My Mother’s Tears Shame Me campaign

08 July 2013

The My Mother’s Tears Shame Me campaign is being carried out by members of the Bees of the Coast Movement, an opposition group based in the Syrian coast, which is the regime’s stronghold and the area from which the Assad family descends. The campaign urges the youth of the coast not to respond to the call to serve in the army reserve.

With messages like “Withhold from military activity for the sake of your mother’s hearts,” activists are trying to convince young men not to sign up for the army. One of the goals of the campaign is to shed light on the fact that those joining the army are dying for the sake of a single man, not for the sake of their country. While many residents of the coast believe the regime’s narrative that they are at war with “armed terrorist groups,” the Bees of the Coast are urging people to say “I refuse to have my son killed so your son can rule the country.”

A sign raised by activists in Qadmous, Banias. Sources: Bees of the Coast Official Facebook Page

Activists distributed leaflets in different parts of Latakia city, as well as in villages in the surrounding area. Some of the slogans written on these leaflets are “My mother wants to dance at my brother’s wedding, not mourn at his funeral... Enough!” and “I refuse to watch my son die so you can assert your son’s ascent to power.”

One of the reasons this campaign is so important is that it is taking place in the regime’s stronghold, putting the lives of the activists involved in extreme danger. Because of the danger of distributing leaflets in an area where protesting the regime is a death sentence, the activists are carrying out their work in extreme secrecy.

The name of the campaign comes from a very well-known poem written by renowned Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish that was sung by the renowned musician Marcel Khalife.

Dearly I yearn for my mother's bread,

My mother's coffee,

Mother's brushing touch.

Childhood is raised in me,

Day upon day in me.

And I so cherish life

Because if I died

My mother's tears would shame me.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad