One of the early voices that spoke out calling for a reasonable action in Syria was the prominent thinker Firas Al-Sawwah.
Firas Al-Sawwah is a Syrian thinker, writer, accomplished scholar and independent researcher. Born in Homs, Syria in 1941, he currently works with Beijing Foreign Studies University, BFSU, teaching Arab Civilization and history of religions in the Near East. Between 1976 and 2016, he published 26 books on mythology, history, and history of religions.
Mr. Sawwah has issued many appeals to Syrian youth asking them to think before they act and warned them against the threat of those who are lurking in the dark waiting for the right moment to use the slogans of freedom and liberty to achieve filthy agendas.
The significance of Mr. Sawwah’s words is that they came out very quiet, peaceful, respectful, and logical. He foresaw the reality we are living now, and presented his fears in a very authentic and personal manner. Those words where written in the very early days of conflict in Syria back in 2011, but reading them today is a must simply because his Orwellian prophecy has come true.
Mr. Sawwah is one of the greatest intellectuals in modern and contemporary Syrian history, he is a real treasure not only to Syria, but to the world.
(The statements were written in Arabic, I have translated them and will publish them as sequels)
Democracy came back to Syria after the end of unity with Egypt, and with it came back independent journalism, active political parties, and free elections for a new parliament. We tried so hard to support progressive candidates to make it to the parliament, but a military coup against the government in March 8, 1963 aborted that democracy once again, and we went back to square one with one party leading the country. Emergency law was made, political parties were banned, newspapers were closed, opposition members where on the hunt, most of them fled to Beirut, one of them was my father who had resumed his daily political newspaper that was closed during Abdul Nasser’s era.
From the early days of Baath, there was a tense relation between me and intelligence systems that repeatedly prevented me from getting work in government institutions because I was an opponent and I spoke out so loudly about my opposition whenever I got the chance. My connection with the Syrian Socialist National Party that was banned back then made things worse, as well as my connection with the new Marxist groups that were active outside the official Communist Party. I ended up once again in prison in the summer of 1987, French Le Monde published the news of my arrest and demanded that I be released; at that time, I had turned from a riotous intellectual into a public figure after the publication of my first book [Mind’s First Adventure] that was a huge success. After I was released, the prime minister, directed by intelligence systems, issued an order on July 25,1978 that discharges me from my work for security reasons under the act number 85 in Employees Code. Realizing that I have become “a threat to national security”, I took an airplane to Dubai international Airport. The United Arab Emirates has given me an alternative homeland where authority of the state is only embodied in the police officer.
I am not in a place to narrate my biography here, but I told you all this to make two points clear.
First, we have been there before you, if you’ve been struggling for some months, we’ve struggled a whole life time, this is why we are in a place to advice you. Second, I am not here to defend the regime in Syria, but to defend Syria itself. We’re on the lip of a volcano now, only your awareness will save us from falling into the volcano. I promise that I will be standing with you in the first civilized protest you hold after we secure the country and cut off the head of the snake of sectarianism, after we cut off the wings of birds of darkness.
If you like my story, I will continue it later. I love you all, and I send you my latest photo that was taken last week at one of the new archeological sites right at the heart of Syrian desert. In the photo with me is my dear Japanese friend Yayoui who has been working in excavation in Syria for about twenty years.