Letters From Afar


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  • "Dear Reader,

    This is a collection of letters from Syria, written to you. The writers have written you in the hope that you will understand the desperate situation Syrians face and their urgent need for solidarity.

    In the spring of 2011 the Syrian people organized and marched peacefully in a struggle for democracy. The Assad regime responded with brutality and military repression, imposing civil war on a peaceful mass movement. The wanton destruction unleashed by the regime opened the door to the encroachment of the Islamic State, which branched out from fractured Iraq to seize territory in war-torn Syria. Over ten million Syrians are displaced from their homes or have already fled the nation. More than three hundred thousand have perished, a great many of them civilians killed by relentless air bombardments, including the use of barrel bombs, and with the Russian intervention, cluster munitions. The regime and its allies have a demonstrated willingness to use chemical weapons, in spite of the Obama administration’s “red line”, and even to starve entire villages, as in the examples of Madaya and Muadamiyat-al-Sham. The Syrian opposition fights desperately to defend and protect its communities from the encroachment of both Assad and IS, but they do not have anti-aircraft weaponry and are fighting a desperate two-front war against IS and a regime supported by Iran and its proxy militia Hezbollah, and most recently, by Russia. The Syrian people desperately need our solidarity.

    Read these letters. Open your heart to these writers, understand that they are writing to you, so that you will come to see a little of the pain their families endure, the suffering they feel as they endure the loss of their loved ones, or watch their children starve.

    We have gathered these letters together, and included with them links to video footage to document the suffering, to help you understand the desperate need for action.

    We are calling upon the US government to drop food supplies on the besieged cities, and this action is fully justified first and foremost because human decency demands it, and secondly because UN Resolution 2254 and the resolutions of the International Syria Support Group, of which the US is a member, already direct that aid be delivered precisely under these kinds of circumstances.

    The relentless bombing of civilian populations must stop. The destruction of Syria by the Assad regime and its Russian allies serves only to destabilize the region, facilitating the extension and growth of IS and its demagogic appeal.

    The Syrian people have been abandoned to the tender mercies of a ruthless war criminal. They desperately need our support."


    By  The Antiwar Committee in Solidarity with the Struggle for Self Determination



    Letters from Syria

    First letter received on January 6, 2016.

    "Dear listener...

    I write you  a letter with the blood and tears of mothers and children from the land of misery and torture. Syria once upon the time was a beautiful country before this barbaric war. You may know or not about what happening in Syria. Nevertheless, it is unimaginable disaster. None may believe that a regime might kill his own people with all kinds of weapons. This is unfortunately what happening in Syria. When the Syrians claimed for their simple right "freedom", the regime launched a war against them.


    The regime and his troops use all tools of torture and destruction against his homeland. They kill children and women even animals are not safe there. It is unimaginable situation. It likes hell.  We  see  our  beloved  dead in  front  of  our  sight.  You  can  surf  the  internet  to  see the corpses of dead children with disfigured faces.


    They  even  used  chemical  gases  and  killed  asleep  people  in  Eastern  Al Ghouta.  The  last inhumane weapon is starving besieged people to death like in Madaya and Al-Zabadani cities.


    This  is  the  Syrian  suffering,  briefly  speaking. We  beseech  the world  to save us  from  our misery; we call with our loudest voices and with all of our wounds. With every fiber of our being we scream and cry, with every drop of blood. Every drop of sweat, every breath that we take pleads for a savior to come and rescue us.


    Oh world, wake up, you’ve been asleep for too long, you’ve been asleep for too long, and here, we know no sleep.


    We’ve sent these  words  with  the  breeze,  in  hope that they’d reach someone who would listen to them..."


    Writen by Tariq Al-Dimashqi 

    From besieged Eastern Al-Ghouta, Damascus countryside. 

    Second letter received on January 8, 2016. 
    This is the first of several letters, from the same person... 
    "I am from Syria, a country of love. I work as teacher for children between the age of 6 to 10 years. Warplanes are constantly dropping bombs every day and the Syrian Regime and Russia are deliberately bombing schools and killing innocent children.

    When the students in the class hear the sound of warplanes, they are very afraid. . I teach them to hide under the seats when the warplanes drop the bombs, the only way for me to  protect them"

    Received on January 11, 2016. 

