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Against Syrian anger, Assad's sect feels fear

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01 Feb 2012 19:20

By Mariam Karouny

DAMASCUS, Feb 1 (Reuters) - A year ago, Ali was enjoying university in Damascus, looking forward to a career in dentistry and paying little heed to politics in a country controlled by a single family for over 40 years.

That all changed, not so much when other Syrians took to the streets to demand President Bashar al-Assad step down, but when a mysterious message popped up on his Facebook page; it told him to get out of town, or die - because he was the wrong religion.

"You Alawite," read a text on the social networking site, widely hailed by pro-democracy activists for enabling the Arab Spring uprisings. "We don't want to see your face in Barzeh."

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