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I would like to share with all of you my experience of breaking the fear as a Syrian… being in a protest for the first time in my life!

When the Egyptian revolution took place in January, I went for a couple of times to protests with my friends to show support and solidarity. I held the flag and looked at all these people swarming the street and shouting their lungs out for the freedom of Egypt. Their faces were full of joy and determination…

Despite the fact that I was surrounded by all these happy Egyptian chanters, I was feeling scared… What if someone sees me, or takes a picture of me.. Am I even supposed to be here????!! Is it right to chant in the street???? What if the cops come??? Will they beat us? Will they deport me?? What will happen?

Then after one hour of holding the flag with my nervous looks and open mouth… I thought to myself… Why not practice my freedom here… These people are no different from me… why can they do it while I just follow that voice inside my head?? I waited for the next chant on the megaphone and I shouted as high as I could (Mubarak must go!!!) and  maaaaaaaaaaan that felt so good…

Afterwards, I had a good practice with the Libyan revolution. However, when the Syrian revolution started, it took me by shock; I totally did not expect the Syrians to rise for forty years of fear and Tyranny were, I thought, enough to make the people numb for generations to come. But the wild beast inside of me that was unleashed during the Egyptian revolution protests I attended refused to settle down, it roared higher than ever (one two three four… no Assad anymore… five six seven eight… Stop the killing! Stop the hate!), (There is only one solution… REVOLUTION!!REVOUTION!!) Many chants came out of that tiny figure of mine. If I met myself a couple of years back I would have never believed that all these strong, hopeful and determined  chants came from me… a broken Syrian citizen.

I can only imagine what these men and women who swarmed the streets of the Syrian villages and cities went through to break the barrier of fear. The amount of fear they suffered from, the feeling that there is nothing more to lose, the desire to scream your lungs out for freedom even if this would be the last thing they would ever do. Only then, I look back at my experience and laugh at my hesitation and fear, when I am sitting here pampered while others put their life on the stake to unleash the beasts inside them… to free themselves.

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