L'anthologie of Global Inestabilidad Transpuesta - The Instability of Tyranny - Syria and the Syrian Diaspora (Part 8)



Guest emblem by Sahar Moussly
Aleppo, Syria: Before the war
Circumstances have obliged Syrians to flee their country, to escape with their children from a horrendous war. Most of them have already suffered a great deal by the time they arrive to their new homes on the European land of peace and asylum.

Once they arrive, however, their ordeal is far from over and, while they have finally found the security they hoped for, they still face numerous obstacles due to the extensive differences in culture.

Refugees must adapt to a new way of life and they must understand the culture of a new society in order to live. All of this has resulted in the disintegration of some family ties, which perhaps were already resting on unsolid foundations.
Damascus, Syria: Muslims waiting to pray
That is why we hear about a Syrian father who was seen hitting his son at a restaurant, and consequently the German authorities intervened and took his son from him and placed him with a German family for the child’s safety.

A fair number of refugees undeniably wish that they had never left their own country in the first place. Maybe if he had not left, the Syrian father would have had the freedom to discipline his son however he saw fit; or his wife would not have rebelled after she found a job and realized that her income would buy her freedom from an abusive husband. His daughter would not have removed the veil that she was forced to wear.
Palmyra, Syria: October 10, 2010
I do understand the man’s situation and where he is coming from but I can only say that the Syrian people have reached this point because of the culture of tyranny we have lived under from infancy to old age.

In a nation ruled by a dictatorship, the hierarchy system is as follows: the man is suppressed by the tyrant and his government and in turn the man suppresses the women in his family. Parents suppress their children, the young man has to obey the elder man, students are to obey their teacher and the chain of suppression and abuse goes on and on in all facets of society.

Although our religion, Islam, calls for freedom, we have instilled in our society the culture of listening to the tyrant without any objection and we are obeying robots.  We obey the one who has the power, we obey and explain it away by saying it is God’s will.
Damascus, Syria: Before the war
Therefore, we never complain against power. We do not complain against a doctor who commits a mistake while he is operating in the hospital and explain his mistake away by saying it is God’s will. We accept the power a police officer holds without any negotiation and never mention his injustice, and we simply say it is our fate.

We are like Pavlov’s dogs – we are programmed, we do not dare to exceed the barrier that is placed in front of us and we fight anyone who might even think of crossing that barrier.
 
Undeniably, women are in the worst situation as they are dictated to by the males in their family and in society. We are brought up to obey the father blindly and to fear him. The father acts like a dictator in his home. He owns his wife and she cannot do anything without his approval, and he owns his children whom he gave life.
Aleppo, Syria: August 23, 2007

Some have taken the beautiful teachings of the Quran and explained them in a twisted way to suit themselves. Despite Islam placing a high importance on revering women, they distorted interpretations and given themselves the right to verbally, emotionally and physically abuse the women in their family.

Somehow it is acceptable to bribe, steal and cheat on your wife, and she has to accept her husband’s orders. The honor of a man is linked to the women in his family; and therefore the women must never bring him shame.

Hence, many young girls from our country are married off at a very young age because the male in their family thinks it is better to protect his honor from suffering the potential shame brought on him by an unmarried girl.
Aleppo, Syria: Before the war
The women, particularly in families with little income, are the property of the man and he has to safeguard his property regardless of the way he treats ‘it’, and of course he feels entitled to treat ‘it’ any way he chooses.

His actions have nothing to do with religion, as in some cases the man does not even believe in God, but his authority over the female members of his family is unquestionable.

Therefore, we continue to witness cases such as the senseless murder of a girl from Homs, who was forced by her father to go out begging for money, and when she failed to reach the target amount he had specified, he simply killed her.
Damascus, Syria: In the evening
Everything is upside down. If you read what was written on social media about the story of the child in Germany who was beaten by his father, you will find that people were more concerned with the fact that the boy would be fed pork by the German family than the fact that his father was abusing him.  They are more concerned about a woman removing her veil in Europe, than about her getting beaten, sometimes to death, by her husband or brother.

Syrian culture was not always this way. We were once a thriving, cultured and civilized people. The problem arose when dictators were instilled to rule over the people. Tyranny took over every facet of our lives and our culture. So maybe the problems refugees face are not ones of cultural differences, but maybe of overcoming the culture of tyranny we have become so accustomed to after decades of oppression. 


 
Generic English version

Circumstances have obliged Syrians to flee their country, to escape with their children from a horrendous war. Most of them have already suffered a great deal by the time they arrive in their new home of European peace and asylum.

Once they arrive, however, their ordeal is far from over. While they have finally found the security they hoped for, they still face numerous obstacles due to the extensive differences in culture.

Refugees must adapt to a new way of life and they must understand the culture of a new society in order to live. All of this has resulted in the disintegration of family ties, which may have been resting already on an unsolid foundation.  
 
