â€“ The Syrian Expatriate
By Laura Fawaz
Livonia, MI–â€œI think what happened in Syria is exactly what happened in the rest of the Arab World. Itâ€™s the results of long term torture and oppression by the current regime,â€ said Ammar Ghanem, of Indiana, with the Syrian National Council, when speaking about the effect of the Arab Spring on Syria.
Last Saturday, the Syrian Expatriate, along with the Syrian National Council, held a seminar called â€œOn The Verge of Transition, a Meeting With The Syrian National Council, at Burton Manor in Livonia.â€
The seminar focused on the Syrian National Councilâ€™s (SNC) integration within Syrian Communities across the world. The SNCâ€™s focus was for the Syrian community, especially in Metro-Detroit, to meet the SNC and the Syrian Expatiate.
SNC board member Louay Sakka of Canada explained that they are hoping â€œfor an exchange of ideas, and to discuss the future of Syria.â€
Ghanem added, â€œThe main objective is trying to help the people inside Syria, and to help drive forward the Syrian Revolution.â€
Attendees were asking questions and exploring options for Syria with the SNC, as part of the seminar that was divided into four topics: The structure and the way the SNC is currently working, the economics of the Syrian Revolution and options to weaken the regime, discussing the political work being done, and lastly, international protection and interaction to protect civilians in Syria.
Ghanem explained that the plans for this event have been in the works for five weeks, and were necessary because â€œthe people of Syria couldnâ€™t take it anymore, and they want to up rise and want to get rid of the current regime. Who doesnâ€™t want freedom?â€
Asked if most Metro-Detroit Syrians feel the same way about the current Syrian political party, Sakaa replied, â€œmost of the people in general already get to a point where they are completely against the regime. Having said that, it doesnâ€™t mean that everyone is on the same page. You still have people who get some type of benefit from this regime, directly or indirectly.â€
According to Sakaa, since the rest of the world is primary against the current political Syrian party, the Arab League has just removed Syria. After this, it seems as though most Syrians are feeling the isolation, and is why less people are working with the Syrian government.
Some of course still support the current Syrian regime. So the SNC when asked whether anyone came out and showed disagreement with this event, they explained that Burton Manor received anonymous threatening phone calls.
The SNC took extra precautions, including having the Livonia Police Department all around the building, as well as having their own security on board.
As the rest of the Arab World has shown this past year, we truly cannot know what is happening inside country lines until it all unravels. So for now, attending events such as this will be our closest entry point.