On March 6, 2011, social media posts announced a Day of Rage in Syria, apparently, a continuation of the Arab “Spring” that has just brought down the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes. Watching the events of early 2011 from the United States, my blood ran cold when I read the Syrian Day of Rage announcements. Having lived in Beirut while Lebanon was under Syria’s “tutelage”, and having worked on the issue of the 18,000 Lebanese Kidnapped and Disappeared, I knew in my gut that the Syrian Uprising, however brave and inspiring it appeared to be on Facebook, would not end well or culminate in a celebration in downtown Damascus with the international media on hand to praise the courage of media-savvy young people fed up with corruption and oppression. The Assad regime would never countenance a popular uprising, peaceful or armed. Although I could foresee that this Day of Rage would result in death and devastation, I never imagined how horribly the Syrian uprising would end. And end it has, along with the civil war that has killed 350,000 civilians and caused the flight of millions of refugees.
About Laurie King
Associate Professor of Teaching in the Department of Anthropology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC; writer, editor, co-founder of Electronic Intifada, Electronic Iraq, and Electronic Lebanon. [Full bio]