Wednesday 15 October 2008

Two nations, one people

The carve up of Bilad al-Sham is now formalised in the "mutual recognition" of Lebanon and Syria.

According to the BBC, "A signing ceremony has been held in Damascus establishing diplomatic relations for the first time between Syria and Lebanon. A joint statement said Syria and Lebanon would respect each other's sovereignty and independence."

This division was put in place by the French Mandate in the early 1920s and rejected by the overwhelming majority of people both sides of the border.

But after democracy was so brutaly crushed in Syria the idea of beng ruled by the cabal of Baathists in Damascus killed any chance of unity.

The death knell, I guess, was the invasion by Syrian troops in 1976 which crush the secular democratic revolution in Lebanon. It was downhill from there.

On a personal note: my grandma, who has just turned 100, still keeps her education certificate from the "Syrian Girls College" hidden in her suitcase. It always jarred when members of my family put down "Syrians", and they usually got angry when I pointed out that technically both grandfather and grandmother were born in Syrian (before 1922). There's even a boat ticket to New York (from the 1910s) were our address is given as Berbara, Syria.

Hopefully the two countries will become one again... but only under a democratic socialist system.

I will wait patiently.