Sunday, April 22, 2007

Gone Voting

Today is voting day. I left home enthusiastic and eager to practice my rights as a citizen :-) The neighborhood looked like a ghost town, barely any movement here or there. I didn’t know if this is because of elections or because it is Sunday. I looked around and started thinking where should I go, because no one told me where voting takes place; but who asks finds answers. So I went to the nearest place.
There were like 50 candidate representatives standing at the door, most of them are doing nothing but taking shelter from the sun, which wasn’t hot yet. And over all there were more representatives than voters. Barely anyone noticed my existence as I directed myself to the voting room.
There, I handed my electoral card and I was given a ballot to mark the names on, in addition to a self adhesive brown envelope. The ballot contained the names of members of the National Progressive Front (whom I already mentioned are winning no matter what) and blanks for the names of my choice. That’s bad practice number one: forced voting. Of course I could ask for a blank ballot, or scratch the names, but I didn’t care this time.
I entered the “voting secret room” and wrote down a couple of names, put the ballot in the envelope, removed the protecting strip and sealed the envelope. As I come out I handed the enveloped to the officers who scolded me for sealing the envelope!!! Bad practice number two. So what do they want to do? Check the names I wrote?? Make sure I didn’t write some insults, or scratched the names of the untouchables? They didn’t make a fuss about it and I took my card back.
Now, many have heard about the new addition to the election process: secret ink. Which is put on the index finger, and it stay for about 48 hours so you can be recognized if you thought of double voting. The ink is very secret as the picture of my index shows. Now I feel tagged, but personally I would have preferred French manicure; at least they could paint all the nails with the same color. And I think the purpose to keep the mark until a new nail grows. And then, they already stamped the electoral card, so why to paint my nail too?? Bad practice number three.
The bottom line, I practiced my rights but the experience wasn’t fulfilling, anyone surprised???


At Sun Apr 22, 05:22:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger Maysaloon said...

Thanks for the great insight into what it's like back home. On another note, I was wondering what you thought about the 3askariyeh and whether or not it was something you had to worry about? What are people doing about this nowadays and are there any ins and outs for it?

At Sun Apr 22, 06:59:00 PM GMT+3, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Question about the voting: If you scratch the names listed on the ballot for the national progressive front, does this action consider in counting or those people will be selected even all people have scratched them out? I wonder? Could shed some light on this please.

At Sun Jun 10, 01:46:00 PM GMT+3, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At Wed Jun 13, 12:44:00 PM GMT+3, Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

hi there,
i'm an australian coming to damascus next week. my name is antony loewenstein. i'm keen to meet up with bloggers to talk about the syrian blogosphere in syria.
are you keen?
look forward to hearing from you.

best wishes,


email: antloew (at)

At Mon Aug 06, 05:41:00 PM GMT+3, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Bassam, my name is Libby and i am journalist from israel. do you mind if we exchange mails?

At Mon May 26, 04:45:00 AM GMT+3, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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