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Alawite activist: Assad ‘exploits his sect’

August 20, 2014

Alawite activists in the coastal city of Tartus began an anti-Assad campaign on August 12 titled Sarkhat Watn, or “Scream of the Nation,” in which they hand out fliers showing images of a chair and a coffin reading: “The seat of power for you [Assad], the coffins for our children,” referring to the disproportionate number of Alawites who have died in the war thus far.

Assad, a member of the minority religious Alawite sect, has largely enjoyed the support of his coreligionists over the course of the revolution.

A wall in Aleppo reads: "Scream of a nation tired of sectarianism, murder, destruction and chaos." Photo courtesy of Speak Up.

Nevertheless, Scream of the Nation “was met with widespread acceptance, and a lot of people have joined the campaign,” Emma Sulieman Mariod, media chairwoman for Scream of the Nation, tells Syria Direct’s Muhammad al-Haj Ali.

The campaign’s goal “is to raise awareness in regime-held areas about the regime’s media manipulation and exploitation of the Alawite sect.”

Q: Why did the campaign start now and not earlier?

It did start recently but is not the first campaign. There were many activities in the Alawite areas since the beginning of the revolution, whether in Tartus, Latakia or Jableh.

This campaign started at this time because of the need for it now, especially after the huge number of martyrs from all over Syria.

There is no other solution, there is a immediate need to end up the war, stop the arming and to go back to peaceful activities.

Q: How is the regime reacting, especially given that it controls all of [Alawite-heavy] Tartus province?

The campaign was not open in the beginning. Activists’ work was hidden. No one knew who was distributing these fliers.

The words within it were not new, it is what Syrians have been saying since the beginning of this: "Scream from a nation tired of sectarianism, destruction, murdering and looting.”

After the campaign goals became clear, regime forces started to look for the activists behind it.

Q: What you expect from this campaign?

The goal is to spread awareness in regime-controlled areas against the regime's delusional media.

The campaign aims to give the option of change to Alawites.

Q: Who is behind this campaign?

The campaign does not follow any party or group. It was started by revolutionary activists. We collaborate with many revolutionary powers inside Syria, but we can't mention their names.

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