Sunday, 6 December 2015
They terrorized my daughters and killed my baby. That’s why we’re Syrian refugees.
"Peaceful protesters began asking for improvements from the government — basic things, fundamental rights. Among other things, they were calling for the release of political prisoners and for an end to the government’s corruption. My husband and I were not revolutionaries. We respected the role of the government in our lives, but we agreed that changes were needed and believed those changes could happen peacefully. Our family did not participate in the protests. We watched from our house.
The demonstrators were not terrorists. They didn’t carry weapons; they carried signs calling for a better life. I remember seeing people with olive branches and flowers, symbols of peace. So the government’s reaction came as a terrible surprise. Soldiers began using violence to silence the voice of the people, shooting them in the streets. A war between the people and the government had begun.
One day, my 7-year-old came home petrified about something she had seen. She told me the soldiers had pulled random students and people from the street and lined them up on their hands and knees, in two rows, in front of the tanks. They were not allowed to move. The soldiers in the tanks threatened to run them over and taunted those who were watching. Before, I tried to ease my daughters’ fear by telling them that things would get better. Now I could no longer say this. After that day, I stopped sending my daughters to school.
In the fall of 2012, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, our first son. He was born with jaundice, and we had to take him to the Al Fateh Hospital occasionally for treatment. A family friend who worked at the hospital called us. The government believed that a rebel was hiding there, he said, so troops shelled the building. Many children were dead. My 7-day-old son was among them."