Entries in Kafranbel (5)
Since the earliest days of the Syrian uprising, protests have been distinguished by the banners carried by anti-Assad activists. Initially, these gave basic information --- date and location --- as a message to the country, and those beyond who might be viewing on a computer screen. As the days drew on, and the protests grew beyond counting, so the banners evolved. Eventually, one town placed itself above all the rest, creating colourful, thoughtful, witty, provocative, angry, and imminently human messages in both English and Arabic, designed for the entire world to see.
That town is Kafranbel.
Friday's message from protesters in Kafranbel in Syria to United Nations envoy Lakhdar Brahimi
See also Syria Feature: The Growing Crisis in Health Care br>
Turkey Opinion: Democracy v. "Erdogan's Personal Lust for Power" br>
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Brahimi's Futile Mission to Moscow?
The Committees write more than 20 children and 20 women are among today's deaths.
Protest in Hama on Friday
See also Syria Analysis: Why Assad's Use of SCUD Missiles is Really Important br>
Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Netanyahu Dismisses Criticism of Settlements br>
Friday's Syria Live Coverage: Russia Gives Up on Assad
1950 GMT: Al Jazeera English reports on the declaration of a no-fly zone over Aleppo by the Islamist insurgent group Jabhat al-Nusra:
Protesters in the Syrian city of Kafranbel hold a placard reflecting the focus of their concerns (Source).
The past forty-eight hours has been a tense time in the Middle East and North Africa, following the anti-American violence in Egypt and Libya which resulted in the death of a US Ambassador. However, whilst there have been demonstrations in many countries against the US-produced film deemed blasphemous to Islam by many, these protests have been notably small in number and comparatively peaceful. Widespread regional demonstrations had been anticipated today, following Friday prayers. However at present, despite incidents in Sudan and Lebanon, and clashes in Egypt, protests against the film are failing to rally large numbers of people.
In Syria, the focus is different and the story is different. There, we are seeing large, peaceful and motivated protests against the Assad regime. Indeed, the largest, most widespread, likely the most peaceful, and definitely the most dangerous protests today are in Syria - not elsewhere in the Middle East. While protesters elsewhere are focused on a Youtube video created by an individual in the United States, Syrians are using their own YouTube videos to oppose the Assad regime.