Thursday, May 25, 2006

"I had an argument with a good Syrian friend (a highly educated, cosmopolitan, well-travelled lady), who has been living in Beirut for the past few years. As she poured her heart out about how she felt frustrated and insulted by the general anti-Syrian attitude that has overtaken many Lebanese people, she ended up, apparently unconsciously, defending the Syrian regime and its recent actions. I confronted her, arguing that while I had no doubt she has been subjected to a Lebanese form of racism, this didn't justify becoming a regime apologist. Alas, she was too hurt to retreat to a neutral position, and I encountered this exact attitude amongst many Syrians who have simply become fed up with what they perceive is their neighbors' sense of superiority and self-righteousness. The huge wave of sympathy that had initially blown westward has now been replaced by exasperation and indifference.
Truly, the attitude of many Lebanese has served the Syrian regime's interests very well! "