Palestinian intellectuals to Syrian regime: Not in our name!

Muhammad Idrees Ahmad writes: This is an English translation, courtesy of Wadiqratiya, of a joint statement by Palestinian intellectuals offering their solidarity to the Syrian people and applying for for membership to the newly established Syrian Writers Union.

It is our honor, as Palestinian writers and signatories to this statement, to request as a group to be inducted into the Syrian Writers Union, which has been recently established by the free Syrian writers and intellectuals who stand with the people as they climb the ladder of freedom which has been smeared with blood by the hand of the tyrant. The establishment of the Syrian Writers Union constitutes an essential pillar of the Syrian revolution and places the true intellectual in his or her rightful place beside the people as an effective partner in building a new Syria free of dynastic authoritarianism–a diverse, democratic, civil system based on the rights of the citizen, one that embraces the rights of expression and creation, a system incapable of falsifying the free Syrian intellectual’s will through hollow structures that arrogate the potentials of culture, usurp the role of the intellectual and falsify his or her will, always a device in the hand of the tyrant and his apparatuses.

Now more than ever, Syria needs a mature voice that speaks from its very heart, a voice which strengthens national unity and derives strength from the diversity and richness of Syrian society […] [which will serve as] the basis for building a democracy.

We have recently heard a representative of the Syrian regime at the UN Security Council use the Palestinian cause and its painful and honorable course as cover for its terrifying crimes in Syria. We say to the Syrian regime and its representatives: not in our name, not in Palestine’s name, will these crimes be committed in our beloved Syria, oh killers. Do not make our just cause a mask for your inhumane crimes against our Syrian brothers and sisters. It is the Syrian people who have historically adopted our cause, and sacrificed martyrs for its sake, not your regime, of which we have painful memories. We will never forget its role in the massacre of Tel Az-Zaatar in 1976, nor in the terrible assault on the Nahr al Bared camp near Tripoli in 1983, nor the siege of the camps in Beirut in 1985, nor any of the other acts which have bitterly weakened Palestinian national unity. Do not use Palestine’s name, for it is no longer your winning card.

A unified, free and democratic Syria is what Palestine needs, and this is the Syria that is being born today from the womb of a bloody revolution ignited by a great people. We are confident that Palestine’s name will remain in the heart of this courageous, revolutionary people and of its cultural elite.

Mourid Barghouti (poet and writer)
Taher Riyad (poet)
Ghassan Zaqtan (poet)
Zuhair Abu Shayib (poet)
Azmi Bishara (intellectual)
Mahmoud Ar-Rimawi (writer)
Ma’an al-Biyari (writer and journalist)
Youssef Abu Laouz (poet)
Najwan Darwish (poet)
Rub’i al-Madhoun (novelist)
Adel Bishtawi (writer, novelist and researcher)
Antoine Shalhat (writer and critic)
Fakhri Salih (critic)
Hussein Shaweesh (writer)
Huzama Habayeb (writer and novelist)
Nasr Jamil Shaath (poet)
Ahmed Abu Matar (academic critic, researcher and activist)
Mohammad Khalil (writer)
Youssef Abdel Aziz (poet)
Moussa Barhouma (writer)
Issa Ash-Shu’aibi (writer)
Moussa Hawamdeh (poet)
Na’il Balaawi (poet)
Khalil Qandeel (writer)
Ghazi at-Theeba (poet)
Wissam Joubran (poet and musician)
Omar Shabana (poet)
Qusai al-Labadi (poet)
Ali al-Aamari(poet)
Jihad Hudeib (poet)
Ziad Khaddash (writer)
Nasr Rabah (poet)
Bassem Al Nabrees (poet and writer)
Raji Bathish (writer)
Shaher Khadra (poet)
Raed Wahish (poet)
Asma Azaiza (poet)
Mahmoud Abu Hashhash (poet)
Khodr Mahjaz (novelist, poet, researcher, academic critic)
Bassel Abu Hamda (writer)
Ibrahim Jaber Ibrahim (writer)
Abdullah Abu Bakr (poet)
Osama al-Rantisi (writer)
Issam As-Saadi (poet)
Khalid Juma (poet)
Naim al-Khatib (writer)
Akram Abu Samra (poet)
Hanin Juma Takrouri (writer)
Najwa Chamoun (poet)
Mohamad As-Salimi (poet)
Hani As-Salimi (novelist)
Bilal Salameh (poet)
Osama Abu Awad (writer)
Jaber Sha’at (poet)
Youssef al-Qadra (poet)
Nesma al-Aklouk (writer)
Othman Hussein (poet)
Rizk al-Biyari (poet)
Yasser al-Wiqaad (poet)
Subhi Hamdan (writer)
Imad Mohsen (writer)
Leila Violet (poet)
Tayseer Muheisen (writer, critic, and political activist)
Fayez As-Sirsawi (visual artist and poet)
Rajab Abu Sirriyeh (writer)
Fuad Hamada (academic critic, researcher, and political activist)
Mai Nayif (academic critic, researcher, and gender activist)
Yusri Al-Ghul (writer and critic)
Hussein Abu An-Najja (writer and academic researcher)
Nasr Aliwa (novelist and critic)
Abdel Karim Aliyan (writer and education researcher)
Walaa Tamraz (researcher and political writer)
Omar Sha’aban (writer and researcher)
Hassan Mai (writer and academic critic)
Ma’an Samara (poet and journalist)
Mohamad Hassouna (academic and critic)
Aoun Abu Safia (novelist)
Atif Hamada (poet and academic critic)
Ghiath al-Madhoun (poet)
Rajaa Ghanem (poet)
Tariq al-Karmi (poet)
Ahmed al-Ashqar (poet)
Ali Abu Khitab (poet and writer)
Dunia al-Amal Ismail (poet)
Isra Kalash (writer)
Moussa Abu Karash (poet and writer)
Abdel Fitah Shihada (poet and novelist)
Yasser Abu Jalala (poet and visual artist)
Khalil Hassouna (poet and novelist)
Muheeb al-Barghouti (poet)
Abdel Nasr Aamer (poet, visual artist)
Nidal al-Hamarna (writer)
Ashraf Amro (writer)
Asma Nasr Abu Ayyesh (writer and journalist)
Maya Abu al-Hiyaat (writer)
Zeinat Abu Shaweesh (writer)
Suzanne Salameh (poet)

The original Arabic text can be found here. I’ve taken a few small liberties for the sake of clarity and flow in English, but tried to remain as faithful to the text as possible. I have also taken the liberty of adding “his or her,” which is generally not used in Arabic for stylistic reasons but I feel is in the spirit of the statement since the signatories include women.

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