Thursday, 24 March 2016

One of Madaya’s critically injured speaks out: ‘We're human beings, not just numbers to be moved around’

 'Despite surrendering to the Syrian regime last September, Madaya remains blockaded. That means nothing and no one enter or exit without the government’s permission. The 40,000 civilians trapped inside rely entirely on the goodwill of the Syrian regime to eat, and in the case of Ibrahim Abbas, for permission to leave the town to get the surgery he needs to stay alive beyond the short term.

 "I was injured on March 7, 2015—a Friday. I was going to Friday prayers, and was hit by a sniper round in my stomach that cut up my intestines. Currently there are no colostomy bags in the field hospital. I have one bag in poor condition. You're supposed to change the bag once a week. I've been using this bag for an entire month.

 We're human beings, not just numbers to be moved around. We don't need aid or humanitarian campaigns, we need the world to look at us with humane eyes. We need the world to appreciate, and understand our situation. I'm a young man, 26 years old, and until now I've done nothing in my life, and I feel like I'm an old man of 60.

 The regime arrested me at the end of 2012 and forced me to join the army. I served for six months, then fled at the beginning of 2013 and returned to my hometown of Baqin, next to, and administratively a part of, Madaya. I committed myself to civil resistance and worked as an independent citizen journalist. Currently I'm an activist with a civilian project called Ammirha." '

 This isn't a war, it's a revolution belonging to people who came out to demand the most basic rights—freedom, equality, and life with dignity. I'm with this revolution until my last breath; on the other hand, I hope it ends as soon as possible and in a way that satisfies everyone. Five years is enough in my opinion.

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