[Marxism] Oday Tayem, Son of the Two Intifadas | Tahrir-ICN

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Feb 1 07:33:24 MST 2014

When the Second Palestinian Intifada broke out, a group of Palestinians 
and Syrians set up a protest tent in Arnous Square in central Damascus 
to express solidarity with their brethren in occupied Palestine. Oday 
was as young as seven at the time, but he regularly participated in the 
demonstrations against the Israeli occupation, memorised Palestinian 
revolutionary songs, and attended the sit-ins along with his mother who 
was among the organisers.

Eleven years later, Syria was to have its own intifada, an intifada 
against a home-grown occupier. And Oday, who was studying political 
science in Lebanon at the moment when Syria’s uprising for freedom and 
dignity began, would know exactly which side he was on. The ever-smiling 
young refugee who demanded freedom for Palestine at the age of seven 
would, eleven years later, demand freedom for both Palestine and Syria, 
stressing that both demands go hand-in-hand.

Many now-retired Palestinian revolutionaries, together with the bulk of 
left-wing intellectuals, would either unashamedly support the Syrian 
regime or demonise the Syrian revolution, shrouding their positions with 
the cloak of neutrality and objectivity. In sharp contrast, Oday, like 
an entire generation of the youth of Syria’s Palestinian camps, 
relinquished the safety of silence, spoke truth to power, and reclaimed 
the Palestinian cause exploited and appropriated for so long by the 
Syrian regime and its apologists.


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