Early Life and education:
Sargon Attieh was born in 1982, in Damascus, Syria. Sargon comes from a middle class well-educated family; his mother Tala Arafeh was a high school chemistry teacher, and his father Dergam Attieh is a historian and a famous writer. The Attieh family lived in a quiet neighborhood in the old part of Damascus. Since an early age Sargon’s teachers discovered his genius and passion for education, as he excelled in mathematics, biology, and literature. At the age of fourteen Attieh became his high school chess champion and he also won a couple of mathematics competitions.
In January 1999, when Sargon was still in his senior year of high school, his father got kidnapped by the regime forces for writing a book that denounces the rule of the Assad’s regime in Syria, which was a unforgivable crime to commit under the Assad’s dictatorship. Thereafter the Attieh’s family lived in fear, as they didn’t know the whereabouts of their father nor did they dared to speak up to get him back. In his during that year Sargon became obsessed with politics; he read every history book his father had in his library and followed the news on daily basis. In that year Sargon’s interests changed from math and sciences to history and politics. A year after, Sargon graduated from high school to go into University for political science major at Damascus University. In 2003, Sargon moved to the United Kingdom to pursue doctrine in International and Criminal Law at Oxford University. Upon completing his Law degree, Sargon went back to Syria to become a professor at Damascus University.
Political views and ideology:
Sargon is often described as a secular democratic, he strongly believes in the separation of government and religion. Sargon promoted the idea of “nonviolent resistance” through different speeches and pieces of writings. In a historic speech for him prior to being detained, Sargon said “The Syrian revolution shall be a peaceful one. The barbaric Assad regime is going to try so hard to drag us into a bloody conflict in order to show the world that our revolution is an illegitimate one, but we shall be wise and not fall into this trap”.
In his early years in College, Sargon published numerous articles and journals denouncing the Islamic extremism movements in the Middle East and North Africa. Also, in his book, “A peaceful uprising, is one that succeed” Sargon was the first to predict the rise of Islamic extremism militias in Syria. In that book, He also warned the public that such groups could potentially hijack the popular uprising to turn it into complex armed conflict.
Involvement in the Syrian revolution:
After the Syrian revolution started in March 15th 2011, Sargon was one of the first national figures to declare his opposition against the Assad’s dictatorship and he was the one who called for the first peaceful protest in Damascus University. Days after the first protest in Damascus University, Sargon was detained by the government for “Conspiring against the national security”. Sargon was sentenced to serve a lifetime sentence in Tadmor prison, which is known to be [one] of the cruelest prisons in the region for its harsh conditions, extensive human rights abuse, torture, and summary executions. During his term in Tadmor, Sargon managed to write and release his famous book, “A peaceful uprising, is one that succeed” in his book Sargon urges the Syrian people to maintain the revolution a peaceful one and avoid falling into an armed conflict with the Assad regime.