Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Was their a strike in Damascus yesterday?

Yesterday, I woke up to the news in Qatari and Saudi media that shops in Damascus, particularly in Suq Al-Hamidiyyah, were closed in observance of a strike that was called in solidarity with Hula victims.  But I was suspicious because the Al-Arabiyyah (news station of King Fahd's brother-in-law) showed shops that were clearly not in Suq Al-Hamidiyyah and the sun looked pre-8:00 AM.  So I went to Facebook and asked my readers in Syria whether there was a strike in Damascus and in Suq Al-Hamidiyyah.  Out of the tens of answers, I can distill those answers:
1) Yes, there was a strike.
2) No, there was no strike and shops were open as normal.
3) Most of shop owners came from rural Damascus (Rif) where the armed groups are strong and they were threatened if they opened and had to comply, but later the Syrian Army came and told them to open.
4) A known observer in Syria, having read the various responses, wrote to me and said: Well, they were forced to close early on by the armed gangs of the Free Syrian Army who threatened to kill their families, and were later forced by the Syrian Army to re-open their shops.