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A Message for Syrians from Ibrahim Hanano


Many years ago, I had a dream so realistic and clear that I remember every detail in it. In the dream I attended the Friday prayer in a certain mosque in Homs - Syria. The sheikh who was supposed to preach was late. The sitting crowd began whispering and turning their eyes looking for him. Suddenly the sheikh hurried in and climbed a few steps of the minbar stairs. He said "I am sorry folks, but today you will hear a speech from a person you all know very well. Ibrahim Hanano is a prominent leader of the Syrian revolution against the French mandate."

We looked around and found Hanano, a tall, white haired, clean shaved gentleman who wore a Bedouin cloak covering his modern cloths. Hanano was a secular leader and was courageous and generous man. We did not realize that he was deceased long ago.

He climbed the stairs to the minbar and began to talk:

"Dear citizens of Syria. I don't know how to start my speech like sheikhs do, but I will deliver an important message to you.

When we started our revolution we were seeking freedom and dignity for the people of Syria as an independent state. We did not imagine that the Syrian people will suffer from dictatorship, loss of freedom, and corruption. Had we known what is going to happen we would not start the revolution at all, and we would let the French keep controlling our country."

We kept listening for more than an hour. I woke up very astonished.

I told the sheikh who preached at the mosque about the dream, but he was not interested. Once I was introduced to one of Hanano's great grandsons, and I told him the story as well, but he too was not interested.

I interpreted the dream to myself as a warning message from the collective subconscious of the Syrian people.

Abed Al Suri

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Replies: 4 comments

This story could be as well
transposed to the jewish country,
as well as to the Algerian one or
even to any other arabic country,
so I guess that Syria is only taken as an example...? So,I'm OK!

Posted by Maxula @ 07/26/2004 08:42 PM CST

Maxula, why are you only O.K when this is just an example that also would apply to Israel or other countries? The Israeli people don't suffer from dictatorship or less of freedom like the Syrians. I don't think that if Ben Gurion or other founders of Israel 'had known what was going to happen' they would not have fought for independance, and rather would let the British or the Arabs controll the country.
Why is it problematic to you that an Arab criticizes his own country without pointing to Israel as the source of their problems?
I think it very important that Arabs, as well as Israeli's and others look critically at their own societies and not just blame others for their problems. Unfortunately this is especially difficult in most Arab countries.
Therefore I value this honest story and hope it encourages Syrians to discuss freely what they want their country look like.

Posted by Ratna Pelle @ 07/27/2004 07:28 AM CST

Dear Maxulla. Don't feel OK. WE are not.

Posted by Abed Al Suri @ 07/29/2004 10:31 PM CST

My name is Hakim. I live in the Metropolitan area of New York. My neighbors are predominantly Jewish, as I am, and we have other nationalities as well as Moslems. The root of evil is money. The lack of money is despair. Clearly it is sad to see poverty and deprivation of any human being. An article shown on Discovery Times television today, interviews Arab Journalists and Playwrites who explain the theory of causes of 9/11. The word humiliation is profound, above other words. To be humiliated is terrible, as a child or adult or worse, as a people and or Nationality.
Therefore, I submit to you my personal experience living in America for the past 46 years. All the people I know, who have come to America for a better life, and brought with them their personal politics of their root country, throw away that politics, at 6:00 P.M. every day. Why? Because when you have started a life, anywhere, and have a decent living, the children are in school, at the end of the day you do not give a damn about people who do not want to help themselves out of a crises. And I say this whether they are Israelis, Syrians, Jordanians and above all Palestinians. I trade with many Palestinians. Every single one of them curses not only Sharon, but Arafat as well.
Mothers of the Middle East UNITE. Go together arm in arm, walk to the West Bank. Jewish Mothers and Moslem Mothers. Hold Hands. Yell to Sharon and Arafat, to dare to come to your meeting, and refuse to sign a peace. Dare the young, Jews and Moslems, to attend without weapons. Park the Tanks and save the petrol. Enough misery. Enough violence. Enough hatred. Enough hunger. Enough poverty. Enough of a child who goes to sleep hungry to eat and to learn.
The irony of it all is that the Near East has such a potential to return to being the original CrossRoads of the world. Both in trade and in commerce. One group has the oil, the other the technology to live well. Dream about a vegetable garden growing in the Sinai. Stop dreaming stupid and do it. Unite the Mothers. They are the key to the worlds problems.

Posted by Hakim @ 09/13/2004 04:16 AM CST

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