Cries from Syria (2017) Script

There were 12 of us and the boat was overloaded.

The boat capsized into the sea.

I tried to catch my wife and my children in my arms.

But one by one they drowned.


1963, the Socialist Ba'ath Party's regime is installed in Syria as a result of a coup.

1971, the Ba'ath's party member and military officer, Hafez Al-Assad, comes to power in a wake of a military coup, persecuting his opponents.

For thirty years he rules the country with an iron fist, crushing any sign of dissent.

1982, residents of Hama rise up against Assad's Ba'ath party.

The Syrian Army besieges the city for 27 days, killing an estimated 40,000 people.

The Hama massacre has been called the single deadliest act by any Arab government against its own people in the modern Middle East.

In 2000, Hafez al-Assad dies.

Power is handed over to his son, Bashar, a British- trained ophthalmologist, largely seen as a reformer, and a hope for change.

In 2010, a series of public protests engulfs the Middle East.

It is called The Arab Spring.

Dictatorial regimes in Tunisia, Libya, and finally, Egypt, fall.

In Syria, people watch these developments with anticipation and hope.


Syria is a very ancient and beautiful country.

It's one of the most ancient countries all over the world.

It's called the cradle of civilization.

The first alphabet came from Syria.

But unfortunately, we Syrians have been living under dictatorship for 40 years.

When Bashar al-Assad became the president of Syria, we all thought that he's better than his father, Hafez al-Assad.

But he was even worse, because anyone who'd joke about him, or his father, or the Assad family, or the whole government, he will just disappear, or he will die.

No one was able to say anything about Al-Assad's regime.

You would be imprisoned, or killed, or imprisoned for life.

We are scared in this country.

Even in our private lives we cannot talk about politics.

People wanted to get rid of the regime.

The revolution started in Tunisia.

And most of the youth and the people who were not satisfied with the regime, or were treated unjustly by the regime they started to wonder if a revolution will happen in Syria.

But we were so optimistic that the revolution will, sooner or later, start in Syria.

We used to sit next to our school and watch the demonstrations and what happened in Tunisia.

So my friends and I decided to write

"It's your turn, Doctor." On the school wall.

So we did.

They wrote, "It's your turn, Doctor."

Because the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad, was trained as a doctor in the UK.

The next day, the school found out and reported us.

They told my father, "You have 24 hours to give Samer to us, or we will take his mother or his sister until he surrenders to us."

So my father handed me in. About 14 cars came.

Then they sent us to the Criminal Security Department.

They tied us up, and hung us on the wall, and beat us hard.

They kept us in tires.

Investigation, beating, torture.

We were in prison for two months.

After that they set us free.

Slowly, some of the kids were released.

But still, number of them are still missing.

How on earth a regime can torture these kids?

Nails have been taken away from their fingers.

And then people started go on the streets in massive numbers.

The regime started to beat the children of Daraa.

The people reacted to this, "It's time for revolution in Syria."

United, united, united. The Syrian people are united.

We've never expected that the government could bring death to all of us, only because we protested and we demanded our simplest rights.

And because of that people started to protest more and more.

The parents of Daraa demand the police to release their kids.

The police simply said that, "If you want children, make new ones, because they are already dead."

And then they sent their bodies to their parents.

Look what the regime in Syria does.

Because he is demanding freedom.

After 22 days of torture, Hamza was released.

He was swollen and all his body was full of bruises and stitches, it was horrible.

But the thing that added more fire is the reaction of the regime.

And even Hamza Al-Khateeb, the young innocent boy they killed, and cut his limbs, and cut off his genitals.

The media said he was trying to rape the officer's wives in the military residence in Daraa.

This little kid has raped women?

How come? And people simply refused to silenced.

Then more and more bodies of the horribly tortured kids started to be released.

Let us show the whole world the reforms of Bashar Al-Assad.

And they were just slaughtered in the detention center.

They were kids, just 11 and 12 years old.

And why? Only because they wrote a sentence on the wall?

My son, Thamir, who is now among the martyrs of God, which the criminal gangs of Al-Assad caused in the army headquarters.

Because those who did this, are not human.

The real ugly face of the regime had been revealed.

Children of Daraa were a divine message to the Syrian people to stand against corruption, injustice, oppression.

It started the revolution there.

All over Syria.

We did not have the courage at first to protest.

But we got angry when the regime tortured children by pulling their nails.

I participated in the revolution from the very beginning standing on shoulders, demanding freedom.

Do you like Abdul Baset?

Do you love him?

Then kiss Abdul Baset al-Sarout.

One guy, his name is Abdul Baset al-Sarout.

He was really popular because he was a soccer player in our national team.

Abdul Baset al-Sarout was one of the most famous goalkeepers, but during the revolution, he became one of the most loved icons.

♪ Old and young know ♪

♪ The one who Kills his people ♪

♪ Is a traitor! ♪ I contribute to this revolution with the peaceful songs I wrote.