    "In one of the classes... in my class, I asked my students: 'If I told you that the war is over now, how would you feel?' One of the students told me: 'I would wear a beautiful dress and would dance with joy,' another told me, 'I would be very happy and would jump with joy,' another student said: 'I would visit my grandmother in the city that is surrounded by checkpoints,' but one of the students looked at me and said sarcastically, 'I do not want this war to end.' I was shocked by his answer and asked him why? He said, 'I want to grow up and become a fighter to kill soldiers, the ones who killed my father'--his father was detained by the Assad regime, and he died in prison under torture. All I could feel was shock! This child's reply is tragic, the Syrian regime has killed the spirit of childhood in our children, killed their innocence and implanted in their hearts malice and hatred; like this child there are millions of Syrian children whose father or both parents may have been killed by the criminal Assad regime and who are deeply resentful of this system. If this war does not stop the number of these orphaned children will grow, and so will grow the hatred in their hearts."


    This project started because of people like you and me, it is not aimed at personal promotion, this blog is taking shape through the expressions of the hearts, minds and souls of those sharing themselves for you reader.

    In the discussion among the contributors, in our chats about the details of living in Syria, one of the contributors recommended we share this article. This very important material was written on August 2nd of 2011, but it remains pertinent today.


    "A message from a free (man) inside the city of Hama.
    We hear the sound of an artillery shell, look to the roof of the room and say, 'Will this shell fall on the roof of our room or the next room?'
    My 7 years old daughter holds me and pushes her head into my chest, hoping to enter it to feel safe. 
    I look to my wife and imagine that if they stormed my house, what will they do to her? 
    I wonder, will they shoot me in front of my daughter and son, and they see the death of who used to protect them?
    I'm thinking a lot now --- should I buy a weapon to prevent them from storming my home? Should I prepare the gas jar to explode it before they reach my wife?
    The toughest thing in life --- to be innocent, to know you are innocent, and to fear very much!
    The toughest thing in life --- not being able to do anything against these possibilities.
    Oh human wherever you are --- what if it were you? What if it was your daughter? What if it was your wife?
    Is there a human on Earth left to see this call from a man in Hama just like other men in Hama? 
    These are not a writer's imaginative thoughts or a poet's emotions --- this is the truth."
    Article source Orient News

    As you can see reader, far more important than the terrible news and headlines is the fact that we are humans, we are the same, we want peace, freedom, security... Consider that the suffering shared here transcends cultures, religions and national divisions; solidarity with Syrians is about sharing our humanity.

    Third letter received on January on January 13, 2016 
    "(The date of death 14/05/2015) That tragic day is unforgettable: I was awoken that morning by the sound of a helicopter, when I had barely opened my eyes, two explosive barrels were dropped. I thought they had fallen on the roof of my house. The sound of the explosion was very loud, the air filled with dust, and the windows panes shattered; I rushed from my bed to see what had happened. The two explosive barrels had fallen on the home of my neighbors. When his mother had heard the sound of the helicopters, she had carried Majd and his cousin Yazan down out of the apartment to hide under the stairs. But the stairs collapsed above them. Majd, his mother and his cousin all died. Majd and Yazan were innocent children and now they are two birds in the sky."
    Fourth letter received on January 16, 2016. 
    "We no longer remember history... Because of the fatigue and suffering and war that have engulfed us. I finished my first undergraduate education and Tjult to enter the Faculty of Medicine in spite of several difficulties. I left school for fear of arrest. The regime will arrest any young man who has not participated in the conflict, leaving him with one of two choices: either join its ranks or certain death. One day, after sharing a coffee, at around 7:00, we could hear the roar of the chopper carrying the barrels. However, half an hour later we did not hear the approach of a Sukhoi type jet, which can escape our peoples' early warning devices so that they may hide, and which leaves us with little or not protection from this kind of aviation. The attack blew up the automatic bread oven, which feeds thousands of people. Then we heard the sound of helicopters and the whistling Pramelha Isdh in the city after three explosive barrels caused massive destruction and left many wounded. I went out to find one of my acquaintances, an older man from the Atvkdh university, which is close to his home and to where the attack took place. I found him to be okay. As I am sitting, I hear the barrels fall again; they fall into the adjacent homes, taking away the lives of civilians and women in our city. It is a fact of life that our city is being bombed night and day. He has asked me to pack medicine for asthma because he is sick. I went to the pharmacy, riding the Rkubi motorcycle on my way to Masamat to fetch medicine, but again there was the sound of barrels falling from overhead. I looked down the street from the pharmacy. I saw someone I did not know but I could not find Achtbio. I did not know there was a plane overhead. I was in the middle of the street, and I got off and threw aside my bike to lay down on the ground. I no know not how to grapple with the falling barrel, full of hatred, that came down in front of my eyes. I heard the sound of a very, very, very, huge explosion. Three barrels at the same time, one of them fell on an elementary school. It was about 20 meters from me. The explosion caused a dust cloud the shape of a parabola. I thank God that I was not hit or hurt. I rushed home quickly. I do not know how I got home, and now I feel very, very scared of loud noises. This is Syria."
    Written by a Syrian student.
    Fifth letter received on January 16, 2016
    "SYRIA…Our Days

