In February 2011 there have been attempts to rally the Syrians into rising against the regime; most notably was the call for the "Day of Rage" on the social media networks. These calls were coming from the traditional opposition groups outside Syria that had no real influence on the ground and very little support in Syria. These groups were mostly made up of the members of Muslim brotherhood in exile or former figures in the regime who are known and hated by the Syrians for their previous roles, such as Rifat Assad, Bashar's uncle and the infamous brother of Hafez Assad who led the deadly crackdown on the Syrian city of Hamaa in the 80s, and Abdul Halim Khadam, the former vice-president who was an icon for corruption in his days in power. These attempts have failed and the Syrians were not interested at all in the calls for toppling the regime.Inside Syria there were some shy efforts to use the effect of the Arab spring and get the demonstrations to spread into Syria, however these too have failed to gain momentum or generate any interest what so ever, and it seemed as though Syria was immune to change.The Turning Point That Sparked the Syrian UprisingOn March the 6th 2011, the security forces in the province of Daraa (a small poor rural city in southern Syria) arrested at least 15 elementary school pupils aged 10 and 11 years old for writing the slogan "the people want to topple the regime" as graffiti on the walls of their school. These kids did not mean the Syrian regime but were merely influenced by the scenes of the televised revolutions of Egypt and Tunisia, and their small age did not stop the security forces from detaining them for the next ten days.The parents of these kids sought the help of the city dignitaries and the local religious leaders in releasing the children, they went to the political security branch where the kids were being detained, only to be told by the head of the political security branch, Atef Najeeb who is also a direct cousin of Bashar Assad, to forget about the kids. He was quoted telling the parents (Ar.) "Forget about the children" and "If you do not know how to make new children, bring your wives to us and we'll impregnate them for you" which is a huge insult in that tribal rural community where family loyalty and family honour are extremely relevant to the people. As a result the prominent families of Daraa called for a "Dignity Day", and a huge demonstration took place on March 18th after the Friday prayer demanding the prosecution of Atef Najeeb and the resignation of the Governor. The demonstration was faced by a bloody response from the police and security. Six people were shot dead, and that sparked the uprising throughout Syria.The kids were eventually released beaten and blooded with their fingers broken, fingernails pulled out, and faces swollen of torture.The Shocking Speech in the House of parliamentDuring the first two weeks of protests, the regime's strictly controlled Syrian media dismissed the reports by foreign media about the situation in Syria as lies, and accused channels like Aljazeera, Alarabiya, France24, and BBC of fabricating stories, and that was the official stand until the 29th of March 2011 when it was announced that Bashar Assad was going to address the nation through the parliament on March the 30th 2011, two weeks after the start of protests. Of course no one was expecting a dramatic move such as a resignation. In actual fact not many at that point demanded that either, as there was still a general sense that what happened was not approved by the Assad. That said, people's expectations were high, they assumed that the Assad will take the initiative and step in to calm down the situation, and take some measured steps to reassure the people that those who killed and tortured the civilians will be punished by law. In addition, it was expected that he would lift off the state of emergency which have been imposed on the Syrians since 1963, and set out the movement for political and economical reform. Such measures seemed to have been enough to help defuse the crisis at the time.Mr Assad, however, had a different idea
In one occasion, one of the MPs shouted (video Ar. text Eng.) "The Arab world is too small for you, dear leader, you should rule the world!"