Comics about Syria – When Fear Kicks In

Comics about Syria – When Fear Kicks In

Hello people of the world! When Fear Kicks In is a short illustrated graphic novel (related comics) about Syria that sheds light on the real meaning of fear under the dictatorship of Bashar Al Assad (the “president” of Syria).

As you know (if you do not know, please have a look at this), I am presently working on a graphic novel about Syria. In the third chapter (The Biggest Fear) of my graphic novel there is a scene that tells an incident, which happened to a very close friend of mine in Damascus at the beginning of the revolution. However, I illustrated this scene in my graphic novel in a brief way, because doing otherwise would be off the plot. That is why I decided to elaborate this scene in more detail here, because it is a very touching story that sheds light on the real meaning of fear under the dictatorship of Bashar Al-Assad. Also, I included some psychological explanations of how fear drives one’s behaviour.

If you want to download the story as a pdf file, please click on the link below:

When Fear Kicks In

Hope you enjoy reading it!

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

best related comics about Syria

According to the Social Identity Theory (SIT), it is noticeable that there are two groups. On the first hand, the in-group, to which I belonged before the incident, included those who were suffering from the regime’s acts, brave enough to take the streets and shout freedom. They disliked the regime, payed the consequences and condemned the use of violence against civilians. On the other hand, the out-group did not only include the regime and its security forces, but also its supporters who were justifying the killing of their fellow citizens that had a different opinion. In addition, I was myself comparing favourably my group against the out-group. When describing my in-group, I was using terms such as “we are free people”, “we are democracy seekers”, “we are people with dignity” and “we want freedom and justice for everybody including the out-group”. On the contrary, when describing the out-group, I was using terms such as “those people are benefiting from the regime”, “those people are fake”, “the regime is criminal” etc. Moreover, even though I did not have any idea about the regime supporters’ circumstances, I described them in such a way. Some of them might have been pretending to be pro Assad just for the sake of their security. When the incident happened, I ended up just like them (or some of them) to be safe. That makes sense, because one of the main ideas of belonging to a group is that people would feel safe and comfortable. However, it is much subtler than it actually may seem, as when the safety of an individual of a certain group is being endangered because of the fact that he or she belongs to that very group, that individual might behave impulsively in hope of restoring his comfort and safety. Therefore, it is worth shedding light on Maslow’s model.

Taking Maslaw’s model into consideration, when a person of a certain group experiences an incident that operates on the lower level of the pyramid (basic needs), that person, hypothetically, is more likely to show impulsive behaviour. In other words, when something prevents an individual from reaching food, water and security, it means that a serious threat is being imposed on that individual, which makes his behaviour more likely to be based on survival-mode. Moreover, emotions such as fear can be triggered by the fact that basic needs are blocked or endangered (either by someone or by something), which instigates frustrated behaviour. Hence, when members of the out-group block those basic needs, to an extent that the blockage threatens the in-group individuals’ survival, the safest and fastest passage for the threatened individuals is to regard the out-group as their in-group.

According to the cognitive dissonance theory, what I did was obviously inconsistent with my beliefs, values and identity. However, at that time of fear I did not recognise any inconsistency between my belief and my behaviour, as I changed my respective beliefs and rationalised my behaviour accordingly. The beliefs that I changed were: “this regime probably has positive intention behind whatever may seem brutal”, “the people who have been killed by the regime’s forces might have done something wrong”, “even my abducted uncle might have done something wrong that I did not know about”.

Although fear played an essential role in behaviour, fear alone cannot explain why I behaved in such an immoral way. Therefore, it is worth relating the incident to moral disengagement theory, as what I did was morally disengaged. At the time of the incident, I took the side of the perpetrator, who had been doing the unimaginable to average civilians. In addition to the fear and threat that I experienced, I was able to justify not only the current brutal actions of the regime and its security forces, but also the past ones. I simply was thinking that they were doing what they were doing because they had to maintain stability in the country, and stability is good for every citizen. Moreover, I was able to believe that if the regime did not use such a ruthless force to repress those, who were trying to turn everything into chaos, the safety of every Syrian including my family and me would be at stake (advantageous comparison). I did not even think about any moral responsibilities of the regime at that time, as my focus was mainly on two things. First, my focus was on the positive intention behind the regime’s actions. Second, my focus was on blaming those, who had been suffering from such brutality, for putting the lives of other fellow citizens at risk. Apart from the frightening experience I had that night, which made me think I was going to be arrested or killed, all the above explains why I took the side of the one that I considered as evil and criminal.

Ultimately, all I can say is that life is indeed precious and no one knows what or how to behave in a certain context, until they are in it.

If you want to download the story as a pdf file, please click on the link below:

When Fear Kicks In

If you like this post and find it useful, please help me spread the word.

Thank you for reading this!

With love
Tim. S

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