♪ This is a demand Not a song ♪

♪ He who kills his people ♪

♪ Is a traitor! ♪ The songs document our stories.

The songs encourage people to protest and fight.

At the first protest there was a lot of youth.

That day I felt powerful.

We wanted to make history and change the future.

Ghiath and his friends used to offer flowers and water bottles to the security checkpoint.

Some of his friends used to tell him, "What are you doing offering them a flower and water?

They are raising a weapon in your face, and you are offering them a water bottle and a flower?"

He was like a young Gandhi.

Imagine that. We used to go to the processions holding roses.

Can you imagine how your heartbeat goes quickly, quickly, watching your people just calling for change, calling for freedom, and holding roses in their hands?

Tell me, do you want Bashar?

No we don't! - Anyone else like him?

No we don't!

His goal was revolution after seeing the children of Daraa.

He used to attach to the water bottle and the flower a paper with a note

"You and I are brothers."

"If I were in your place, I would not kill peaceful protesters."

We are brothers! We are brothers, guys!

The majority, the good Syrian, the patriot, the natural people.

But of course you have the infiltration of the terrorists among them.

And our job as the government is to save their lives through destroying the terrorists.

The head of the regime started to call us terrorists.

We demonstrated holding roses and bottles of water, and he called us terrorists.

If self-protection is considered as an act of terrorism, then we are terrorists.

If seeking freedom and civil rights is terrorism, then we are terrorists.

That was my first time I saw blood.

Blood from people like me.

Very painful for me.

And that time when I heard a whisper, that was like...

It's Ahmad!

That whisper, that was the voice of the bullet.

Which entered into my face.

This regime, they are supposed to protect us from enemies, but they are not protecting us. They are shooting us.

I had a huge desire to show the world what happened in Syria.

At least three people died and six injured in initial reports.

Since that day I've continued working with the press by sending messages to some channels about what's happening or creating videos of recent events.

From the beginning of the revolution we had a strong weapon.

That weapon was the camera.

We show the world our weapons.

Our cameras, our bare chests, our large numbers, crying for the regime to fail and freedom to be achieved

In July 2011, in Hama, more than half a million people joined the demonstrations.

At that time, we felt like,"Yes, we all need the revolution, we all want the revolution."

My uncle took me and we joined the protest.

And then they started arresting people.


The most difficult torment in my life ever is when the regime broke into my home to arrest my brother.

Since the very beginning of the revolution, he was my best friend and my brother.

After four years now in the detention center, we know nothing about him.

I was arrested by the regime on September 29th.

We arrived at the prison.

They said, "The terrorists are here!"

There was a young woman, seven months pregnant.

I saw her give birth from the intense beating they inflicted on her.

Then they killed the infant, right in front of me.

They raped men, they raped women, and even the old women were raped.

They raped my friends in front of me.

I swear to God, in front of me.

At that point, the regime's crimes reached a level we could no longer stand.

Some of the soldiers from Assad's army simply left because they are honest and free people.

They refused to obey the orders and be a part of the regime's crimes.

You bastard, you want freedom? This is freedom.

When we entered the army, we swore to protect our people.

A six year old boy, a sniper bullet entered his left cheek.

We sided with our people and formed the Free Syrian Army.

From protecting a gang, to protecting the people.

In the name of God, to the free Syrian people.

I declare separation from the Republican Guard and the murdering army.

I declare my separation from Al-Assad's brigades.

I declare my separation from Al-Assad's murdering army.

I declare my separation from Al-Assad's army.

And this due to the following reasons, the killing of the unarmed civilian in all Syrian regions, and detention of thousands of citizens.

We pledge that the Free Army will fight along with all of the brigades against the murderers until God gives us victory.

We then started communications with everyone, including the other sects.

We communicated with Druz, Alawites, Kurds, all sects, so they can join this army.

That would represent the real unity of the Syrian people.

There was so much pressure on us, so the Free Army was founded, and I joined a military group fighting with them.

In the name of God compassionate and merciful, may God support our shooting.

I thought many times about joining the Free Army.

They only enlisted people who were 15 years old and above.

They told me, "You are still young."

What made me join the Free Army?

I want to protect my country.

I hope to God that things will be better.

United, united, united. The Syrian people are united!

I was at my home when my sister called me saying that they... arrested Ghiath.

Everybody knew that there was a general from the regime intelligence threatening to kill Ghiath during the demonstrations.

One of the generals, everyday, he called his mom.

He threatened her that he's going to cut her son into pieces, he's going to slice her...

I mean, why?

They detained him for three days.

Then they brought us Ghiath.

Actually, they did not bring us Ghiath.

I mean, it was not his gracefulness, nor Ghiath's smiling face.

In fact, signs of torture were very clear on his face.

I touched him and kissed him, he was so cold...

