29 April 2011 — RT
While media reports paint a picture of the situation in Syria as a mass public uprising brutally suppressed by the dictatorial government, the events are viewed in a totally different way by those living there.
RT caught up with Anhar Kochneva, director of a Moscow-based tourist firm specializing in the Middle East. She often travels to Syria, and stays in touch with hundreds of people in the region. She shared what her contacts say about the unfolding unrest and who they blame for the spreading violence.
RT: What’s happening in Syria? What have you seen? And [w]hat are the Syrians saying?
Anhar Kochneva: Not even once did I come across anyone who would in any way support these riots; and mind you, in the line of my job, I deal with all sorts of people. There are many vehicles with the president’s portraits driving the streets throughout the country – ranging from old, barely moving crankers to brand new Porsches and Hummers. You can’t force people into hanging up portraits. It means that people, irrespective of their status and income, support the president rather than the rebellion. I saw quite a number of young people walking or driving around with Syrian flags. How can you force a young person hanging out with friends to wave flags? I think it’s difficult too. If you understand the mentality of the Syrians you can tell there is a sincere impulse from a forced obligation.