“This anniversary for me in some way means the victory of what is called indifference” and what we can do today is “to oppose cultural resistance, to continue to inform despite the oblivion to which Syria is doomed”, to create a “conscience civil”. Word of Shady Hamadi, author of ‘Exile from Syria’ and with his father Mohamed of ‘Our Syria as big as the world’ just released by add editor. “In the face of public opinion – he says in an interview with Aki – time.news International ten years after the start in Syria of unprecedented anti-government protests that resulted in a devastating conflict – it is not yet clear why these Syrians took to the streets to demonstrate , it is not clear that there is a regime in Syria that continues to torture people “.
“We have concentrated a lot – he says – on Islamic fundamentalism, but forgetting what is the main reason that led to the birth of Islamic fundamentalism not only in Syria, but in the Middle East, a consequence of the existence of the dictatorial regimes that govern these countries by now decades “.
For Shady Hamadi, these ten years mean “dealing with what were illusions”, or “an international solidarity that did not exist” compared to everything that happened in Syria, “therefore a solidarity towards civil society Syrian “.
And today, he says, “the only thing I feel we can do is put up a cultural resistance” and “continue to inform despite the oblivion to which Syria is doomed, thus creating a civil conscience”. And this is because, he states in his reasoning, “after all” Bashar al-Assad, in power in Syria since 2000, “is not tried, he does not appear before an international tribunal for crimes against humanity”, while the trial in Koblenz, Germany, against two former Syrian security service agents “it is in fact useless because we are not heading towards a Syrian Nuremberg”, but “we are perhaps giving a sop to international public opinion that sees a semblance of it of justice “. For Shady Hamadi, who “absolutely does not believe justice has been done in Syria”, that process is in fact “a way to carry out the normalization of Syria”. After years of blood, of horrors.
“Today as today, in 2021, is it acceptable – he continues – that the systematic torture of the opposition continues to be used in a country that is four hours away from Italy? Is it acceptable for us Europeans today to meet and see faces. of these refugees fleeing the war in Syria and not understanding what they are escaping from? I think not. And therefore their cry must reach loud and clear not only in Italy, but to all the chancellors of the world “.
“As a solution to the Syrian conflict – he continues – I continue to maintain that we must give a voice to civil society in Syria”. That civil society “which today is placed in the corner, forgotten” and which must instead have the “possibility of speaking through a process of transition”. A transition in Syria which, he stresses, should mean “not only the release of Assad but the release of all those components that constitute real power and which are therefore characters and system apparatuses that are hidden but that manage all Syrian power”.
A scenario, he points out, however, “unfortunately impossible” today because Russia, which has been supporting Damascus on the ground since 2015, “wants nothing more than to keep this regime in place for obvious reasons of influence in the Middle East”. Shady Hamadi sees Russia, Iran and Turkey (the guaranteeing countries of the so-called Astana Process) as “fake enemies”, who “certainly carry on their agendas” with “Iran and Turkey responding to the dictates of the Kremlin”. “It has always been like this – he observes – On the one hand there was Turkey which for years was said to be against the Syrian regime, while today we see that Turkey plays a role that is contiguous to that of the Syrian regime: it has built a buffer zone of influence in the north of the country where it silenced any autonomous and original opposition, those born in 2011, and built a peace plan “.
And Shady Hamadi says he is “very pessimistic” also about a possible role of the United States of Joe Biden. “I think the only thing Biden can do is put pressure on Putin to arrive at a transition plan for Syria, but – he says – frankly I am as pessimistic about Biden as I was about Trump”. Convinced that “there is now a Russian hegemony in Syria”, Shady Hamadi does not however believe that “America can do something today, because the moment it does something there is an anti-American sentiment that immediately rises again”.
A perspective? “I don’t have the prospect for Syria,” he replies. And he says he had “given up for a long time now”, with his father who has been missing from Syria for at least 20 years, “the idea of returning”. “We are very realistic – continues Shady Hamadi, who last stayed in Syria in 2009 for a year – we grudgingly accept this bitter exile”. And the solution they thought of was to “try to create memory”, because “today we live in an age in which there is no memory in the Middle East”. Try to raise your voice with the weapons of culture.
“Whoever died in the mass graves of Isis or the Syrian government will ever have justice? Will he be remembered? We – he says – do not believe”. Hence the choice to tell these years through a book, the choice – he explains – to “tell about the torture my father suffered, his journey as an immigrant from a Middle Eastern country to land in Italy in the seventies with the Moro crime up to the present day “.
Shady Hamadi talks about his latest book and remembers the words of his father: “He always tells me: ‘I don’t think about Syria anymore because it hurts me'”. For Mohamed Hamadi, the Syria he knew “no longer exists because all those people, those ideals we had, of pan-Arabism, nationalism, secularism, are dead”.
‘Our Syria as big as the world’ is an alternation of voices, that of Mohamed and that of Shady Hamadi, two different stories linked by Syria: for the first – which for a long time hid from his son what he had suffered in Syrian prisons – a place of childhood and youth from which to escape, for the second – born in Milan – a place of discovery and memory to ‘return to’.