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Syrian Uprising: Protesters Have Fun With Bashar 'The Duck' Assad's New Nickname

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 Local Coordination Committees
Local Coordination Committees

Syrian protesters fighting President Bashar al-Assad have a new tool in their arsenal: an internet meme.

Buried in the revelations revealed by a leaked cache of emails between the president and his wife, British-born Asma al-Assad, was a precious gift: a wife's pet nickname for her husband:

"Duck" - or "batta" in Arabic.

Now demonstrators both online and in the real world have taken the name to heart, chanting it in the street, mocking up cartoons with the president's face on the body, and in one case dressing up as a duck and, well, dancing about.

The Duck meme is just the latest example of the opposition taking up satire in their fight against the regime.

One video of a demonstration in Zabandani, near to Damascus, shows protesters cheering on the duck-costumed man.

"You duck," they chant, according to the AFP, referring to Assad. "May God damn your soul."

The irony is heightened by the fact that in Arabic Assad's name translates as 'The Lion'. From lion to duck - it isn't a good trajectory for a dictator.

In another YouTube clip a mock interview with Assad is held between an activist and a plastic duck.

At a protest in Damascus itself demonstrators held up squeaking yellow ducks, and on Facebook thousands of jokers made fun of "Assad's duck brigades".

More than 9,000 people have been killed in Syria since the start of the uprising a year ago, according to the UN.

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