SYRIA WITNESS: Bombs, Snipers and Rumors of Hezbollah Threaten Aleppo

Following the take-over of Qusair by Syrian government forces, observers of the country’s bloody conflict predict that President Bashar al-Assad will strike next at rebel-held areas of Aleppo, the Syria’s commercial center. Ahmad al-Hamadi is, by his own account, an Aleppo University employee who in this installment of Syria Witness reports about the hazards More »

SYRIA WITNESS: My Close Encounter With Jabhat Al-Nusra

Mousab al-Hamadee, an activist with the Local Coordination Committees of Syria, was recently awarded a fellowship to study at Syracuse University as well as an internship with the International Peace and Security Institute in Washington, D.C.  He has in the past authored several Syria Witness reports describing his life as an activist in Syria’s More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Activists Labor to Seed New Beginnings

Syrian American Shiyam Galyon lives in Houston, Texas. She recently traveled to Syria as part of a humanitarian relief project distributing food and medical supplies in rebel-controlled Aleppo and its suburbs. Galyon is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, where she had been active in several campaigns to help the needy. More »

SYRIA WITNESS: When Snipers Leave, Students Return to Classes

Sami of Qusayr, by his own account an English lecturer, gave up teaching at his university to support Syria’s revolution. When government forces began to vacate local schools they had seized he agreed to resume teaching, not to university students but to 11th-graders. Read his story below. Middle East Voices’ “Syria Witness” series features personal More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Running the Town of Qusayr Without Assad

Sami, by his own account, is an activist-turned-school teacher who writes about changes that have taken place in his hometown of Qusayr since the uprising against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad began nearly two years ago. In the midst of the conflict that has destroyed much of Quasayr, Sami recently visited its newly-elected city council More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Documenting Life, Death and Destruction

Ahmed Da is, by his own account, a citizen photojournalist. He shared with us his story of how he organized Lens Young Homsi, a group of like-minded photojournalists, who set out to use a Facebook page to tell the world about life, death and destruction in Homs, their hometown. To date, their Facebook page, More »

SYRIA WITNESS: ‘She Refused to Even Look at Me’

Yisser Bittar, a Syrian-American, tells us that since she was a little girl she used to travel to Homs every year to visit relatives. Due to the civil war and intense fighting in the city, she was unable to visit last year, but says that she and six other Syrian-Americans managed in December to More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Getting into the Spirit of a Free Syria

Kenan Rahmani is a law student at the University of Notre Dame in the U.S. state of Indiana. He shared with us that he has traveled to Syria to assist an activist network with  English-language media relations. He says he recently returned again to Syria with a small group of expatriates from the Syrian More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Villagers Write ‘Freedom Forever’ on Their Walls

Yisser Bittar, a Syrian-American, tells us that since she was a little girl she used to travel to Homs every year to visit relatives. Due to the civil war and intense fighting in the city, she was unable to visit last year, but says that she and six other Syrian-Americans managed in December to More »

SYRIA WITNESS: A Mother Saves Her Son from the Draft

Rund, by her own account, is a citizen journalist in Izraa, Syria. In this installment of her regular posts she shares the story of a family’s daring escape from Syria into neighboring Jordan. Middle East Voices’ “Syria Witness” series features personal accounts by citizen-journalists inside Syria about the grim challenges of survival in a war More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Expats Get Close-up View of Syria Conflict

Last month, a small group of Syrian-Americans traveled to Syria’s northern region where rebels now control large parts of the country’s commercial capital, Aleppo. On that trip, the group got to see how a city functions and how people live – and die – in a state of war. The group also met with More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Weddings, Marriage in the Midst of Conflict

Sami, a self-described citizen-journalist in Qusayr, writes about how the prolonged armed conflict in Syria has changed not only the outlook on weddings and marriages but also longstanding traditions surrounding them. Sami has shared previous narratives about barrel bombings, a Christian friend who fled Syria, and the impact his brother’s combat injury has had More »

SYRIA WITNESS: ‘This Assad Regime Is Trying to Destroy Syrian Communities’

During a Skype interview with Syria Witness, Abu Hadi identified himself as a former businessman who joined the protests in Syria at the beginning of the uprising in March of 2011. Abu Hadi is not his real name. He said he has become involved in the political realm of the movement to oust President More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Radio Launches Hope From Far Away

A small number of exiled Syrians in Paris, Cairo and other cities launched a radio station called SouriaLi (My Syria / Surrealist) in October for the people of war-torn Syria. The programming is uncensored and available from a Cairo studio as a web-based series of podcasts on www.souriali.com. Two of the station’s founders spoke More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Life is Vanishing in Damascus

Kareem is, by his own account, the publisher of an underground newspaper in Damascus and an activist performing relief work and media relations for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria in Damascus and in Homs, where he grew up. He talked recently on Skype with Syria Witness about the difficulties of living in Damascus More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Stopping Now, Would Be Betraying Those Who Gave Their Lives

Our source for this report is Sami al-Rifaie who, by his own account, is an activist and citizen-journalist living in Qusayr. Sami al-Rifaie is not his real name. He recently wrote about the bombardment of his hometown and a Christian friend who escaped from Syria. His latest contribution is about conditions in a makeshift hospital The More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Shells and Rockets are Part of our Daily Lives

(file) Men wait to buy bread in front of a bakery shop during winter in Al Qusayr, a city in western Syria about 4.8km (3 miles) southwest of Homs, March 1, 2012.

Our source for this report is Sami al-Rifaie who, by his own account, is an activist and citizen-journalist who lives in Qusayr. Qusayr is a city in the mountains of western Syria that overlooks the Lebanese border. Sami al-Rifaie is not his real name. Sami last wrote about a childhood friend who escaped from Syria More »

SYRIA WITNESS: How a Foreigner Recruited My Friends for Jihad

Our source for this post, Mousab Alhamadee, by his own account, is a school teacher and an activist serving as an international media spokesman for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. He purportedly works under the protection of the Free Syrian Army in the mountains near Hama. He also says he is a former translator More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Watching the Siege of Mhajjah from a Bus

Our source for this post, Rund al-Huriya, by her own account, is a student and citizen journalist from Izraa who regularly commutes to Syria’s capital city of Damascus. She has written previously about struggles families face when their sons defect from the military as well as about the ingenuity of mothers coaching their small More »

SYRIA WITNESS: Why Would Brahimi Succeed Where Annan Failed?

Our source for this post, Mousab Alhamadee, by his own account is a school teacher and activist who serves as a spokesman to international media for the Local Coordination Committees of Syria. He purportedly works under the protection of the Free Syrian Army in the mountains near Hama. He says he is also a More »