- By David KennerDavid Kenner is the Middle East editor at Foreign Policy. He is based in Beirut, Lebanon, and has been with FP since 2009 (a long time, he knows). He worked for FP previously in Cairo, where he covered the early days of the Arab Spring, and before that in Washington. He has attended Georgetown University and the American University of Beirut and has reported from Libya, Egypt, Gaza, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq.
The Syrian uprising is serious business, but people still have time for some levity now and then. In this video, for instance, a group of Syrians announce the formation of the "Eagles of Washington" brigade, which they say will protect the United States from North Korea. They are armed with crutches and canes — in a dig at the U.S. refusal to provide military aid to the Syrian rebels, they say they will defend the U.S. capital with non-lethal tools. (hat tip to Twitter user @DarthNader for pointing out the video)
There’s actually a cottage industry of joke Syrian opposition Youtube videos out there. They often play off of the formula of the real rebel videos: In the video below, for example, a Syrian man announces the creation of the "Free Duck Brigade," while his two friends behind him clutch two ducks and try not to laugh. The video is a play on the news that Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad’s nickname for her husband, Bashar, is "duck" — in the video, the man calls for the downfall of "Bashar al-Duck." At the end of the video, when the speaker in a serious video would usually call for the takbeer — a prompt for the assembled crowd to say "God is greatest" — the gentleman in this video calls for a tak-beek. His friends respond by saying "Quack, quack," greatly upsetting the ducks in the process.
Also, because parents everywhere love filming their kids, there are many videos of Syrian children delivering political messages. In the below video, a group of kids announce their "defection" from their schools to the Free Syrian Army.