New Year’s Eve! (2002)




In a family gathering on New Year’s Eve, my conscience recalled a series of painful memories of last year’s chaos. I tried hard to forget the many of disappointments associated with such memories which characterized our region, if not the whole world, at different levels. The most painful of all were the ongoing, even escalated by the new year, Israeli blitz against Palestinian civilians, especially the children among them. I had a glimpse of hope by then that this year would witness an end for a vicious cycle of violence and counter-violence, action, reaction and so on and so forth; I wish such a cycle would be replaced by, common agreement, concord, harmony and understanding. Of no less pain was the bloody memory, indeed an agonizing one, of Sept.11th terrorist attack against nationals of more than 60 countries. Many of those perished in the said attacks are being missed by their families in a moment of celebration like the New Year’s Eve. The dirty hands of evil and of the insane monsters targeted them for no justified reason whatsoever!

I gazed at each and every face of my family members. Indeed, it hurts deep to miss somebody so close and so dear to your heart. My second New Year’s wish was to spare the live of such innocent children , and all of the innocent every where, the plague of all forms of blind terrorism and hatred, unfortunately sweeping randomly the global village of today! It is only the realization of just and comprehensive peace which can do so. Why not! Isn’t it the right time to let bygones be so initiating a new page of glory, peace, and equitable security for all? Peace is part and parcel of any new year’s wish. I wish this year would witness a reinvigoration for the process of peace on all tracks, on the bass of related resolutions and principles, with an active, sincere, evenhanded and honest European, US, Russian and international involvement and sponsorship.

Another wish was for my country, destined ever to pay for Arabs’ national aspiration and steadfastness. My country, though anchored to safety shores by one of the most shrewd and professional sailors, not to mention the wildness of tides, storms and waves at different times, late President Hafez Assad, is in a dire need for concentrated efforts and for international support as to accelerate the ongoing pace of reform and modernization, pursued and masterminded by President Bashar Assad. I wish that the world would lend us a helping hand as to achieve designed programs and plans. Syria does deserve such a hand; frequently, Syria expressed and showed willingness and readiness as to cooperate in the interest of world peace, dialogue among civilizations, security and of balanced handling of stumbling issues. This is further boosted by its new non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council. Such a country has to be given every chance and to be well treated away from any pressures and away from whatever lists! Not for a single day, has this country been an aggressor; but ever at vigil to repel and deter any aggression. The right to self defense is enshrined and guaranteed by every law. Actually, this is not merely a personal wish; but almost a unanimous one by most Syrians and doves as to see this very region moving in the direction of a new era free of threats, terror and of occupation.

All these unfulfilled wishes seem interrelated and mingled with the realization of just peace. Syria, by all estimations, has no conditions for the resumption of just peace talks from where the talks broke off. I wish that the other side, many of whom do gaze at their family members too, would positively and sincerely respond accordingly, though facts on the ground, so far, point to the opposite, and would soon realize that the only option left and way out for the region is through negotiations tables, candid, sincere and honest reasoning and implementation of related international legitimacy resolutions and principles. Tens of years elapsed since the outbreak of the conflict; none can enjoy normality and tranquility away from mutual understanding and reasoning. No means of nuclear and mass destruction weapons can deter the will of people to regain their rights back. Sincere and honest involvement in peace negotiation, though of the standing deep gaps, can certainly help concerned parties to build for the future generations of tomorrow.

Will this remain a mere speculation and personal wish? Let us hope for the best; hence most of what Syria does has been with the aim of a better future for generations to come as the late president underlined in his last uttered words.


Mohammad Abdo Al-Ibrahim