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(18,795 posts)
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:01 PM Mar 2012

One Year on, My Neighbourhood Destroyed, My Life Torn Apart

Let me tell you about my life, I am a Syrian activist who has been involved in the revolution since April 2011. My main work began from August 2011 and it was with the Baba Amr media team as it began to establish itself while also being ready to support other groups around Homs. I am a student with my entire extended family living in Syria. It has been a year of mixed emotions. But 12 months on I can conclude three emotions: exhausted, broken and offended.

I am exhausted because working for this revolution is a heavy responsibility. When those inside being bombed and losing everything place their trust in you as their voice, you must work tirelessly to get their voices out. They trust you with their names, accounts, backgrounds and information. I worked with the Baba Amr media team office, where foreign journalists slept, as one of their English translators and media connections and I knew some of those sleeping there personally. I worked with them until they were pushed out recently as the regime bombarded the neighborhood for 27 consecutive days; I lost a relative in the process of them fleeing. I've also worked with other areas in Homs from Karam Alzaytoon, Bab Sba, Insha at, Jobar, Alrastan and Bab Dreib. I am honoured to be a part of the Syrian revolution, especially the Homs revolution as it is a duty on me until this brutal regime is toppled to help in every way possible, even if my education suffers.

I am broken because I am outside watching my family, my friends and my city Homs be ripped apart through shelling, theft of homes, rape and murder. In the last two weeks I have had many from my small village executed or arrested. Some tortured in wedding halls while others were blown up once gathered in a home. Women from my village were raped as men were locked in separate rooms only to hear their screams. These are personal stories, not ones from the media. This is why being outside makes things much harder as I can only hear and watch. I read the martyrs list daily analysing if one of my relatives has died. I watch videos of bodies returned tortured or executed closely observing do I know them or not. I have forgotten how to sleep properly because on most nights I stay awake translating what is taking place from bombing to executions, stay up training an activist on how to pronounce certain words when he speaks to media in English the next day, or translating daily reports. Yet after all this, I will then return to my bed - warm, safe and sound. While, in Homs, may never come online again...dead.

Finally I am offended because of the world's response. It is a deafening silence, though there are words, but it is like screaming into a vacuum. The words are meaningless the promises are empty. International governments keep mentioning the Assad regime has lost legitimacy and must step down, however their officials still meet and discuss with this criminal regime? The governments discuss how to get humanitarian aid into starving Homs, this is like saying a volcano has erupted and we are trying to keep families living under the lava but we panic to find a way to provide some kind of shelter over their heads instead of evacuating them and dealing with the volcano. We must deal with the route of the problem, Bashar Al-Assad, before running to correct his mistakes. Why have the Assad regime criminals not been passed onto the international criminal court? What more needs to be committed? What more evidence is required as videos flood Youtube, eyewitnesses fill Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. Foreign journalists carry stories of crimes against humanity being committed. Foreign doctors also hold testimonies to the war crimes inside Syria. The international governments keep issuing sanctions. The more you corner a criminal the more violent he becomes, as has been seen in recent weeks.


11 replies = new reply since forum marked as read
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One Year on, My Neighbourhood Destroyed, My Life Torn Apart (Original Post) tabatha Mar 2012 OP
Feckless - Juan Cole tabatha Mar 2012 #1
Well there is no oil in Syria. nadinbrzezinski Mar 2012 #2
Realistic, not cynical. PDJane Mar 2012 #3
See #5. tabatha Mar 2012 #6
There is oil in Syria. tabatha Mar 2012 #5
One more time.. PDJane Mar 2012 #8
Please elaborate on Syria requested rockets be shot into Israel. Comrade Grumpy Mar 2012 #11
Child found living among corpses pinboy3niner Mar 2012 #4
Trust me this is not going to be a sympathetic message board for this RB TexLa Mar 2012 #7
President Obama condemned Assad and asked him to step aside. chrisa Mar 2012 #9
The point is that the US doesn't support democratic movement, PDJane Mar 2012 #10


(18,795 posts)
1. Feckless - Juan Cole
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:02 PM
Mar 2012

Posted on 03/15/2012 by Juan
The Syrian uprising is a year old, and France 24 has a collage of videos chronicling these dramatic and bloody events.

The world community has failed Syria, just as it failed Rwanda and the Congo, though the human toll in Syria is a fraction of those killed in the African events. Russia and China have used their veto to block any effective United Nations Security Council resolution that might lead to regime change. India has also, unlike the Arab League, opposed any call for President Bashar al-Assad, the Butcher of Homs, to step down.