When we went to his house, I still remember his wife.

She was married only for six or seven months before.

She was wearing her white dress.

When we found out he was killed, there was a huge demonstration in Darayya.

Around 40,000 protesters. It was the biggest demonstration yet.

When we left to take Ghiath's corpse from his house, we realized the streets were closed.

The army blockaded us.

This is the funeral of the hero, Ghiath Matar.

Ghiath was a very simple person, but I think he can both be simple and an icon.

And to pay tribute to that, ambassadors from the United States, Germany, France, Denmark, and Japan came to attend his funeral.

We couldn't visit him the first month.

Regime security surrounded the graveyard.

Because even when he is under the soil...

he is a spike in their throats.

Even under the dirt, they are scared of him.


We used to use the Syrian flag in all our demonstrations.

Which is red, white, black, and two green stars.

But unfortunately, the regime started to take these footages and used them as a propaganda, that these large masses are supporting Assad, it's supporting the regime.

So we started to use the original flag of independence.

It used to be the flag of independence from France.

Which is green, white, black, with three stars.

So in order to differentiate us from them, we started to use this flag.


They asked for freedom, but nothing happened at all.

Bashar Al-Assad did not give up his authority.

The regime began to besiege those who demonstrated.

The regime broke into the city of Darayya using 600 tanks.

The people of the town, they started to use all means possible to fight back.

I remember getting up all of a sudden and I wasn't sure if I had heard an explosion or not.

Then I heard tanks shooting.

Our houses were destroyed.

There was a heavy blockade on the city and its people from the regime.

This is the checkpoint and the tank that is shooting us.

They have destroyed three houses this morning.

They've been shooting since morning.

Look how it affects the wall. This is from the tank shot.

Look, look! Here are the shots.

Three hours later, and it's still burning, and we got the children out.

Random bombing on houses.

Are these armed gangs?

They burned the whole house completely.

We are facing people who are unafraid of God.

And we have continued to be peaceful!

Here is the tank. It's aimed right at us.

One by one, the regime started to beseech a number of cities all over Syria, locking people in these towns with no supplies.

Because of the situation we are in now, there is no way but to fight them directly.

But it's not enough.

You need first-- before you fight and defeat them, to cut and suffocate their supplies.

It was really scary when we were under siege.

No one could come to us, and we couldn't leave.

It was six days of blockade.

Children are suffering from lack of supplies.

Sometimes we didn't eat for a day or two.

We weren't even able to sleep from severity of the hunger.

The army sold food, but at very steep prices.

We never felt full.

When we felt felt hungry mother would give us water, lemons and mint.

And we drank it.

Our neighbor came to us and she said, "Leaves of trees are very tasty like chips."

Many people in that period only ate weeds.

This extreme malnutrition is seen in a lot of people, especially children, the elderly, and women.

Can you imagine the stages of a child starving to death?

I haven't eaten in seven days.

Now imagine the child's family watching him starving to death.

This child, Abdul Aleem Al-Khateeb, died of starvation because of the siege on the city, which lasted for one and a half months.

I felt I was going to die, because of that I wrote my will.

This is my will.

"I ask you, my mother, to remember me, prepare my bed every night, and remember my continuous smiles.

And you, my sister, tell my friends that I died from starvation.

And you, my brother, remember when you and I were hungry.

Oh, angel of death, go ahead and catch my soul so that I can eat in paradise.

Don't worry, family, I will eat for you in paradise as much as I can"

A long time ago we had electricity.

Before Bashar cut the electricity, we used to push a button and the water would go up.

Every day we wake up at 6:00 a.m. to pump and pull water to the top floor.

And we go searching on the ground for any rotten bread we can find.

Even searching in the garbage.

Some people died of hunger.

And some people slept without eating, and some people slept and didn't wake up.


Aleppo was a little late in joining the civil war.

The regime did not want revolution here, because we had the biggest economy in the country and the regime depended heavily upon us.

We said, "Oh, God, we don't want the war to come to Aleppo."

In the seventh month of 2012 the Free Army entered Aleppo.

Then the Eastern neighborhoods were under the Free Army control.

The Western and rich neighborhoods were under the regime's control.

The Syrian Army attacked the Free Army.

Some of us were caught by the regime.

They caught my cousin, and till this day we still haven't heard from him.

When the Free Army entered Aleppo and began the liberation, we thought it wouldn't be long.

Three or four months maximum, and Aleppo will be liberated, and we'll control everything.

War was never our choice.

We were forced into war.

I have my group of fighters who fight for our land and our religion.

My group is called, "The Martyrs of Bayyada."

I had to learn how to fight and how to use weapons.

Leave it locked, brother.

The fighters used to be demonstrators.

Civilians whose homes are being shelled, their brothers are being shot.

Fighting and war are difficult things.

Even in our religion, fighting is abhorrent.

We are marching towards our deaths.

