Bread and Freedom

Translated by Aisha Barazi

“If you have eaten everything but not bread, the homeland in you would still be hungry… Bread is flour, flour is wheat, wheat is from the fields and those fields are our homeland… Bread is the only thing that heals every wound in you… You’ve got to believe this… Even if there are pieces of gravel in it that will clip your teeth, even if you know that it is moldy, people have died while sweeping the remnants of wheat off the ground to make a loaf of bread for a hungry child (long sigh).”

That was a part of a conversation between two friends, and I have “stolen” it from one of them after being amazed by how detailed, beautiful and painful it is.

Nothing can substitute bread. Therefore, even when there was a shortage of dozens of food substances in the liberated areas, bread was the only motive for demonstrations condemning the local councils and the legal committees for not providing it.

In the beginning, I wondered what the purpose was of those demonstrations, as there is practically nothing that can be done by the local councils or any other organization to provide flour. The regime’s forces either control the mills or burn the crops; so why protest against the people of the revolution?!

However, I have found out that there is a reason for that fury. The bakeries are baking for specific battalions and sending bread for those at the front-lines. At the same time, families are only getting a few loaves of bread for two or even three weeks.

Where do those battalions get flour from?? And by which law they are keeping it for themselves? Even if occasionally they are distributing some of it to the civilians, who gave them the right to monopolize flour when it is, in the first place, a public right for the children and their families? Most importantly, why is it not being distributed to the local councils and bakeries instead of donating some of it to select people?!

I do not think that a fighter at the frontline, who had sacrificed expensive and cheap things for a case he believes in, would care more or less if he has a loaf of bread in his meal; as long as he knows that his children and the children in his city would get this bread in these difficult circumstances.

The issue is concerning the commanders of those battalions and about offering privileges to their members. The common authoritarian sense that considers everything being provided as a means of tightening control and obtaining absolute loyalty. I cannot find any other explanation for such behavior.

The flour substance must not get out from the public bakeries, which everyone benefits from. If bread becomes monopolized, bargained and a way to get loyalty, then the fields of that wheat would be polluted and would never ever grow something good.