For the last several days, Syrian workers have gathered in front of their embassy here to demonstrate on behalf of the embattled regime in Damascus. Pity those poor wage laborers who have no choice but to wave the flag, lest they lose the privilege that entitles them to piece together a measly living in a country where they’re largely condemned.
The Lebanese seem to be keeping mum after Bashar al-Assad’s speech this afternoon. Sure, there are no doubt plenty of opinions to go around, but why bring unnecessary attention to Lebanon’s own problems?
Protesters calling for freedom gathered in Damascus and other areas around Syria as security forces ordered journalists to leave a southern city where a brutal weeklong siege on demonstrations killed dozens of people.
Where the political shockwave inspired by Tunisia's democratic rebellion will lead we don't yet know. We do know what set Tunisia's revolt in motion: the end of Arab fear. When an oppressed people snap fear's psychological bonds, they shatter the tyrant's most potent weapon.
Here's a YouTube video of protests outside the Syrian embassy in Cairo today, presumably conducted in sympathy with Syrian demonstrators who have taken to the streets of Damascus and other cities throughout Syria:
If the Saudis and other Gulf Cooperation Council members thought that sending more than a 1,000 additional troops to quell the uprising in Bahrain would prevent it from influencing the rest of the region, they miscalculated. The repercussions are already being felt here in Lebanon.
After two months of Arabs spontaneously taking to the streets to protest against their regimes, there's another kind of uprising going on here in Lebanon. The setting isn’t even an Arab street, but rather Beirut's Rafiq Hariri International Airport; and the occasion isn’t a protest, but rather a “flash mob” executing a traditional Lebanese song and dance routine, “Dabke.”