Syrian reformist Khalis Jalabi praised the current protests that call for sweeping political reforms and slammed the Syrian government for promises that do not materialize.
Khalis Jalabi, a surgeon and an Islamist thinker born in the northeastern city of Qamishli, likened the Syrian uprising to the release of the jinni from the bottle or to a patient slowly recovering.
“When the Syrian people revolted, they were like a paralyzed patient who is finally out of the intensive care unit,” he told AlArabiya.net. “It is natural for this patient to stagger and take some time before he is healthy again after half a century of anesthesia and stoppage of all bodily functions.”
Jalabi accused the Syrian government of giving promises it will not keep. He considered political reforms “ink on paper” and cited the example of the emergency law.
“The emergency law may be lifted theoretically only, but in reality a similar law will be drafted under a different name and with more restrictions. Do not believe the promises of lying politicians.”
When asked about the similarity between Syria and other Arab countries that witness similar revolts like Egypt and Tunisia, where the revolution succeeded in toppling the regime, or Libya and Yemen, where rulers are still holding on to power, Jalabi replied that it remains to be seen which path Syria will take.
“All the scenarios are possible now. It could end up with the fall of the regime like Egypt or a blood bath like Libya.”
In all cases, Jalabi stressed that protests and strikes should continue in order for the Syrians to reach their demands.
“Only breaking the barrier of fear liberates nations,” he concluded.
(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)