The officer explained that he advocated against granting me a visa because of my political past, a punitive measure intended to vindictively instill in us the notion that escape is impossible. Not only had we failed to prevent Hafez al-Assad’s ascension to power, we now had to live with the consequences.
Syria's Alawite minority have always been painfully aware of the fragility of sectarian coexistence. Many of us preferred one dictator, Bashar al-Assad, to a Syria broken into multiple sectarian dictatorships. So, despite reservations, despite its repression, we still stuck by the regime.