the medieval castle ruins

Arrived at a delicate time in Syria, Arab unrest in the new eye of the storm.

When we receive directly or indirectly, to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism issued the invitation, the eastern Mediterranean Arab countries are facing tremendous pressure. Since March 2011 some parts of the anti-government demonstrations calling for democracy and freedom, and government forces forcibly suppressed, people read from the media, most of the news of bloody violence, and the United States and Russia and other powers around it and started the wrestling game.

First, the European Union, the United States and the Arab League have announced sanctions against Syria, the Arab League and then in November very rare in Syria’s membership freeze, followed by the United Nations released a report, through the 223 victims and witnesses, police and disclosure of Syria security forces of murder, rape and other human rights violations, including rape in front of his family face a boy. According to UN estimates, Syria, the number of people died in the conflicts over 5,000 people.

United States and other leaders of some countries have already asked Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Military defections came the news frequently. Outside the hot start is that Syria will become the next Libya, Bashar al-Assad regime will collapse. Some analysts even warned that the country has come to the brink of civil war.

It is in this situation, early December, we received a tour of the country’s Embassy at the invitation of bypassing the Foreign Ministry to private access way to Syria.

When my visa at the Embassy, ​​First Secretary, who reviewed my side information, she asked me: >

Since much of the office seems to start between Syria this storm in the eyes of West Asian countries, has been eager to show us the other side. After the trip, we were told more than once:

Our police delegation 16 people, some of the news media reporters, some of the tourist class media reporter, a television, a Web site, as well as two international scholar, the afternoon of December 18, local time, reached the Syrian capital of Damascus.

This visit was a mix of travel. Many times, travel arrangements were really like a leisure travel, we were led to visit the Old City of Damascus, to visit the largest mosque, the medieval castle ruins, the ancient monastery, those twists and turns through the streets, to from the old house converted into a restaurant for dinner, tourists usually prefer to go shopping bazaar.

These times, I just trance: Is this a civil war that is said may be the country? Life seem all normal. Street shops are open, all kinds of commodities, fruit and vegetable food filled with shelves. Great Mosque, the people to pray devoutly, mosques, the young parents led their children to a group of pigeons feeding. What a relaxing afternoon.

Along the way, curious to see ordinary Syrians looked to you, since almost all filled with a smile to his face, no shy, warm hellos with you, children, young people, the elderly, you may be stopped, with simple English or gesture than painted, to give them your camera. They are so enthusiastic that the contents of peer association, Bo Yu, director Nguyen Hong lamented that,

Other times, we met with the country’s senior officials from the tourism minister, deputy foreign minister, the mayor’s second largest city of Aleppo to the presidential adviser, as well as Grand Mufti and other religious leaders, to talk about the moment of grim situation. Religious leaders tell us that in Syria the country, all religions, sects living together in harmony how. Government officials are almost without exception, made a speech the same meaning: now taking place in these turbulent Syria, the US-led Western countries-led conspiracy, is fighting with government troops, is The Government is promoting a variety of reforms, which will no doubt be to undermine reform. These are precisely the Syrian state television and domestic news agency and other media to tell people over and over again.

Such a voice, and the outside world heard of before, almost completely separated. As ABC Barbara Walter, senior female reporter after the interview with President Bashar, in the program using one word to describe her feelings:

Public opinion on the split, but also hard to find. Online video in a variety of anti-government demonstrations mighty momentum, and the reality, we have repeatedly seen on the streets holding a presidential head groups of young men, waving small flags to go to support the Government’s parade. Many Syrians lost no time in expressing the government and the president’s For example, in a bazaar, we were suddenly surrounded by a group of students, they first let us give them scrambling to take pictures, then pranced in, rhythmically shouted slogans in support of the President, and – because China and Russia in the UN Security Council draft resolution on the Syrian issue a veto, the way we hear a lot of classification instead of themselves shouting

Of course, you can suspect that these are organized, but I flew to Damascus from Aleppo on the plane, accidentally sitting beside 30-year-old housewife Lina, her support for the Government appears to be sincere. These Fluent in English, too, was flushed with excitement.

17-year-old Aleppo city high school Simon will probably not agree with her. The boy also told me, blushing, that he never see the Syrian television, . Not long ago, the city of Aleppo had the students’ strike for dignity Previously he has since published inappropriate remarks, and was looking to security, but not beaten.

He thought,

A dramatic change occurred in the ancient castle ruins Citadel. A group of girls in primary schools come to visit is said, in a vacant lot on the music lively singing patriotic songs, the crowd suddenly I do not know who opened the banner of opposition groups, accompanied by security personnel will soon be taken away.

Classification of the territory in our interview in the past few days, news that the foreign media from time to time, other cities such as Holmes, etc., there are some people in the government troops and rebels were killed in the conflict. The international media news release and the number of casualties, mostly quoted from opposition groups, activists and a British-based NGO organizations, report on new developments, statistics casualties figures. But the authority of the media such as BBC, Reuters and other typically account, because of the difficulties immigrants interviewed, the data can not be independently verified, and had to rely on these more accessible source.

What happened in Syria? Perhaps the mission sent by the Arab League, the third-party investigation, at this point in time becomes extremely important, they come to the findings, the next will affect the international community of Syrian decision-making.

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