A year and a half elapsed after Syrian Women Observatory launched the "National Campaign" against honor related crimes and we are still in a state of stalemate concerning the official response.

The campaign attracted, and still, wide range support and solidarity by mass people, religious figures (weather Christian, Muslims of different sects), public figures, intellectuals and even Members of Syrian Parliament (People's Assembly). All signed the petition calling for the change of Articles 548, 239, 240, 241 and 242 of the Syrian Penal Code.
As we are just couple of weeks away from a new legislative election to choose the members of the Syrian Parliament, we think that we have all the right to ask the current Messrs of the Parliament about their approach to the Article 52 of the Syrian Constitution which they swore to serve and respect.
The article stipulates: "A member of the People's Assembly represents the whole people. His mandate may not be limited by any restrictions or conditions. He must exercise his mandate guided by his honor and conscience".
Shouldn't we ask why we allow the use of the very word "honor" to justify crimes that become nearly, daily incidents in our lives.
Are the members of the parliament waiting for a green light from somebody to change the law? Is drafting a new law recently about egg prices by the minister of economy, more important than drafting a law that spares our women's blood? Why do we have to wait for a green light while the mufti of the Syrian Arab Republic and a number of various religious figures approved the content of the petition???
No green light has appeared yet… what has appeared indeed was a bloody festival of blood red, a festival of the young girls's blood who were killed under the pretext of saving the honor of the family: Zahra (Rose in Arabic), Houda (Guidance), Amal (Hope) and Samar (Joy) and many other would-be victims waiting us to whet the knife used to kill them. We responsible for a society we became part of its crimes, preparing elegy every day for the next victim that is coming for sure.
Suddenly, a statement by the Ministry of Local Administration mentioned allocating SP 370m (about € 5.7m) for the national programme of empowering woman.
Were is our Zahra within this empowerment??? Do they want to empower Zahra and then kill her? Or maybe the opposite… killing her then empowering the murderer by issuing a pardon for what he had committed… and leaving him heading to the next victim of a new name, using, however, the same nife!

We have nothing but hope that the anniversary of Zahra's death next year will come along with a new law by the new Parliament that respects its constitution, and above all does not turn a blind eye to the killing of the very women whom it claims to represent.

By Basel Jbaily, 4/2007, (Zahra and the Parliament Election)
Exclusive: Syrian Women