Once upon a time there was a Syrian named Homâr. Because that name means “Ass”, his wife used to laugh at Homâr. Homâr told his friends about his problem, and they advised him to change his name.
So Homâr sold his cow and with the money gave a great feast for his friends. After much eating and drinking, Homâr said, “I have now given up my old name. But my friends, what should my new name be?”
Homâr and his friends had drank much wine. His friends decided Homâr’s new name should be “Gash”, which means “Young Ass.” Homâr drunkenly agreed to the new name.
Homâr (now Gash) went home and knocked on the door. “Who is there?” asked his wife. “Gash,” he replied. His wife thought a moment, then said, “Let Gash remain outside, for he will soon become Homâr.”
The above is an example of Syrian folklore, found in Volume 17 of Folklore (edited by Joseph Jacobs, et al.).
The Baath Party is the ruling party in Syria. Bashar Assad, leader of Syria, is part of the Baath Party. So was Bashar’s father, Hafez Assad. The Syrian Communist Party (SCP) was the bitter adversary of the Baath Party in the late 1950s. By 1987, the SCP was the second largest legal political party in Syria and was an important constituent element of the NPF (National Progressive Front). In the early 1980s, Hafez Assad banned the Syrian Communist Party. But the former USSR lobbied for the SCP to be restored to favor, which it was in 1986. (Syria: A Country Study. (Apparently by “Federal Research Division”) 2004. Published by Kessinger.net)
So the Baath Party was like the wife, and the Syrian Communist Party was like Homâr, in the story of Gash and Homâr.
One day, Homâr decided to change his name to Gash (“Young Ass”). Gone apparently was the old Communist insurgency, replaced by cute, cuddly, warm furry “dissidents.” Homâr (“Ass”) had changed his name to “Free Syrian Army” (“Young Ass”).
Moral of the story: “Let Gash remain outside, for he will soon become Homâr.”