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Free Razan Ghazzawi

December 5th, 2011 · 8 Comments · Politics

She was sitting in her favourite spot in Damascus, a table under the tree in the cafe in the grounds of the National Museum of Damascus. That was the first time I met Razan. It was 12 October 2007, although we’d been emailing and commenting on each other’s blogs for a few months before that. Now she’s in prison.

I can’t claim to be a friend of Razan. In fact, I think she’ll be quite furious that I am posting about her. We fell out over politics at the start of the uprising, and we haven’t talked since. It was in the days when I still believed in the regime’s promises of reform, and still held out hope that Bashar could turn the situation around.

Razan never believed that. That first day we met, we walked through the streets of the Old City, talking quite loudly and openly about democracy, about repression, about the post-Assad era. She did the talking, I played the looking-scared role.

But unlike me, Razan is courageous. She has firm beliefs, and she doesn’t let friendship get in the way of them. She dedicated a year of her life to the aftermath of the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 and another year to helping victims of the Nahr Al-Bared conflict and then threw herself into the campaign against the Gaza massacre in January 2009.

Razan was one of a handful of activists who dared to turn up at candlelit vigils outside the Tunisian and Egyptian embassies in Damascus in January. And even when the group was met with beatings, threats and detentions, she continued to attend.

She was anti-Bashar at a time when the rest of us believed in the promises. She is outspoken. But she still refuses to countenance a Nato attack while others beg for American jets to fly over Damascus.

Razan combines the fearsome intellect of an academic with the tireless passion of an activist. Now she’s another number. Another one of the thousands of prisoners of conscience – people detained because they believe in something different to those in power.

Free Razan Ghazzawi.


8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 stephane // Dec 9, 2011 at 12.56 am

    Sit-in virtuel sur YouTube pour soutenir la démocratie en Syrie ! Soutenons le epuple de Syrie et mobilisons nous pour sauver la démocratie :

  • 2 democracy is a fraud // Dec 11, 2011 at 12.40 pm

    You are a misguided person that confuses so called “western democracy ” with Syrian independence .
    The mortal danger Syria is facing now is the CIA inspired demonstrations , whose purpose is to give the population the illusion of freedom while Syria will be looted by Zionist interests .
    You must support Assad , he might not be perfect but he is a true patriot and that’ precisely what you need now . Mark my words , democracy is not worth a pinch of S@@@ . I live in Italy and I can tell you that democracy does not exist . People vote every 3 or 4 years and after that the politicians do what they like . If the godfather ( Obongo ) in Washington tells the Italian goverment to send troops to Lebanon of Afghanistan , the government will obey like a good puppet . Is that type of democracy you want in Syria ?

  • 3 NoTerror // Dec 17, 2011 at 3.19 pm

    Where ever there is resistance to the western aggression there is blood running in the streets. Syrians should point their guns at their enemy next door rather than each other. Golan heights should be free from occupiers!

  • 4 NoTerror // Dec 17, 2011 at 3.20 pm

    State terrorism by Isreal is real!

  • 5 Qatib // Dec 17, 2011 at 3.22 pm

    Hell with the western terror against Syrian people. Stop arming of the terrorists by foriegn forcws in Syria!

  • 6 Qatib // Dec 17, 2011 at 3.26 pm

    Hell with the zionism!

  • 7 Razan // Dec 20, 2011 at 1.47 am

    Thank you, Sasa.

  • 8 stephane // Mar 4, 2012 at 4.43 am

    Qui, de Tunis à Sana’a a déja regardé le triple galop d’un pur-sang arabe???

    C’est impressionnant. C’est une ligne horizontale qui file en avant. Sa petite taille le rend encore plus aérien… On ne sait pas ce qu’il faut admirer de cette horizontale Magique.. sa queue, son mouvement, son échine?…

    Quoi qu’il en soit, il faut tout saisir vite… Admirer un tel spectacle n’est que l’affaire d’un instant…

    Mais savez vous ce qui est finalement le plus Beau? C’est son regard … Quand il s’est arrêté et qu’il veut faire autre chose…..

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