More than 20 mortars hit this place.

There are women and children in the houses. We can't pull them out.

And you expect us to remain peaceful?

The people want to be armed...

A mortar just fell beside me!

A mortar fell on the civil areas!

♪ Wipe your tears Let me feel happy ♪

♪ When I see your smile Mother ♪

♪ Oh, Mother The nicest martyr ♪

♪ Is coming to you in heaven In new clothes, Mother ♪


To my fellow Muslims everywhere, to the honorable people of Syria.

We, the Central Command of Jabhat Al-Nusra aim to fulfill the following.

Liberate the land of Syria from the rule of the tyrant, Bashar, and his allies.

All praise due to God, Lord of All.

Your brother, Abu Mohammad al-Julani.

Jabhat Al-Nusra Front is an Islamic militia.

They started to gather themselves and we had al-Qaeda in Syria.

There weren't any problems between them and the Free Syrian Army.

Both were fighting side by side on the front lines.

But actually they came to stab us in our very core.

One day I was arrested by some unknown people from Jabhat Al-Nusra.

My only crime was criticizing their behavior on Facebook.

They had the screen-shots of my posts.

They arrested me and took me to an unknown place for two months.

Al-Nusra arrested me. They kidnapped me.

It started with electricity, knocking teeth out, breaking ribs.

And now I have to use these, because they knocked my teeth.

Others hit me with thick electricity cables.

They hit me until the cable dissolved.

I still have small pieces of cable under my skin.

When they hit me, they were saying, "You started the fights against ISIS who are our brothers."

You started the fight against Islamic fighters.

All of you Free Army are apostates.

The cruel torturing was identical to the technique used by the regime.

Even the detectives were the same who worked with the Al-Assad regime.

I spent a year and nine months there.

I am a leader from Al-Maara, and all the Syrians went out on the streets and demanded, "Freedom for Jamil Afesee!"

That pressure was the main reason they released me from this turmoil.

And after I fixed my teeth, I went directly back to the battle.

The regime decided to punish Darayya because we never stopped demonstrating.


I returned back home and it was not home.

Sixty percent of all the buildings were all set on fire.

And then you could see trash, and rubbish, and... and skeletons. It's not trash and rubbish, they were just bodies of people on the streets.

We endured hard times for a year.

After this period there were strong military actions, very fierce operations against the civilian neighborhoods that had demonstrated.

Brutal bombing of civilian houses.

Trapped Homs.

Homs is dying, why are you not by our side? Why don't you help us?

May God take revenge on you, Bashar.

We were at school when they started bombing schools.

The teacher told us, "The one who will be silent, I will let him go."

My cousin and I kept silent, and then the teacher told us to go.

Before we arrived home, the school was hit by a bomb.

Praise be to God, my cousin and I were not in the school.

But all of my friends, may their souls rest in peace, died in it.


I have children in 4th and 8th grades, so whenever we hear sounds of planes, we worry the plane has bombed someone.

But we can't stop the children from attending school.

There was a school art exhibition for drawings that the children set up.

My sister was a participant in the exhibition.

It was about drawings that reflected each child's personality and the situation they were living in.

And at exactly 10:00 a.m., the students were standing there waiting for their parents for the opening of the exhibition.

Bombing of a school in the Sukan area, the students were there.

A missile hit the school corridor, right where the drawings were hung up and the children were waiting.

It seemed intentional, like someone was told about the exhibition.

The girls' bodies looked horrible.

Shreds of them were on the floor, on the walls.

Blood was on the girls' paintings.

After a while, they found my daughter's body under the rubble and took her out.

When they brought my daughter's body, there was something extra.

She came with a different foot from another girl's body.


We burn the tires to create a no-fly zone, because the planes target us.

We want to help the grownups and all work together.

It's coming closer!

Explosion.


I got up in the morning and opened my phone, and I was shocked.

Missiles landed over Eastern Ghouta.

But this time, these missiles were not normal ones.

Injuries started to flow to all the hospitals in Eastern Ghouta.

I remember at 4:00 a.m. the rescuers got a woman.

Once the woman entered, the chemical smell was all over the place.

And there is no other explanation for what happened on that day, August 21st.

It is sarin gas, that is the answer.

Thousands of people had symptoms such as loss of consciousness, constriction of pupils, heavy sweating.

Some of them were having convulsions, and some of them died as a result of these symptoms.


I will never forget that scene. Never ever.

I can't forget the mother dying while looking at her daughter next to her.

The look in her eyes can never be forgotten.

The woman is dying looking at her daughter to see if she's alive beside her.

How come somebody kills people using chemical weapons, suffocating them?

Kids, this sized kids... all blue.

The fathers, the mothers, the kids...

At that time, I was pretty sure that the universe is going to stop Assad, even if anything, even the heavens will stop Assad from committing all these types of atrocities against us.

I believe the number is between 900 to 1,000 deaths, and 8,000 injuries.

