundings in his childhood which lead him to these strange understandings! Many of his blogs are simply untrue about Syrian issues!

17/6/05 05:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No offense to any Palestinian, But you were not meant by it. Karfan is only saying that the most imporant question is our lives is:

"Where are you from?"

It is indeed. Palestinians live in Syria, right. They do live in Syria as well as Tartoussis live in Damascus. Where are you from? Tartous! Yuck! and they start referring to you as "the tartoussi" or other names. The same applies to Damascene going to Homs or Lattakia. IT's all the same....it's not a problem with palestinians you see.

26/8/06 22:50  

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