Facebook pages in Syria published pictures of Hafez al-Assad, the father of the current Syrian president asking him to “rise from the dead” and rid them of the economic crisis and the living conditions they are suffering from.
Local pro-government pages in Damascus published a picture of Hafez al-Assad, with the caption: “Get up, father of the poor, for your people are being attacked by hyenas.” Loyalist comments did not bring up the current president, Bashar al-Assad.
The comments on the photos varied between comments from opponents, who denounced the content, and others from loyalists who expressed their opinions about the economic crisis — whose repercussions are widely felt by citizens in regime-controlled areas in Damascus — ahead of the presidential elections, expected to take place soon. Loyalists wished mercy upon Assad.
Mohammad Saeed, a user who commented on one of the posts, considered that the gravity of the situation is the result of the tragic situation of Assad supporters and their submission to the power of his security apparatus.
Malak Ahmad, another online user, believed that things were fine during the reign of Hafez al-Assad.
Syria faced economic crises during the reign of Hafez al-Assad, as the entirety of Gulf financial aid — estimated at more than 1.5 billion dollars annually — was halted due to Assad’s support for the Khomeinist revolution in Iran in the 1980s.
The exchange rate of the dollar was about 5 Syrian pounds at the beginning of 1980. The value of the pound decreased to 35 pounds for a dollar in the early 1990s.
This is not the first time that Syrians circulate pictures or sayings attributed to Hafez al-Assad, warning against touching the “bread of the poor” for it is a “red line,” an idea that resurfaced with the recent long queues in front of bakeries.
Primitive people usually look for a savior, not those who live in urban settings of the twenty-first century. However, the conflict in Syria and the practices of power have brought the Syrians back to primitive eras, in addition to brainwashing them that Assad, the person, is the sole savior of the country. The advertising support campaigns that some parties have been carrying out recently are part of that same brainwashing.
Syrian citizens, regardless of their areas of residence in the country, suffer from difficult economic and living conditions due to several reasons — most notably, in recent months, the deterioration of the value of the pound against foreign currencies and the decline in purchasing power due to the increase in inflation rates and high prices.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.