Out of this number, women and children were 67 percent.

After the Syrian attack on Eastern Ghouta, the international community got involved.

They asked the Assad regime to hand over all his chemical weapons.

The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons went to 12 locations out of 25 that were admitted by the regime.

We told them the regime has more than 25 locations.

Finally Al-Assad confessed to having 1,300 tons.

As specialists, we know the number was much larger, we have more than 3,000 tons.

After August 21st, 2013, the chlorine appeared.

Here in this place a barrel of poisonous chlorine fell, tens of civilian injuries resulted from this explosion.

And as you can see, it caused a hole in the ground.

Thirty to forty injuries, almost all children.

In front of me, a child, one month old, choked immediately and died.

And the ambulance took him away, dead.

In the agreement to ban chemical weapons the regime signed, they did not include chlorine.

It was documented that chlorine was used more than 179 times.

As germs multiply everywhere, it can be very difficult to exterminate them.

But these germs can strengthen the immunity in our bodies.

The solution is to take care of the problem ourselves, and avoid outside influences that weaken our patriotic immunity.

The head of the regime, he started to call us, the Syrian people, as germs and bacteria.

And he wants to dispose us.

Ironically enough, he started using chemical weapons to eradicate us.


As you can see here, a rocket hit a seven-story building in Homs and destroyed it completely.

My brother Abdul Baset, Homs has been trapped for a long time.

And it's almost the anniversary of the third year of revolution.

What do you think about reconciliation with the regime?

Sure, we have no problem reconciling with the regime as long as they give back these heroes to us.

As long as they give back these martyrs to us.

As long as they return them to us.

We will continue fighting and struggling until the end, when the corrupted regime falls.

Five of my uncles were killed.

Now we have massacres all over Syria from Idlib, Aleppo, Daraa, Homs to Hama.

There is no area in Syria that has not been affected by massacres.

Can you imagine this nation ever being subdued?

These people are willing to sacrifice themselves for their religion and their country.

Those who don't go to battle, cry, "Have you ever seen such legends?"

It's a nation that deserves the support of everyone.

On this street, there is a sniper.

On the second street there is one. On every street there is one.

Now we are digging tunnels underground to avoid being sniped because we already have a lot injured.

These people are kind.

These are good people. These are passionate people.

This is a civilized, educated nation.

These are good people who love everybody.

A nation defending itself, loves and stands for what's right.

With such a regime, and such brutality and barbarism,

it's not enough to just sing.

I have to protect myself, my family.

Bashar Al-Assad thinks he is the right one and we are the wrong ones.

He feels he owns Syria, and we are the ones killing people and bombing people.

Now we are in the third year. We all want to break the siege.

But we didn't come here to eat, we came here to die with honor.

If they keep up the siege, it won't stop us.

We fight and die standing on our feet.

The war is worth fighting for and worth dying for.

Let them do what they want. We're not scared.

We are the people of the land and the decision is ours.


After that the battle of Al-Qusayr happened, and this was a turning point for the Syrian revolution, because many of the cities in Syria were liberated.

Al-Assad's regime collapsed to an extent that he couldn't protect any region.

Then he asked for support from a sectarian militia across the border.

There is bombing of the civilian houses by Lebanese Hezbollah.

We were surprised by the regime intervention of the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Followed by sectarian militias from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, from all over the world.

We are currently fighting with the Lebanese Hezbollah.

In order to further destabilize the security situation, Bashar Al-Assad released criminals from prisons, and released radical Islamists.

Now, half of them are leaders of ISIS.


We lived in the province of Al-Raqqah in Syria when ISIS invaded this place.

In the beginning they were not so violent.

They started to teach us what is Islam, what God said, and what the Prophet said.

They came to the village, and there was no problem.

I myself walked with ISIS and held their flag.

Once they completely invaded and controlled everything, that's when their true face was revealed.

Before ISIS came, the Free Army was here.

When ISIS entered, they started killing the captains of the Free Army.

A woman wasn't allowed to go from her house to the next house without full coverage of her body and face.

Any woman who did not wear a veil, would be beaten in the street, even if she's young.

I was 16 years old when ISIS entered Al-Raqqah.

My friends belonged to them.

The leader said that joining the holy war is your duty.

When ISIS started to teach them, they started to see everything as wrong.

He told me, "Mother, it is unlawful to appear in front of men.

What you are wearing is unlawful."

But I am at home, with my daughters.

Gradually, I began to hate my family.

I spent all my time with ISIS and I didn't visit my family.

If you enter, you can't leave.

They will cut your throat instantly.

They won't let you go because you will tell others. No way.

They came to our house and said, "Come with us or we'll kill you and your family."

We went to those who smoked and caught them.


Anyone who smokes or blasphemes, they cut off their heads.

I saw the punishment when we went to the market.

The worst experience was when I saw them slaughtering a man.

