Tunisia, Egypt and Sudan’s uprisings continue to embolden people elsewhere in the middle east to call for their own protests via social media. Syria became the latest to do so, as Facebook posts are organizing demonstrations in Damascus Thursday through Friday.
The demonstrations aim to show solidarity with Egypt, supposedly without any of the violence that has erupted there, or at least that’s what the organizers have told the media. Like activists in that nation, Syrians are accessing Facebook through proxies, as the site is officially banned in Syria.
A Facebook page named “2011 Syrian revolt against Bashar al-Assad” — referring to the president of Syria — has 9,361 fans as of this writing, and people on the social network are posting status updates urging others to also click “like.” We used Google translate to render one such posting from Arabic to English:
COPY AND PASTE THIS EVERYWHERE ON ALL NEWS WEBSITES!!:
“FREEDOM TO SYRIA!!! More than 5,800 fans in 2 DAYS!!!!! GO
AND LIKE & SHARE EVERYWHERE!!!!
…KEEP IT UP!!! Don’t say others will do it. GO NOW AND SHARE PLEASE!!! We are getting an awesome media attention. This is Getting Serious & Real. SHARE NOW FOR THE SYRIANS FREEDOM!!!”
The latest post on the actual page, timestamped an hour ago, cites a poll from Al Jazeera of nearly 100,000 people, in which 91.9 percent of respondents said they expect repeats of the Egyptian protests in other countries; people said Syria was the likeliest nation to have the next protest.
Scroll through the other postings on the Syrian protest page, and you see words like “wrath” and other strong words. Now perhaps the discrepancy I’m seeing has everything to do with the shortcomings of browser translations, but the messages look like there’s no consensus on whether the demonstrations should be peaceful or not.
Readers, what do you think about the pattern that’s emerged in the middle east?