27 February 2012

A gesture of solidarity from East Anglia - and Britain? - to the Syrian people

By Rupert Read

I am devoting my OWC column this week to a letter I was delighted to be a signatory to. This letter appeared in yesterday's OBSERVER. It was initiated by the Syrian democracy protester Odai Al-Zoubi:

Expel the Syrian ambassador

We the undersigned petition the government to expel the current Syrian ambassador to the UK and to close the Syrian embassy in London until a Syrian government that is representative of its people can be formed in Damascus. Also, we ask the government to recognise the National Syrian Council. We believe the current Syrian regime is responsible for murdering more than 7,000 civilians. We request that the British government takes appropriate diplomatic action and deports the ambassador in order to de-recognise the Syrian dictatorship.

Dr Rupert Read
University of East Anglia

and 31 others

Tania El Khoury, artist; Roskar Nasan, musician; Odai Al Zoubi - PhD student; Hussam Eddin Mohammad, writer and journalist; Amjad Nasser, writer, poet and journalist; Bassam Jaara, journalist; Nouri Aljarrah, poet; Elfat Darwich, gallery owner; Mousab Alazzawi, doctor; Ghalia Kabbani, writer; Ghassan Ibrahim, journalist; Thomas Pierret, lecturer, University of Edinburgh; Dr Fiona Roxburgh, lecturer, UEA; Catherine Rowett, Professor of Philosophy, UEA; Davide Rizza, lecturer, UEA; Ibrahim Fakhri, interpreter; Gabrina Pounds, lecturer, UEA; Dr Costas Bouyioukos, computational biologist; Muslin Abdul Hamid, lawyer; Philip Wilson translator and tutor, UEA; Kokotas Konstantinos claims co -ordinator at International SOS; Ben Walker, tutor, UEA; David Jane, PhD student; Philip Wilson, translator and tutor, UEA; Silvia Panizza, PhD student; Dr Oskari Kuusela, lecturer, UEA; Keith Rowley, teacher of English as a foreign language and branch secretary with the GMB trade union; Dr John Barry, School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast;Graham Read, retired social and marketing research director; Razan Almohammaed Alali, student; Anand Wilbert, student.

It is good to see that the list of signatories has a distinctively East Anglian feel about it! Evidently, we are somewhat leading the way on this one...

(Here is the letter in its original place, ours is the second letter down).

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