His hands were tied on his back, he was on his knees.

Blood splashed instantly, it was horrible and shocking. My daughter started to scream.

To this day I can't delete that scene from my memory.

That was the worst experience of my entire life.

When I was watching this, I was very scared and afraid.

I'm afraid that they will cut my head off, too, just like they did to other people who did nothing wrong.

We are coming to you with men who love death the same as you love life.

I hate them because I saw them kill many people.

There even are a group of my friends from our region.

They sent them to the Kobani war.

None of them returned. They all died there.

This girl is a "heretic," and this is her "heretic" father?

This is ISIS, they pretend they are Muslims, and they kill whole families!

Aren't you afraid of God?

I've thanked God a thousand times that my son didn't join ISIS.

I agreed with my brother and son-in-law to send him to Turkey.

We thank God that we were able to make him travel to here.

When we arrived at the border, we saw the Free Army.

And they removed my mother's veil, and said this is freedom.

ISIS continued committing all types of atrocities against the people.

Most of them, they decided to flee, and escape these territories.

We Syrians are the people who are suffering the most from ISIS.

At the same time, everybody else is accusing us of being terrorists.

ISIS is the one that took over our own place and we have to confront them and we have to fight them.

But if we want to make a comparison between the brutal Assad regime and the terrorist ISIS, what is the crime ratio between them?

ISIS crimes in Syria are equal to two percent of Assad's crimes.

98 percent are by the Bashar Al-Assad regime.

The primary terrorist is the regime.

With every new crisis that we're faced, we think that it's the end, that nothing worse can happen, ever.

But when the Russians got involved, things are getting worse everyday.


The Russian attacks are more concentrated more devastating, and they kill a larger number of people than the Assad attacks.

The Syrian people are being killed with Russian air strikes.

Why did Russia come to Syria?

To support the gang of Bashar Al-Assad against the people.

All of the prohibited weapons, the Russian air force uses them.

They use cluster bombs.

They use phosphorus bombs.

When the plane passes above our house, you hear...

Whenever you hear it, a house gets destroyed.

In Syria, you can't go ten minutes without hearing rockets being shot from the planes.

People started shouting that there was an incoming plane, so my friends and I took refuge in a building, and the bomb hit that same building.

The building collapsed and buried us.

It took more than four hours to save us from under the ruins.

My shoulder was torn and broken, and my leg was broken, too.

I remained laying on my back for a month, I couldn't stand or walk.

A lot of other people got injured on that same day as me.

The Russian bombings hit our home.

My father, my niece, and my cousin were killed.

That was the hardest day I have ever experienced.

Oh, my son! I've lost my son.

One of my friends was killed and a lot of my friends were injured today by the Russian bombardment.

They killed my brother, he was 22 years old.

They killed my brother.

In all these problems that is happening in Syria in this bad situation, there's a group of people that give us hope.

We call them the White Helmets.

The White Helmets is a group who are trying to save lives.

The White Helmets, whenever there is a bombardment, they are the first ones to go there.

They are ordinary people, teachers, doctors, carpenters, after all they've witnessed of the atrocities committed by the regime and now the Russians, they decided to join forces and to establish the Civil Defense.

The Civil Defense was formed in 2013, it was completely voluntary work.

The Syrian Civil Defense declared to the people their intention, "From civilian to civilian," and we don't belong to any military group or political party, we are neutral to all people.

I mean, most of my friends are in the Civil Defense.

Amazing, amazing people.

They have the sweetest, sweetest hearts ever, and they work under the most dangerous circumstances ever.

Now they concentrate all their efforts in Aleppo because it's the largest city now under siege, under Russian attacks.

What keeps us going is saving a child from under the rubble.

Because when we save a child alive from the rubble, this gives us hope, and all of Syria hope.


She stayed two hours beneath the rubble and eventually she got out alive.

She is one month old.

We were working for two hours to get her out of the rubble.

When I took her into my arms, I felt as if she was my own daughter.

Heavy air raids on Aleppo on the 5th day of Ramadan, since morning till now.

We went to Aleppo to cover what was happening.

Russia and Al-Assad regime were doing massive bombing of civilian houses in Aleppo.

The barrel bomb that we were watching in the sky just fell down here on the civilians' houses.

At this moment the helicopter is still flying in the sky above Aleppo.

It seems like it's going to bomb the same trajectory.

Hadi!

Hadi is injured, guys!


I felt something on my head, shrapnel had entered this part of my skull.

Then they took us to the hospital and wrapped our heads with bandages.

We entered our houses in Aleppo.

Suddenly, I was covered with sand, iron, and stones.

I didn't know what was going on, but I knew this was the end.

I was about to die.

After a while I heard voices saying, "Yes, we will help you!"

I realized the Civil Defense had come to save me.


Every day I'm getting better and better.

I can't move myself now or get up from the bed.

