Saturday, March 20, 2004

A headline you do not see every day in The New York Times 

'Hussein's Fall Leads Syrians to Test Government Limits' - headline, above-the-fold, front page of The New York Times, Saturday, March 20, 2004.

A year ago, it would have been inconceivable for a citizen of Syria, run by the Baath Party of President Bashar al-Assad, to make a documentary film with the working title, "Fifteen Reasons Why I Hate the Baath."

Yet watching the overthrow of Saddam Hussein across the border in Iraq prompted Omar Amiralay to do just that. "It gave me the courage to do it," he said.

"When you see one of the two Baath parties broken, collapsing, you can only hope that it will be the turn of the Syrian Baath next," he added, having just completed the film, eventually called "A Flood in Baath Country," for a European arts channel. "The myth of having to live under despots for eternity collapsed."

The winds of change, they are a blowin'.


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