Syrian video extraordinaire Elliot Higgins — the man who first noticed Croatian weapons in Syria — tweeted this video of a young Syrian boy holding a gun to a statue of former Syrian ruler Hafez al-Assad in Aleppo.
Besides being oddly mesmerizing to watch, the boy repeatedly takes his finger off the trigger only to put it back on again — Higgins says the boy “has terrible trigger discipline”— the video represents how much Syria has changed since before its revolution began in March 2011.
As Karl Sharro details in a Syria Deeply post called “He Provided Them with Bananas,” Syrian people lived with a “deep sense of shame” for decades because they had to “submit to an all-knowing authority, one that cannot be questioned.”
It was the lack of possibility, the closed doors of the future. It was the bureaucratic machine that reduced every citizen to a robot and then treated him or her accordingly.
The video below flips that script as a boy no older than 5 or 6 has a gun in the mouth of a statue of the man who ruled Syria with an iron fist for three decades, Hafez al-Assad. Hafez later passed the reins to his son and current president Bashar al-Assad.
No matter what becomes of the country — Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group Jabhat al Nusra controls the rebel-held half of Aleppo — it’s clear that “there will be no return to the old ways,” as Sharro notes. “After all the sacrifices, the people of Syria won’t go back to living with their shame.”
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