Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Skaf Effect

"I'm more of a Syrian than you are"
Mai Skaf is a Syrian actress and easily one of the icons of the Syrian Uprising… She was one of few actors and actresses; Syria’s “elite” if I may say, who raised the voice against the insanity of what’s happening in her country. In doing so, she without fail harmed the regime dearly, and in so many ways, exposing the lies and proving that the events that are taking place are not at all concerning thugs and ignorant folks, and that it’s not a sectarian driven struggle as the regime was constantly trying to portrait. Therefore, she was legitimizing a revolution that those in power were desperately trying to condemn and distort.

Yet, that’s not why I believe the actions of her and fellow “elite” are so important. It’s the fact that they’re famous, and it’s what I’d like to call “the Skaf effect”! Fame brings along tremendous influence especially if you’re an actor/actress.  On one hand, that was vital for Syrians to hear their voice resonated by the elite of the society and therefore being magnified. On the other hand, and this is where I believe the greater damage was done, their fame was their weapon! Well, when I looked into the details of the story of her arrest along with her friends I could so easily notice that they were treated with more care than the average Syrian would. They are known, not just by their families but by all Syrian and many Arabs who are watching the uprising as it unfolds. And to some extent they must have used that weapon for their own safety and for speaking up on behalf of the voiceless…!

“The Skaf effect” must be used… No excuse! Yet many public figures failed to do so; artists, writers, religious figures, and other public figures. Few have even declared loyalty to the regime, while the majority took comfort with their silence choosing not to use their somewhat immune voices, and therefore leaving that to the common man.

Yet, guess what? The common man will do it anyway, and the voice will be heard!

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