Syria's Children All Deserve to Live

A mother describes the guilt of leaving the country to seek refuge abroad.

I never wanted to leave Syria. I never even wanted to leave my own city, but the siege forced us into exile. Life became impossible. We were bombed daily and had no services, no medication, nothing but the smell of gunpowder drifting into our houses.

We headed to the capital Damascus, but it was not much safer there. We were hated by the Syrian government and we were unable to escape harassment at checkpoints in the city as security became increasingly tight.

Syria: Waiting for Samih

A mother longs to see her only son again.

I don’t know how my son Samih, a medical student, got his hands on a camera the size and shape of a small button. He put it on his shirt and went to the town square on that fateful day, July 6, 2011. He knew that a demonstration was planned after Friday prayers and he wanted to film it.

To tell the truth, I encouraged my son to take part in the revolution. I wanted him to experience this moment of liberation, and to rebel against everything that had been imposed on us under former president Hafez al-Assad.

Signs and Wonders in a Damascus Prison

A prisoner finds some small comfort in rituals and fortune-telling.

I never used to believe in signs and superstitions. I tended to rely on scientific explanations for what happened in my life, so it would have been strange for me to believe in fortune-telling or fate.


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