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الرئيسية » foreign articles » Real independence is the independence of souls : Written by Yasser Ashkar

Real independence is the independence of souls : Written by Yasser Ashkar

What is the meaning of “independence” if it leads to being crushed to death under your own home by your own government, if it means being forced into leaving behind everything you have ever known just to stay alive, if it means spending the rest of your life without limbs or with permanent disabilities as is the case for millions of Syrians injured by bombs dropped by men with no conscience?
Syrians share a rich history formed in the cradle of civilization but Syrian National Day has lost its importance after decades of Assad tyranny.
Wednesday, April 17, the Assad regime continues to celebrate Syrian Independence Day, a national holiday that this year commemorates 73 years since the end of the French mandate and the country’s proclamation of full independence.
The sad reality is that education and culture were priorities under French occupation along with improving the country’s infrastructure. It was during the French occupation that Syrians saw the building of many schools and the development of railway lines that once ran from Lebanon through Syria to Saudi Arabia and into Turkey.
Today much of Syria’s infrastructure has been destroyed by the bombs of Assad and his allies. In many areas of the country, schools have been destroyed or are no longer operational. Instead of focusing on education and culture, the people are struggling merely to survive. The cost of living has skyrocketed and fuel for heating and cooking is not only expensive, but in short supply. But even bigger than the fuel crisis is the damage that has been done to the hearts and minds of the Syrian people.
The Assad regime is on its way out and for many of us our last fond memories of Syrian Independence Day are connected to the efforts of simple people whose wish was to unmask the reality of Assad occupation in 2011.
What good is “independence” from foreign occupiers from the west if it means being crushed under the boot heels of foreign occupiers brought in by a dictator only interested in maintaining his stranglehold on the country even if it means driving half the population out of their own homes and killing as many Syrians as it will take to crush their spirits along with their struggle for freedom and dignity?
So even if the Assad regime continues to celebrate April 17 as Syrian Independence Day, those of us who have not known the meaning of independence, justice or freedom will withhold our own Syrian Independence Day celebration until the day our country has been freed from the clutches of Assad and all the terrorists who have flourished in Syria under his watch.
Real independence is the independence of souls and there must be a real freedom from tyranny and oppression from within before our beloved country can truly celebrate Syrian Independence Day.