Syria since the time of its uprising has been the epicenter of news for various reasons. However, in the 13 month span of Syrian unrest resulting in the death of over 9,000 people, it is the first time that the tool of emotion is being put into practice.
The focus of attention has shifted from the problems of common people to make a wakeup call for the ones in power. In a recently launched online video on YouTube the wives of British and German ambassadors to the United Nations, Sheila Lyall Grant and Huberta von Voss-Wittig respectively have sent Syria’s first lady, Asma al-Assad with a set of ‘instructions’ that she needs to adhere in order to prevent her husband, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to put an end to all the atrocities and repression taking place in the country.
Some of the commands provided to her say, "Stand up for peace, Asma. Speak out now. Stop being a bystander. Stop your husband.” The roughly four minute video, undoubtedly plays well on the emotional side of affairs to provoke a monster within the viewer for the Syrian regime. Especially when it shows Asma bending down to kiss a young girl stepping out of her school bus and the next image you see is a mother crying on the corpse of her child.
But at the same time it raises some serious questions that the better halves of these diplomats need to answer. First and foremost being what were they doing for the past 13 months? Giving every possible opportunity for Asma to flee from the country as rumors suggests, or were they waiting for the death toll in Syria to skyrocket. In the midst of such confusion the attempt can only be dubbed as the latest technique of propaganda packaged and wrapped with the ribbon of human sentiments.
In addition to this the attempt seems more or less a repetition of the most contemporary form of activism that has gained tremendous momentum since the launch of gone viral Joseph Kony 2012 video. Like Joseph Kony video, this particular video also intends to project a misleading notion of social activism by oversimplifying a rather complex political situation that prevails in Syria. Also, adopting the very same false idea this video asks viewers to sign a petition with the intent of contributing their own cosmetic share for the people by motivating their first lady.
With all these factors completely overlooked and marginalized it is highly unlikely that the video might be able to create any profound impact for the purpose it has been made for.