Saturday, April 16, 2011

زنقة زنقة دار دار بدنا نشيلك يا بشار

I tried to understand the psychology of torturers.. I researched & the reasons I found (if you're a psychologist and I'm wrong plz correct me) were pretty much unsatisfactory.. I couldn't swallow them as reasonable enough to have a human being quite literally transform into a monster.

According to Science Week.. "virtually anyone can be aggressive if sufficiently provoked, stressed, disgruntled or hot" and the researcher or psychologist who wrote the article used the Abo Gharib case to explain how those four reasons applied into transforming those US soldiers into psychopaths.

So out of trying to understand more about the mechanics of the human brain I attempted to apply those 4 reasons to some other cases such as the case of Khaled Saeed, the 28 year old Egyptian brutally beaten to death on the streets of Alexandria by Egyptian Secret Police or more recently incidents in Syria and I failed miserably. 

Please watch the following videos before continuing this post:

Two of those videos are of Syrian children or maybe teenagers who were captured by Syrian police/army while out on the street protesting against the tyranny that is Bashar Al Assad's regime. What possesses a human to do this to a child? How would an innocent child merely calling out for freedom and democracy provoke, cause stress, disgruntle or cause a change of climate that deems him worthy of such humiliation?

We saw in the 1st video how they forced the kid to kiss some officer's feet, beat him up, filmed him as they pretended to sodomize him, filmed him naked and finally as if all that was not enough someone peed all over him will the person filming added instructions such as "on his face".. 

This makes me question the sanity of those hired by Arab dictators to work in police force. For example in Egypt (plz someone correct me if I'm wrong) police officers are graduates of the police academy, I dont think anyone else can apply to the job, according to what I know which might not be a 100% right, to be a policeman you have to be a graduate of the police academy.

We have seen similar videos of abuse on part of the Egyptian police, one of the main motives that drove the January 25 revolution was to put an end to the police brutality in Egypt. This in turn reflects on what those people LEARN at that academy of theirs..!! Do we know if there is a psychology class? Are there seminars on human rights and how not to violate them while performing their jobs and maintaining order in the country? (I know some people will be snickering at the questions) Of course the answer is HELL NO!! 

These should be incorporated into the system through which these "students" are brought up to become POLICE MEN.. protecting the people and working for their safety.. not psychotic maniacs turning into a Nazi at the first chance they get!!

According to PolicePsych which is a journal for Law Enforcement and Public Safety: "In law enforcement each crisis situation is unique so it is difficult to train for all possible scenarios. However, officers generally perform well after training even though they cannot always accurately report their decision making process. Repeated and varied training builds self confidence and allows an officer to function well under stress. Refinements in virtual reality training may help even more."

I know in the Syrian case the entire regime has to fall like in the Tunisian/Egyptian examples and then the rebuilding would begin. But I think its most necessary for the people of Arab countries undergoing significant political changes to focus on the importance of public awareness of Human Rights, to focus on making sure that psychological training is included in the curriculum of the Police Academy to make sure that the rule does not remain that it is acceptable to humiliate a fellow citizen.. a human being just because you're in a powerful position. There must also be a crucial demand for strict laws against anyone who strays and resorts to violence and brutality and abuses his/her power. 

I hope that this post opens more eyes of citizens of the world (although I highly doubt "the world" reads my blog) to how gruesome the situation is currently like in Syria.. Please try to place as much pressure on your government's as possible to impose sanctions on the Syrian government in attempts to minimize the casualties, injuries, arrests that eventually result in videos such as the above that we end up watching while sitting in the comfort of our own beds. This can be done by simply raising more awareness of those around you about the Syrian revolution.

"In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies... but the silence of our friends"
Martin Luther King Jr.


  1. While I think American media of the ongoing revolutions in MENA is getting better, you know Farah, that we here are not exposed to these kinds of unfathomably tragic first of all thank you b/c it is a good reminder/wake up call to me.

    And second, of all the atrocities and shameful practices that come out of violence or a violent (non-democratic) form of government, this kind of torture is the most demeaning, outrageous, and downright confusing. I am no psychologist so I have no idea about when human's 'breaking point' is when we turn into psychos, but I think that everyone is different and maybe people who are inherently more volatile, aggressive, and easily corrupted are the ones who seek these kinds of positions of power. But hell if I know. Let me know if you figure out the answer!!

  2. The bigger problem ya Farah is not only in the Police entity in the Arab World, but even educated people like ourselves, we've been accustomed to make "fun" of human rights for so long, whenever it's brought up it's either in the form of a joke or in the form of a dream that we will never attain. So the big bulk of "re-building" is making the citizens of the Arab countries grasp human rights as their "rights" and not something that is granted to them as a favor! That's my humble opinion at least...