This morning when I bent down to to open the lock on the outside of my shop, located in the market of Ennabh in Latakia, I noticed that the lock was wet with urine.
This is not the first time this has happened; it is intended as a threat. Some of them have threatened me publicly: "We are busy now, but when we are done with the supporters of Araour, we will come back to you," they say. But the most painful threat comes from my mother every morning when she looks at me as if saying goodbye."Take care of yourself son I do not want to lose you," she says.
I do not know what to answer her. Have we left anything to lose? Since Hafez Assad took power in Syria, we are losing, specifically us Alawites. We have gradually lost our Syrian identity, we fell under the rule of the Shabbiha, we suffered a lot economically. Our hands were cuffed by militarization and intelligence, and then finally, we were led to be killers or killed by the hands of our brothers in our own country!
I am an Alawite, or as I am described on Facebook sites these days: Nusairi, Majusi, an atheist. Killing me is a legitimate act. Ok…But I am a dissident, I really am. I had the privilege of participating in the first demonstrations in Taabiyat and Raml al-Janoubi. I was never been arrested, perhaps in order to live and provide living for my mother and my young brothers. I cannot prevent myself from thinking of the shells heaped on us and hear their echo in the air.
I look at our house, I look at my brothers and my mother, and I think that I do not want to be a victim of a random shell, or fall in the hands of the rebels from the Nusra Front. I don’t want them to write that my picture "has been trampled" or become "a carcass of Anissa's sons." I don’t want to. I'm close to being arrested, afraid of torture; perhaps the fear is not wrong for as long as my words remain the same. I notice myself sweating when I watch the cars suddenly stop to raid, arrest and kidnap.
What is going on? "Armed gangs, mercenaries, terrorists." I know them well. I've seen them in the demonstrations, when there were demonstrations in Latakia before it turn into a kingdom of silence, a Kingdom of fear. Every evening I sit and read Facebook, looking for an outlet from this despair, I want to do something, or die. There is nothing uglier than staying on the edge of fear. Death becomes a comfort. Freedom is detention.
Yes, I crossed the line and began looking for a role with activists abroad or in Latakia itself. One of them told me: "The best thing to do is to document what is happening in Latakia". That is why I started writing these notes, hoping not to finish them before the regime collapse, or leave the action open-ended by arresting me, kidnapping me or killing me.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer