Shaming and Honoring Syria’s Talented Artists

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[singlepic id=168 w=320 h=240 float=left]Revolutions produce violence but it also produce side shows the likes of which can have a long-term effect on the culture and mosaic of a country.

In the beginning of the Syrian Rebellion against the Assad regime, some of Syria’s talented singers, actors, painters, and sculptors sided with Assad and some did not after watching the brutality used against the Syrian population. On Facebook, the “Shame List” was started, which is a form of a blacklist against all those who either voiced their opinion against the people or kept to their silence. As of the end of June, the list had almost 21,000 subscribers.

Some of the names are true icons of Syria’s cultural footprint in the Arab world. You will see names like Duraid Laham, who stood publicly by the Tunisians, the Libyans, and the Egyptians but took a stand against his own people rising in Syria; as did many others. For a comprehensive list and their short bio, see this page on the website Hot Arabic Music.

Not to be outdone, supporters of the Assad regime created their own white list they called the “Honor List”, which is almost identical to the black list created by the youth rebelling against Assad. A vain effort by the regime to stand by those who are standing by Assad.

The outcome of this boycott of the Syrian talented artists will have an unhappy ending. The country is divided today and there is a sense that Syrians are creating an outcast mentality that could very well spread across other industries. Will there be a “Shame List” of businessmen? or a “Shame List” of Imams or Priests? Or a “Shame List” of lawyers and doctors? Or one of neighbors and bakers? Our society is halving, driven by anger and resentment. The longer Assad remains in power, the longer Syria will suffer the consequences. Directly or indirectly.

As one who believes Assad has lost the moment he started killing innocent civilians, the “Honor List” will eventually either retire quietly or disappear in the Diaspora. Regardless of the outcome, Syria would be the ultimate loser in this divisive battle.


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