The doctors said I will be able to walk in six months, but I'm sure, with your prayers, I will leave the bed sooner and get back to work.

To my people in Aleppo.

You are my people.

While I was living among you documenting the crimes of Russia and the Al-Assad regime, when I arrived at the place where the attack occurred, because I was watching the civilians, women, children, old men pulling themselves from the rubble of their homes, covered with dust of destruction, I was sure that Aleppo will never fail.

These massacres committed by Russia's and Al-Assad's planes, they said they were fighting ISIS, but that was the biggest lie in human history.

There wasn't a single member of ISIS in Aleppo.

The city was completely controlled by the Free Syrian Army.

It was completely genocide against the civilians in Aleppo.

When the Russian forces entered under the pretext of fighting ISIS, they bombarded 22 hospitals.

This was documented by the organization Doctors Without Borders.

All of the hospitals were bombed. Why?

Why focus on hospitals specifically?

Because they want to kill as many Syrians as they can.

What have the children done? What have the civilians done?

You bastard, may God take revenge on you!

Why would you bomb a bakery? The bakery has bread for us to eat.

Why would you bomb it? So I die of hunger.

The Russian participation, or what they announced as the front against terrorism.

This is the practical thing against terrorism.

The Russian support and participation is going to be stronger.

The Russians are very serious on fighting terrorism, and there's cooperation between them and the Syrian army.

Look at these children, you Russian pigs!

Is she a terrorist?

Is this little girl a terrorist?

And that little boy, is he a terrorist?

Look at these little kids. Look! Look!

Was she carrying a gun, and fighting on the fronts?

You Russian pigs, you are traitors, all of you.

They're targeting civilians.

They're not targeting extremists as they claim, no.

I am not a terrorist, I am in the right, I have a cause.

I have human rights.

If you care for human rights, then you understand what we need.

This is Syria.

This is the regime army, and this is the Free Army.

And this tank shoots here

and kills these people.

And that one, he shot this one dead.

This is the building, this is a plane.

And this plane shoots here and destroys the building.

This is the Syria that I've seen.

I am in the middle. Both sides are shooting each other.


My mother woke us up and told us that, "Your father died."

She told us that we needed to go to the bus stop.

No one is staying in Syria, so we left.

At that time, a plane had shot missiles at our school.

The missiles had poisonous chemicals that burned.

That was one of the reasons that made us travel to Turkey.

I have thalassemia, which means I need a blood bag every 20 days.

If I stayed there, I would die without blood transfusion.

We kept resting and walking.

We slept for around two to three hours.

We were sleeping in ISIS ground.

We suffered a lot on the way.

The roads were filled with bombs and explosions.

I was carrying my stuff on my back, I was also carrying a baby. We struggled till we arrived.

At the border, the soldier made us wait in the cold weather on the ground.

We begged them, and they told us to identify ourselves.

Our life in Syria is miserable, full of bombing.

We want to go to Turkey to start a new life.

The Turkish army started shooting at us. We thought we were going to die.

There was a guy who threatened to shoot us, but then we were able to pass the border, and then we arrived.

A Turkish smuggler led us.

We passed through a tunnel to cross the border.

As soon as we crossed the border, it started snowing.

We did not have enough blankets.

We slept and it was so cold.

There was almost no electricity and we suffered, and we stayed in Turkey for a long time.


My father told us to try to go over the sea to Greece.

We sold everything we had... and we gave it to the smuggler.

It was scary,

and the sea was dangerous.

At that time, it was snowing in Turkey and the waves were very high, and it felt like it was going to capsize.

The rubber boat was punctured on the bottom.

It was filled with water. We were going to drown.

There was an inflatable boat behind us, it was safe.

But the next one sunk.

I saw a boy in the sea, dead.

The sea killed many children.

I was also praying to God, deep in my heart.

I did so because, I know He loves me.

God loves all children.

We stayed at sea for four hours, then we arrived on an island called Samos.

When we finally arrived, everyone was so relieved.

The sea...

It's not nice, at all.


Syria, Syria!


I was ill for two days in Greece. A nerve in my legs has problems.

It hurt so much that I couldn't move my legs for two days.

Where are you from?

Syria. Syria.

How long did you travel from there to here?

Twenty days.

The police caught us and took us to the center.

My brother, Mahmoud, was very sick, and they took him to the hospital.

But they were lying to us, and they took us to the prison, and when they gave us food it was a small piece of bread they threw at us as if we were dogs.

With difficulty, we were able to overcome.

Then we arrived in Hungary.

Hungary, they were not good to people.

They imprisoned us. I needed a blood transfusion.

I asked for water, there was dirty water on the ground.

He said, "You want water? This is water."

Then we went from Hungary to Austria.

And from Austria to Germany.

From Germany, we came to Belgium, where we've stayed.

My mother couldn't come because she didn't have the proper papers.

My brother died here, and my mother didn't get to see him.

