Monday, 15 February 2016
A letter from under Russian bombs in Aleppo
"We haven’t seen a good day in years. The shelling never stops, even for an hour or two. Life has changed, all the places you remember are gone: forget them, it is too painful. The bombs dropped by the regime are indiscriminate, destroying everything in their path. Everything is changed, destroyed or deserted, without life.
Even in our dreams we no longer know what “safety” means. Every time you open your eyes you don’t know if it the last time you will see your kids.
It is not just fighting on the front lines, it’s not just the continuous bombing. There are snipers hidden in every corner on the way out of the city.
We are constantly adapting our lives. Schools have had to move underground, and medical centers have to manage with limited supplies. We tried to build new democratic institutions: we elected new leaders. Everything has been a struggle.
We tried to go north to different neighborhoods, but bombs were falling there. We could see the planes flying above us, they sometimes display Syrian flags, sometimes Russian, sometimes we don’t even know. It feels like they are following us everywhere we go.
The surrounding communities of Anadan, Marah, Tal Refat, Hretan, Bynoon, Azaz are also suffering. These towns and villages started a peaceful revolution. They stood with Aleppo when Syrian government forces attacked civilians in the city. They took in people fleeing the bombs and the shelling.
But what happened to them? They were bombed, every single day. People do not know who the planes are aiming for and whether they will be next to die. Tens of air strikes per day, for the last 120 days.
And now it is time to leave. I didn’t ever expect this time would come, but I have to give up. I am leaving for a place I am not sure even exists.
Aleppo stands in front of a big war machine armed only with small weapons. It is not just a geographical target. Aleppo is karama, it is dignity, it is the revolution against injustice.
Goodbye Aleppo; my hometown, the place where I spent my childhood, where all my memories are.
I hope to see you there again one day, my friend."