The uprising in Syria is a subject I wish I could avoid. It is a topic that makes my blood boil, for I still cannot understand how it is humanly possible for the leader of a nation to crack down on his people in such a brutal way.
Still, despite these horrifying events we also hear stories coming out of the country that give all of us watching and praying from different corners of the earth some hope.
Yesterday, as I scrolled through the many tweets on my homepage (now a daily ritual along with checking mainstream media), one caught my attention. It was a story that I knew had to be shared, because it was a necessary reminder of what the fight in Syria should be all about.
Zubaida Al-Meeki’s story just recently came to light a few weeks ago. She became the first female officer to announce defection from President Bashar Al-Assad’s army. Al-Meeki is an Alawite originally from the Occupied Golan Heights. Formerly a General in the Army, she describes the atrocities and crimes being committed by the regime as going against her beliefs and principles. As soon as the town she was in, Bibila, was seized by the Free Syrian Army, she approached the nearest checkpoint and told opposition forces that she wanted to join the fight against Assad to protect the Syrian people.
An Alawite, a woman, and a General in Assad’s army. She left many of the FSA fighters dumbfounded and suspicious when she first approached them, but she proved them all wrong.
“The revolution gave dignity to the Syrian people and gave minorities a sense of belonging to one country. All of the sects in Syria have suffered so much under this regime,” she says. With her people and her country as her source of inspiration, Al-Meeki now has the job of training those with little or no military experience joining the fight with the FSA.
Al-Meeki is a model FSA member, not just because she has become a symbol of female FSA membership, but because she sees the Syrian population as a single entity that cannot be divided according to sect or religious affiliation. The fight she is a part of is the fight to achieve freedom for the entire nation. It is these principles that will hopefully help the FSA achieve the goals of a liberated and just Syria.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of Your Middle East.