I don't know, where is the humanity?

For someone not to be able to see his mother.

We asked for my mother, and no one helped us.

Why did these people leave for Europe?

Did they leave to look for work?

Did they leave to look for a beautiful landscape?

Did they go on a vacation?

Why did these people leave for Europe?

Some people claim that they are terrorists.

No. These people seek safety from Bashar Al-Assad.

Their country is not safe because of Bashar Al-Assad's bombings and the Russian air-force bombings that kill our women and children.

They crossed the seas, their children drowned in the seas, some of them died fighting the waves.

They sleep in the streets and in the parks.

They eat out of the garbage.

Why?

They went to seek safety, to provide a good life for their children.

This is the school of Daraa where the spark of the Syrian revolution started.

The Assad regime will fall because of this school.

With flowers, with flowers!

We shake the throne of Assad!

When they painted graffiti on the walls of their schools, and I saw how they beat them and how they killed them, I couldn't imagine that a person can do this to another person.

It's become like... for Syrians, I think it's become normal.

This will never be normal, but it's become like a daily thing you see.

The war began five years ago, and now we're starting the sixth year.

People can't stand it anymore.

Our dream is to end this war.

I've been married for two years.

I don't have children, but we are expecting a child.

If I had the opportunity to leave, I wouldn't leave my home country.

I'd like Syria to return back to what it was before.

I remember the Syria at night, when there were lights, lots of cars, and many beautiful things.

Syria was beautiful, but when war happened, it was leveled to the ground.

We want to see a more beautiful Syria. So we are working on rebuilding it.

Our big dream is, to see our country more beautiful.

We were forced to leave Syria.

I saw things that the human mind can't even imagine.

Till this moment, I still have a dream to return back to Syria.

United, united, united. The Syrian people are united.

In Syria, there is a revolution of the people.

Like when France became independent.

Like in America, the people revolted and became independent.

When countries around the world are oppressed, they revolt so they can have a civilized society, an advanced society.

A society that protects its people.

I wish that every Syrian would fight

until Syria is free.

No one has stood by our side.

We are only trying to be free like you.

We are your brothers in humanity.

How can you see this genocide the Syrians are exposed to and still keep silent?

If anyone can hear me now,

please help us get back to our beloved country.

More than 20 people in our extended family have been killed.

I have nothing left in this life to love.

I dream of this revolution's victory.

And if I don't witness this victory, then I would hope to die fighting for it.

I beg you to put an end to this war, and if you do this, I'll thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We are not terrorists.

We are not asylum seekers.

We are people like everyone in this world, with kids, with lovers, with husbands, wives, and we still have dreams, like anyone else in the world.

In five years, my dream was to bring the change that we all aspire to my country, but now, actually, I don't know what my dream is.

For all the bloodshed to stop?

To see my brother?

To go back home?

I don't know.

I don't know.


Would you like to say anything in English to the world?

I speak in English to make the voices of the children of Aleppo reach the world, to help them, because they're dying. Why do they have to die?

♪ These are hard times In these times ♪

♪ Feels like this world's About to capsize ♪

♪ Feels like it might take A miracle ♪

♪ To make it out alive ♪

♪ The clock is ticking ♪

♪ What do we do? ♪

♪ Is someone listening? ♪

♪ Help us through ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring peace to its doors Bring hope to its shores ♪

♪ We got to change it ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring wind to its sails It's gone off the rails ♪

♪ And we got to save it ♪

♪ Raise up our hands And rise together ♪

♪ It's got to be now It's now or never ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ We've got to save us ♪ I'm so sad, because they want to take our land away and expel us from Aleppo.

Aleppo is my land, my school, my home, my garden.

♪ Feels like we're trapped In a landslide ♪

♪ Can't even look At the headlights ♪

♪ 'Cause when you look at What's going on ♪

♪ You just wanna Run and hide ♪

♪ Only love can Fight the darkness ♪

♪ Only love could End the hate ♪

♪ We've got to get us Some love tonight ♪

♪ So love can light the way ♪

♪ The clock is ticking ♪

♪ Time's running out ♪

♪ Is someone listening? ♪

♪ Help us out ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring peace to its doors Bring hope to its shores ♪

♪ We've got to change it ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring wind to its sails It's gone off the rails ♪

♪ And we've got to save it ♪

♪ Raise up our hands And rise together ♪

♪ It's got to be now It's now or never ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ We've got to save us ♪

I deeply hope to return to Aleppo one day.

We shall overcome someday.

My dear, God willing, you will come back.

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring peace to its doors Bring hope to its shores ♪

♪ We've got to change it ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ Bring wind to its sails It's gone off the rails ♪

♪ We've got to save it ♪

♪ Raise up our hands And rise together ♪

♪ It's got to be now It's now or never ♪

♪ Prayers for this world ♪

♪ We've got to save us ♪