    Since the morning of the war

    The thunder over our heads

    While listening to catch where it comes from

    You will say: watch out for the device of the war







    Machine Gun......


    Then start the distress calls


    SOS Ambulance to the place of the attack

    SOS Civil Defence deployed quickly

    SOS Water tanks to put out the fire

    SOS Cars to transport the wounded


    And then we hear new calls


    Barriers to open the way for the ambulance

    The doctors turn immediately to work

    Required are all blood donors


    Second raid in the same place


    The pressure of the explosion

    Blocks your hearts

    Shakes the earth

    Destroys doors and windows

    Accelerates the heartbeat of the children

    They ask innocently: when will the war end?

    I will say to them: God willing…

    Do not be afraid, it won’t be long…


    Then we hear new calls


    Rockets from west to east

    Launchers of wage earners

    Surface-to-earth as a result of your attention

    Ballistic missiles from the Russian gunboat


    We live this in the daytime and at night

    When the place is clear we return to our natural lives

    We remember God and ask for forgiveness

    Ask him to bless us with martyrdom for His sake

    It is the highest of our aspirations

    We praise God after all"

    Written by a member of the White Helmets


    Sixth letter received on January 22, 2016

    "The humanitarian situation

    Muadamiyat al-Sham City

    Saved her before the disaster

    Day twenty-eighth in a row the city lived a tragic humanitarian situation is compounded every day as a result of the siege imposed on more than 47 thousand civilians mostly children, women and the elderly as the militias Assad continue closed the only crossing to the city Muadamiyat al-Sham and prevent people from going out and access to the city under any reason whatsoever, even was humanly also prevent the introduction of any relief and humanitarian and medical materials, which make the city lacks the most basic necessities of life and the lack of it is not food but the diseases, no water and no electricity, no fuel even material firewood has become difficult to obtain after becoming groves city targeted directly through the barrels that received aircraft and artillery present on the mountain, which monitors any movement within the orchards and targeted directly."


    Written by Sebastian Damascene




    January 28, 2016

    The humanitarian situation 

    Muadamiyat Al-Sham city 


    "Day atheist thirty consecutive city lived a tragic and disastrous humanitarian situation is compounded every day as a result of the siege imposed on more than 47 thousand civilians mostly children, women and the elderly on the geographical area not to exceed 1.3 Clio square meters since the militias Bashar al-Assad and the fourth band encircling Maher al-Assad forces the city from all four directions from the north the headquarters of the Fourth Division of Maher al-Assad and police housing and Joseph greatness housing and to the east the headquarters of Brigade 40 and the headquarters of Brigade 41 and Chemistry Division and Adnan al-Assad Housing officers and guard houses and a western military Mezze and management Airport Air Force Intelligence in Syria Brigade Jamil Hassan and Regiment 555 armored vehicles and Sumerian area and housing Sumerian and the eastern district and the northern neighborhood where dwell the Air Force Intelligence officers and from the south of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the National Hospital, where continue closed the only crossing to the city Muadamiyat al-Sham and prevent parents from exit and entry to the city under any reason whatsoever, even if humanly also prevent the introduction of any relief and humanitarian and medical materials, which make the city lacks the most basic necessities of life and the lack of it is not food but the diseases, no water and no electricity, no fuel even material firewood has become difficult to obtain after becoming groves city targeted directly through the barrels that received aircraft and artillery present on the mountain, which monitors any movement within the orchards and targeted directly."








    •      Image source used for this blog  Sarabiany



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