I still remember that summer day on the 6th of June 2000, when Hafez Assad died. It wasn’t that I couldn’t believe it, or I am chocked or I was expecting anything in specific. I didn’t expect that anything would change. I just sat in front of the TV watching the people fainting from sadness and performing bad crying scenes. But who can blame them, maybe I would burst in hysterical crying act and throw myself on the ground and faint before cameras, either dignity through hypocrisy or humiliation through torture.
The only thing I remember is a deep sense of amusement. Was it decent to feel amused when a nation handed over from father to sun under the claim of “legitimacy!” was it appropriate to feel amused watching an expected charade unfolding in the space of our lives? But it wasn’t all that.
I was amused because “forever” proved to be not valid. In schools and streets and offices and army, everywhere we heard and sang the cheer: “Forever, forever, oh Hafez Al Assad.” Death is sarcastic when it comes to totalitarian fascist “Fathers” of some nations.
I am writing this after I watched a short movie by Abou Naddara group entitled: The King Never Dies. Many people didn’t believe that Hafez Assad could die, we repeated the forever slogan till it became part of life’s facts.
He died, so will other kings, like ordinary people, they die.