Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Blood with flowing tears | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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What is happening in Syria – the Levant – today represents a blot on all of humanity; this represents a disgrace on the conscience of the international community, and particularly the Arab world which claims to be based on values of freedom, dignity, humanity and civilization.

What is taking place in Syria is a violation of every human norm and standard, even during traditional wars. This is something that “none beside Allah can avert” [Surat An-Najm; Verse58].

This is something that has only one inevitable result; Bashar al-Assad and his criminal gang will be toppled, whether this happens today or tomorrow. However the international community will pay the price of this betrayal, cowardice and lack of vision, not to mention the political brokering with Russian Tsar Vladimir Putin and his cold-hearted foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.

As for Obama and his “super” political team, they rushed to get involved in the wrong place in the Middle East, namely Tunisia and Egypt, whilst they are now reluctant to get involved in the right place, namely Syria. This has resulted in the situation deteriorating to the point that we now fear the outbreak of a large-scale civil war. Syria has become a vital destination for fundamentalist and radicals, and this is something that was not noticeable during the early days of the revolution. During this time, the ever-present slogan was “One, one, one…the Syrian people are one.” However due to the weakness and inattentiveness of the Obama administrative, the situation has deteriorated, whilst the Russians and Iranians have also gone too far in the game of extortion.

All of this prompts one to think outside of the box, and brings to mind a well-known incident in the history of the Levant, this geographical area which has always been the arena for international conflict in the Middle East.

An Arab poet and intellectual, living almost 1,000 years ago, lived through a tumultuous incident in the history of the Levant, such as that being witnessed today. The only difference is that the conflict at the time was with the Crusaders, whilst today it is with a criminal sectarian regime that claims to be the protector of the beating heart of Arabism.

When the Frankish Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, they committed such crimes against the people that testimony of this wrung the hearts and brought tears to the eyes of the Caliphs ministers

Abu al-Muzaffar al-Abiwardi, one of the greatest Arab poets, composed a poem about this subject, writing:

We have mingled blood with flowing tears, and there is no room left for pity

To shed tears is a man’s worst weapons when the swords stir up the embers of wars

Dare you slumber in the blessed shade of safety, where life is soft as an orchid flower?

How can the eye sleep between the lids at a time of disasters that would wake any sleeper?

While your Syrian brothers can only sleep on the backs of their chargers or in vultures bellies!

Must the foreigners feed on our ignominy, while you trail behind the train of a pleasant life, like men whose world is at peace?

When blood has been spilt, when sweet girls must for shame hide their lovely faces in their hands!

When the white swords’ points are red with blood, and the iron of the brown lances is stained with gore!

At the sound of sword hammering on lance young children’s hair turns white

This is war, and the infidel’s sword is naked in his hand, ready to be sheathed in men’s necks and skulls

I see my people slow to raise the lance against the enemy:

I see the Faith resting on feeble pillars

For fear of death the Muslims are evading the fire of battle, refusing to believe that death will surely strike them.

Must the Arab champions then suffer with resignation?

This is a message from the poet about the tragedy of the Levant, almost one thousand years ago, tears and blood and war! However in the end, the sun will shine over the Levant, long after the invaders have been repelled, whether this is the Crusaders or Moscow, Washington, Tehran and the Southern Suburbs of Beirut!