Those on the left and in the libertarian movement who stridently condemned Arab League and NATO intervention in Libya (which forestalled massacres like the one we just saw in the Baba Amr district of Homs) have been silent about al-Assad’s predations and clueless as to what to do practically. Perhaps they do not care if indigenous dictators massacre indigenous protesters, as long as there is no *gasp* international intervention.

The Baath one-party police state, dominated at the top by the minority Allawite Shiite sect, has deployed armor and artillery to bombard city quarters without regard to civilian casualties. Thousands of innocent civilians are dead at regime hands. Some 200,000 Syrians have had to flee their homes. While defectors from the military have formed a Free Syrian Army that has attacked and ambushed the regular army, these attacks have formed a minor part of the violence. Likewise, bombings by “al-Qaeda,” Sunni Muslim radicals, have been few and far between. Mostly, the violence has stemmed from government troops sniping at peaceful protesters. The protests have often been big, and they have been persistent, but they have predominated in medium-sized and smaller cities away from the capital of Damascus. They are unable by themselves to cause the regime to fall.



(10,103 posts)
3. Realistic, not cynical.
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:17 PM
Mar 2012

There is nothing there for the US to go to war for. Democracy isn't why any country goes to war, and the US is certainly not going to do so.

Democracy is messy; a genocidal maniac is much easier to deal with. In a democracy, leaders tend to get weird ideas, like land reform.....


(18,795 posts)
5. There is oil in Syria.
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 06:02 PM
Mar 2012

That is NOT the reason.

The reason is Iran, Israel, Russian and China, and a far better air defense system. The Pentagon did not want to go into Libya; they definitely do not want to go into Syria.

Do you know why there was an increase in the number of rockets fired into Israel year - a Syria requested diversion activity.

Oh, and how did the US profit from oil before and after the end of the Libyan operation?


(10,103 posts)
8. One more time..
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 08:18 PM
Mar 2012

There is no profit in democracy. Yeah, there's oil there. The Americans have been drilling for years, as has the Syrian national company.

If there is a democractically elected leader, instead of a dictator, there will be a bunch of democratic ideas, and the US doesn't really want that.

That's one of the main reason the war drums are beating for Iran, but Syria will murder its own people with impunity.


Comrade Grumpy

(13,184 posts)
11. Please elaborate on Syria requested rockets be shot into Israel.
Fri Mar 16, 2012, 01:11 AM
Mar 2012

A reputable source for the claim would be nice.


(53,339 posts)
4. Child found living among corpses
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 05:21 PM
Mar 2012

• The video shows the bodies of a family in Homs

• "Let the world see," a voice says in a video

A child crawls out from hiding, over a body, to reach his rescuers

Rescue of 'martyrs' yields survivor in Syria

By Arwa Damon, CNN
updated 7:46 AM EDT, Thu March 15, 2012

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN) -- Over the past month, video has emerged from the Syrian city of Homs showing killings and other atrocities apparently committed by security forces in neighborhoods that have opposed the government.

CNN has obtained footage that is among the most disturbing yet -- about a dozen family members killed in one house in what appears to be sectarian brutality.

CNN is confident of the video's provenance. The images show a group of nine men crouched as they move across rooftops, then crawl through a hole smashed in a wall to reach a house on a sectarian fault line that runs through Homs.

"We're rescuing the bodies of the martyrs," a man's voice says on the video.


Story w/ dramatic video:


RB TexLa

(17,003 posts)
7. Trust me this is not going to be a sympathetic message board for this
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 06:11 PM
Mar 2012

Too infested with isolationism and nationalism. The personalization of the story is the only reason you don't have a bunch of replies saying that they have to take care of their own kind, and how wehave to put "red blooded Mericans first."


(4,524 posts)
9. President Obama condemned Assad and asked him to step aside.
Thu Mar 15, 2012, 08:31 PM
Mar 2012

We've done all that we can (actually short of pulling our forces out from Afghanistan, but we're getting there).

If they want "action," they should appeal to the UN (and watch Russia and China try to block any and all resolutions against Syria).

What does anybody else suggest the world do? The US can't do anything militarily - that would be a nightmare.

I think Obama has done a good job on Syria.


(10,103 posts)
10. The point is that the US doesn't support democratic movement,
Fri Mar 16, 2012, 12:40 AM
Mar 2012

Even against homicidal dictator. There's no profit in it, and above all else, war is about profit.

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