Ertrunken, ohne Pass oder Visa

Der letzte Feuerbrief, eines freien Syrier’s, ertrunken im Mittelmeer

Mutter entschuldige, weil das Schiff gesunken wurde und ich dort nicht ankommen konnte und ich das Geld nicht verdienen werde, um die Schulden für diese Reise zu begleichen.

Oh Mutter sei nicht traurig falls sie meinen Körper nicht finden. Wozu wäre das auch gut? Es gäbe zu hohe Ausgaben um meine Leiche zu verschiffen, Beerdigung und Beileidsbekundungen.Continue Reading

Ahogándose sin visa ni pasaporte

El último mensaje de un Sirio Libre ahogándose en el Mediterráneo

Perdóname mamá, porque el barco ha sido hundido y no pude llegar, y no voy a poder ganar el dinero para saldar las deudas que hemos hecho para pagar este viaje.

Oh mamá, no estés triste si no encuentran mi cuerpo, ¿cuál sería el beneficio? El transporte de mi cadáver, el entierro y las condolencias significarían demasiados gastos.

Perdóname mamá, porque la guerra ha acontecido y tuve que vivir como los demás, aunque mis sueños, como sabes, no eran tan grandes como los de los demás. Mis sueños fueron del tamaño de la caja de medicamentos para el colon y del precio del cuidado de tus dientes en el dentista.

A propósito, el color de mis dientes es verde, porque se le han pegado musgos, aunque siguen siendo más bellos que los dientes del dictador.Continue Reading

Drowning without Visa or Passport

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The Last Message of a Free Syrian, Drowned in the Mediterranea

Translated by Muhannad Al Boshi

I am sorry mom, because the ship has been sunk and I couldn’t reach there and I will not be able to earn money to repay the debts we took for this journey.

Don’t be so sad Oh mom! If they will not find my body, what could be the benefit?! There would be too many expenses for moving my corpse, burial, and condolences.

I am sorry mom, because the war has befallen and I had to leave like the others, although my dreams, as you know, were not so great like the others.  My dreams were like the size of a medicine box, and the price of taking care of your teeth at the dentist.

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Einige Gedanken zu Syrien

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Von Leila Al Shami, übersetzt von AntiDote

Ich wurde gebeten, für das anarchistische Treffen in Tunis, an dem ich leider nicht teilnehmen konnte, eine Übersicht der Ereignisse in Syrien zu verfassen. Das Folgende ist eine leicht editierte Version . . .

Im Jahr 2011, im Zuge eines Aufstandes, der durch die Mittelmeerregion zog, ­erhoben sich die Menschen in Syrien in gewaltigen Zahlen um das Abtreten des Regimes zu fordern. Es war ein spontaner Volksaufstand, der seine Ursprünge in den benachteiligen ruralen und urbanen Gebieten hatte. Es war eine Antwort auf Jahrzehnte der Diktatur, eines repressiven Polizeistaats, einer mafiösen Elite und der neoliberalen Politik des Baath Regimes, welche weite Teile der Bevölkerung verarmen ließen.

BurningSyria von Tammam Azzam

BurningSyria von Tammam Azzam

Es war eine Bewegung ohne AnführerInnen, die Menschen verschiedener Klassen, Ethnien oder Religionen verband. Junge Männer und Frauen organisierten sich horizontal in den Komitees, die in Dörfern und Städten sprossen, und versuchten die Proteste und den zivilen Ungehorsam zu koordinieren. In den belagerten oder bombardierten Gebieten versuchten sie direkte Hilfe, zu leisten.Continue Reading

Four Years Out: Thoughts on the Syrian Revolution

By Leila Al Shami
(visit her excellent blog)

I was asked for an overview on Syria for a meeting of anarchists in Tunis which unfortunately I couldn’t attend. This is a slightly edited version.

In 2011, the Syrian people, as part of a transnational uprising sweeping the region, rose up in huge numbers to demand the overthrow of the regime. It was a spontaneous, popular uprising, originating in the disadvantaged rural and urban areas. It was a response to decades of dictatorship, a repressive police state, a mafia-style elite and the neoliberal policies of the Baathist regime which had impoverished large sections of the population.

It was a movement without leaders which united people across class, ethnic and religious boundaries. Young men and women organized horizontally in the committees which sprang up in towns and villages across the country to coordinate protests and civil disobedience campaigns and to send aid to besieged or bombarded communities. The activists in the committees worked to coordinate the demands of the revolution across the country – for the fall of the regime and a transition to a democratic, non-sectarian, civil state.

Over time, in the face of increasing and savage state repression, people armed themselves and organized in popular militias to defend protesters and their communities from attack. By 2012 there was a full blown military struggle between, on one hand, a multitude of popular militias loosely grouped under the ‘Free Army’ label and, on the other, the State.

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Syrien und die westliche Linke

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Yassin Al Haj Saleh ist ein bedeutender, syrischer Dissident. Von 1980 - 1996  in Gefangenschaft, wurde er seit 2011 zu einer führenden Stimme des syrischen Aufstandes. Er versteckte sich 21 Monate lang innerhalb Syriens und lebt heute  im Exil in Istanbul. Das Interview wurde via Email mit New Politics Editor Stephen R. Shalom geführt und von aNtiDote ins Deutsche übersetzt. 

Wir, gewöhnliche SyrierInnen, Flüchtlinge, Frauen, StudentInnen, Intellektuelle, Menschenrechts-AktivistInnen, politische Gefangene … existieren nicht.

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The False Friends of Rojava

AntiNote: This article first appeared in Jacobin Magazine. Reprinted with permission.

All parties to the collaboration which brought this article to English-language readers were conscious and wary of the anti-imperialist/anti-anti-imperialist sideshow currently preoccupying parts of the Western Left, and we expected to hear from these quarters. We were not disappointed. Some of the article’s critics, who complained that Babacan and Çakır do not make concrete proposals, can be dismissed immediately for reasons apparent to anyone that reads the article in its entirety. In more urgent need of response are allegations of propagandizing—that the social structures in Rojava are described too glowingly and that the righteousness of the PYD and PKK is not sufficiently interrogated.

Fair enough. The AWC’s initial reaction to these jabs (and the authors surely have their own) is that in situations as complex, fluid, and violent as either the Syrian civil war or the Kurdish struggle for self-determination—which happen to overlap here, wonderful—accusations of propagandizing can be leveled at any of the information flowing from any source with an obvious stake in the conflict. More specifically, the equally propagandistic claims that the PYD is guilty of repressing Rojava’s population or that the Kurdish Movement is ‘on Assad’s side,’ have not been substantiated to the extent that Babacan and Çakır’s contrary claims have been, and certainly not to our satisfaction at the AWC.

(To deflate this entire argument, though, we suggest turning our critical attention to this week’s article by Syrian revolutionary-in-exile Yassin al-Haj Saleh, and thus on ourselves.)

Finally, in the month since this article’s publication in English the situation in Kobanê has continued to evolve. We have updated the language in a few places to reflect this, though a full appreciation of the ultimate liberation of the city, confirmed only last week, is necessarily absent. Babacan and Çakır’s calls—especially for the opening of an aid corridor through Turkey—are, however, no less relevant as the city rebuilds and its inhabitants begin to return.

We have also not reproduced Jacobin’s link citations or, regrettably, their accompanying photo essay. Both can be found and enjoyed in the original.

The False Friends of Kobanê

by Errol Babacan and Murat Çakır

The significance of the struggle in Kobanê cannot be overstated. But real international solidarity won’t come in the form of military intervention.Continue Reading