That is why we hear about a Syrian father who was seen hitting his son at a restaurant. The German authorities intervened and took his son from him and placed him with a German family for the child’s safety.

A fair number of refugees undeniably wish that they had never left their own country in the first place. Maybe if he had not left, the Syrian father would have had the freedom to discipline his son however he saw fit; or his wife would not have rebelled after she found a job and realized that her income would buy her freedom from an abusive husband. His daughter would not have removed the veil that she was forced to wear.
 
I do understand the man’s situation and where he is coming from but I can only say that the Syrian people have reached this point because of the culture of tyranny we have lived in from infancy to old age.

In a nation based on a dictatorship, the hierarchy system is as follows: the man is suppressed by the tyrant and his government and in turn the man suppresses the women in his family. Parents suppress their children, the young man has to obey the elder man, students are to obey their teacher and the chain of suppression and abuse extends to every social domain.

Although our religion, Islam, calls for freedom, the culture of listening to the tyrant has been accepted by our culture without objection, and we have become robots.  We obey the one who has the power, we obey and explain it away by saying it is God’s will.
 
Therefore, we never confront power. We do not criticize a doctor who commits a mistake while operating in the hospital and explain his mistake away by saying it is God’s will. We accept the power a police officer holds without any discussion and never mention his injustice. We simply say it is our fate.

We are like Pavlov’s dogs – we are programmed, we do not dare to cross the boundary that is placed around us and we fight anyone who might even think of traversing that line. 

Undeniably, women are in the worst situation as they are dictated to by the men in their family and in society. We are brought up to obey the father blindly and to fear him. The father acts like a dictator in his home. He owns his wife – she cannot do anything without his approval – and he owns his children whom he gave life.
 
Some have taken the beautiful teachings of the Quran and explained them in a twisted way to suit themselves. Although Islam attaches tremendous importance to revering women, they have adopted distorted interpretations and given themselves the right to verbally, emotionally and physically abuse the women in their family.

Somehow it is acceptable to bribe, steal and cheat on your wife, and she has to accept her husband’s orders. The honor of a man is linked to the women in his family; and therefore the women must never bring him shame.

Hence, many young girls from our country are married off at a very young age because the father in their family thinks it is better to protect his honor from suffering the potential shame brought on him by an unmarried girl.
 
The women, particularly in families with little income, are the property of the man and he has to safeguard his property regardless of the way he treats ‘it’, and of course he feels entitled to treat ‘it’ any way he chooses.

His actions have nothing to do with religion, as in some cases the man does not even believe in God. But his authority over the female members of his family is unquestionable.

Therefore, we continue to witness cases such as the senseless murder of a girl from Homs, who was forced by her father to go out begging for money, and when she failed to reach the target he had specified, he simply killed her.
 
Everything is upside down. If you read what was written on social media about the child in Germany who was beaten by his father, you will find that people are more concerned about the fact that the boy would be fed pork by the German family than that his father was abusing him.  They are more concerned about a woman removing her veil in Europe, than about her getting beaten, sometimes to death, by her husband or brother.

Syrian culture was not always this way. We were once a thriving, cultured and civilized people. The problem arose when dictators were instilled to rule over the people. Tyranny took over every facet of our lives and our culture. So maybe the problems refugees face are not ones of cultural differences, but maybe of overcoming the culture of tyranny we have become so accustomed to after decades of oppression.



Credits

Photo 1: Aleppo, Syria. Before the war. By gringox
Photo 2: Damascus, Syria. Muslims praying. By rchphoto
Photo 3: Palmyra, Syria. October 10, 2010. By erdalakan
Photo 4: Damascus, Syria. City center before the war. By erdalakan
Photo 5: Aleppo, Syria. August 23, 2007. By milosk
Photo 6: Aleppo, Syria. Before the ware. By Dima Moroz
Photo 7: Damascus, Syria. In the evening. By Styve

Parts of the Emblem of Instability
Friedrich, Angelika. Introduction: The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Fondevik, Vigdis. Unstable Nature: Norway and Denmark. October 2016. 
Persio, P.L.F. Social Instabilità and Instabiliteit: Italy and the Netherlands. November 2016.
Romano, Mavi. Unstable Identities: Ecuador and Europe. October 2016.
Zadrożna-Nowak, Amelia. Economic Instability: Poles at Home and the Polish Diaspora. November 2016.

To follow: texts by Greek, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, Brazilian, Russian, Guatemalan writers and translators

Further reading

Friedrich, Angelika. The Emblem of Instability. September 2016.
Whittlesey, Henry. Forward to Next Transposing Emblem. January 2016. 
Whittlesey, Henry. Changes to Transposing Emblems. November 2015.
Whittlesey, Henry. Excerpt of new emblem transpoзиция on trash. September 2015.


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