Syria's President Assad shakes hands with UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria Brahimi before a meeting in Damascus

Our source for this post, Mousab Alhamadee, by his own account is a school teacher and activist who serves as a spokesman to international media for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. He purportedly works under the protection of the Free Syrian Army in the mountains near Hama. He says he is also a translator of English language books for Arabic readers. In this post, he casts doubt on whether the new U.N.-Arab League special envoy for Syria, Lahdar Brahimi, will be able to achieve what his predecessor, Kofi Annan, could not in terms of settling the conflict in Syria, now in its 20th month. 

The Syrian government restricts independent reporting within the country. We invite Syrians on both sides of the conflict to tell the world how they cope with street violence, human tragedies, political chaos and economic loss in their daily lives. Syria Witness reports cannot be independently verified and, for personal safety reasons, some contributors do not use their real names. Texts are edited for reasons of clarity and style, but no changes to content are made.

By Mousab Alhamadee, near Hama, October 18, 2012

Lakhdar Brahimi is trying to make the best of a very bad job. His suggestion of a four-day ceasefire beginning on the first day of Eid al-Adha reflects this impression.

Last Eid in Syria – about three months ago – was miserable. I personally couldn’t extend wishes to my relatives and neighbors on the occasion of that day. There were hidden tears in every eye. People couldn’t even move around freely to visit the dead in the cemeteries.

“It would be nice to listen to the news at the end of the day and to hear that no one was killed in Syria.” – Mousab Alhamadee

That is why it was quite appealing when the veteran diplomat suggested a ceasefire during Eid. It would be nice to listen to the news at the end of the day and to hear that no one was killed in Syria.

This is beyond my imagination right now.

How would Assad celebrate Eid?

Will the suggested short truce provide a good opportunity for the regime to take a breather and move supplies to their besieged checkpoints?

If that is the price of the truce, Syrians can do without it. When you are about to kill a dangerous snake, it is not good to give yourself a break so the snake can replenish its power and attack you again.

While the death toll continues to grow in Syria, ordinary Syrians – let alone those educated ones – have grown more and more interested in understanding the criteria that govern political balances in our world – balances which seem to have rendered the international community completely unable to put an end to the bloody massacre in Syria.

Children here now understand that Russia will not abandon her interests in the country for nothing.

And even people who ordinarily don’t follow world events believe that Israel – along with America – is happy to see the Syrian economy deteriorating, and the Syrian weaponry destroyed in internal turbulences.

All this is understood here in Syria. Many Syrians saw no point in Kofi Annan’s initiative; nevertheless, some were a little optimistic, thinking that the world’s great powers might reach a compromise and divide the Syrian cake between themselves, saving more innocent lives in this country.

And when Annan, the experienced diplomat, mourned his initiative and confessed his failure, the optimistic minority joined the pessimistic chorus, believing more firmly now that great powers have no real interests in stopping the Syria massacre.

We have learned self-reliance

With the passage of time, the majority of Syrians came to the conclusion that we must depend on ourselves, and gather our own resources, including the Friends of Syria group which, though hesitant, must be of use.

[Brahimi] gives the impression that he is a very old wise man when he insists that Iran play a role in a peaceful settlement – Mousab Alhamadee

Brahimi’s appointment as Arab League and U.N. representative came at a time when the Syrian people had lost all confidence in the Arab and international organizations. We have not only lost all hope; we now have a tendency to look upon any new initiative as intended to control the Syria massacre, rather than stop it.

With this conclusion being reached by many Syrians, Brahimi looks to many in Syria like an incapable diplomat, regardless of his good intentions towards the Syrian people.

However, Brahimi looks like he brings to the table different perspectives when tackling things. He gives the impression that he is a very old wise man when he insists that Iran play a role in a peaceful settlement.

But, what then? The man seems in no haste. Elections in the United States have yet to be held, and Brahimi can’t do anything effective before that date. Syrians understand this fact and accept it bitterly, without putting all the blame on the veteran diplomat.

We welcome your reactions to this post in the comments section below. To become a Syria Witness and tell your own inside-Syria story, contact David Arnold, coordinator of our Syria Witness project at syriawitness(at) For safety reasons, we strongly urge you to use a browser-based e-mail (Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail) and be sure “https” appears in the URL. You can also invite Arnold to Skype at davidarnold70.


 SYRIA WITNESS: Why Would Brahimi Succeed Where Annan Failed?

David Arnold

David Arnold coordinates the Syria Witness project at Middle East Voices and reports on Middle East and North Africa affairs for both Voice of America and MEV. The Syria Witness project publishes on-the-ground citizen reporting, giving Syrians the opportunity to offer to a global audience their first-person narratives of life on the streets of their war-torn country.

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  • The new Biafra

    To Dior Udenka:
    are you a cookoo or are you a benificiary of the syrian regime? Have you been on the ground to witness horrific stories? children are dying by bombs, mal nutrition and even tortured to death. You are no expert but an [redacted] and ignorant of real world problems. You need a dose of reality and truth to wake you up.
    Syria is at a term oil and cross road to democracy, it is a revolution in the making, even with all its mistake. I helped Biafra Republic and you are not an Eboo for me by demonstrating your flag. what is happening in syria right now happened in Biafra in the late sixties, where bombs rained on innocent civilans. You do not know even your own history, so back off sir. I have no sympathy for crab or ignorance of historical facts. In Syria, the regime hardly control the grounds, only the sky, like the Nigerian air force in the past. If you were a savy, then you will understand the similarities and most likely the Spanish civil war.
    Many of my eboo friends confirm my findings and if you have been once to Syria, then you will know better the kindness and hospitality of ordinary Syrians. Now, they are suffering in silence. Syria is destroyed and it will need 10 to 15 years to be built back again.

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