Surviving as a child in the longest military siege in modern history

15-year-old Muhammad Najem from Eastern Ghouta (Twitter: @muhammadnajem20)

The Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta, Syria is home to more than 350,000 people. Once renowned for its fertile soils and rich agricultural production, Eastern Ghouta is now better known for the Assad regime’s brutal Sarin attack in August 2013, killing more than 1,500 people, and for being home to the longest military siege in modern history. As of February 2018, Eastern Ghouta has been besieged by forces loyal to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for four years and 10 months, a full year longer than the siege of Sarajevo.


During that time Eastern Ghouta has suffered from chemical weapons attacks and intense bombardment at the hands of pro-regime forces, with hundreds killed in the first few days of February alone. Amnesty International have condemned the Syrian government and its allies, saying that its ‘surrender or starve‘ policy amounts to a crime against humanity.


Half of Eastern Ghouta’s population are estimated to be children according to UNICEF. A recent survey of 27 locations in East Ghouta conducted in November 2017 has found that the proportion of children under five years old suffering from acute malnutrition was 11.9 per cent.



15-year-old Syrian boy Muhammad Najem inspects the damage at his school in Eastern Ghouta following regime bombardment. (Twitter @muhammadnajem20)

My name is Muhammad Najem and I am from eastern Ghouta in the Damascus countryside, I am 15-years-old I live here with my mother and siblings.


I am in eighth grade but I stopped studying three months ago because of the constant bombardment of the place in which I live.


My school was bombed by warplanes more than once but after each raid, we would return and try to complete our studies. But my school was bombed until it was completely destroyed and I no longer have a classroom within which to study or a playground to play in.


Schools destroyed


The other schools in Eastern Ghouta have also been targeted and destroyed.
I want to tell the world what is happening to us today and convey my suffering, which I live through every day because of the bombings and the siege.


I want to tell the truth and to tell people what is happening to us. We are besieged, we are hungry, we are under constant bombardment, we are exhausted from the displacement and the killing.

This war is not ending, but we are forced to grow up in these conditions and no one has done anything to protect and support the vulnerable here. Conferences and meetings and false peace talks fail while the Arabs and the rest of the world are still silent.


In this war we have already lost everything, and we are still losing more, every single day, every single one of us has lost something precious.


Losing my home and my father


I lost my house, which my father built with hard work and the sweat from his forehead. Then my father was killed two years ago after a shell landed on the mosque where he was praying.


Many of the children here have lost their fathers or their mothers, many of us have lost siblings and many of us have lost our homes.


We have been dismembered, we have lost parts of our bodies, our hands, our feet and our eyes.


The world will not be able to compensate us for anything that we lost. We have lost sight of the sky and the sun because of the war planes that fly over us day and night in order to bomb civilians.

Muhammad Najem studies by candlelight in the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta (Twitter: @muhammadnajem20)

The siege surrounds us. The specter of death and starvation hovers over us.


Last week the regime began to escalate its violent campaign against us. Planes indiscriminately drop bombs of hatred and destruction on us.


On Thursday, warplanes mounted yet more raids on residential buildings. Everyone went down to the cellars and we could hear the roar of the jets above us as we held each other’s hands.

muhammad najem‏ @muhammadnajem20 One of my friends was killed and the other was injured. This is the picture of my friend Salim after leaving the hospital yesterday after the violent raids on his house near my house. I love you so much and wish you and all the children of the world peace and safety❤ #saveghouta

I was walking in the street with some of my friends, including my friend Salim who lives next door to us when we heard the sound of jets approaching. We fled to the cellar, but Salim ran to his home to hide with his family and uncle. He did not know that at that moment six missiles were on their way to his house.


Smoke and black dust


Smoke and black dust filled the cellar, choking us and filling the cellar with darkness. Children cried and the women screamed as they tried to check on their terrified children.


When the dust settled, we saw that Salim’s house was completely destroyed and the Civil Defense teams were attempting to rescue the people, including Salim and his family, trapped under the rubble.


After hours of searching through the rubble, I found out that Salim had miraculously survived. But his younger sister had died, his mother suffered life-changing injuries and his younger brother is still missing. Salim’s little cousins Mohammed, Majid and Raghad were also killed in the air strike.


I find it hard to believe the life we are witnessing here in Ghouta. Today I am reassured at least because Salim has left the hospital, but he is unable to move because of his injury. We do not know what tomorrow will bring.

Read more at:

The Saudi-led Genocide of Yemenis & Destruction of Their Country

(18+) NOW w/ ARTICLE: 11-18-16. The Saudi-led Genocide of Yemenis & Destruction of Their Country.

Published on Oct 28, 2016

10.28.2016. YEMEN.
This report takes a look at how 19 months of the Saudi-led airstrikes, relentlessly bombing Yemen, has reduced a country to rubble, and forever destroyed the lives of the people who survive these deadly airstrikes on civilians.

Reporting The News That Matters – From A Non-biased Perspective. Alistair Reign News Blog playlists are rated 18+ for possible graphic images of war, injury or death.

We post video reports from reliable media sources with journalists and correspondents reporting on location. This media outlet is not attached to, nor does it sympathize with, condone, nor condemn any religious organization or group. Alistair Reign and associated campaigns represent human rights for all, and the wellness of children worldwide.

Four Years Harvest- The Use of Cluster Ammunition

Published on Mar 31, 2015
Syrian Network for Human Rights

Enforced Disappearance in Syria by Assad Regime

A prisoner’s Dream

I dream of seeing my family even if only for one hour.
I want to kiss my kdis and make sure they are alive.
Even if I come back to die, I don’t mind.

I dream of getting out of here.
I don’t wanna waste my life here.
If I am released now, I may still be able to catch up with my
University exams…
Maybe, I wouldn’t lose that much then…


I dream of an antibiotic pill to cure the skin inflammation
and dimples that are eating me up.
I want to get rid of the humiliation and the ugliness of my
“scales-like” skin so that those who carry my body for burial
would not be disgusted and my cell-mates are not repulsed by
the rotting smell.


I am craving for a piece of pistachio sweets.


Detained doctor: ‘Prisoners just want to die to end the pain’

Save The Rest
Published on Sep 22, 2015

This is what’s happening in Assad’s prisons #SaveTheRest … They deserve to live freely!
هذا جزء مما يحصل في سجون الأسد : ورود سوريا وخيرة أبناء سوريا وبناتها تغتال بصمت… أنقذوا البقية .. لأننا نحتاجهم .. لأنهم يستحقون الحياة

Syria’s Children: A Generation Lost to War?

The trauma-filled tragedy of Syria’s child refugees
The Syrian civil war is creating a generation of traumatized, isolated and under-educated children, child Breadwinners who are vulnerable to exploitation.

Hundreds of thousands have been uprooted to flee with their families, frequently witnessing death, destruction, Airplanes drop bombs, Soldiers fire guns at civilians, Houses are consumed by flames, Tanks roll down streets lined with flowers.

It will be years before anyone knows if the emotional wounds caused by the conflict will leave permanent scars.

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie said, “The world must act to save a generation of traumatized, isolated and suffering Syrian children from catastrophe.”.

Syrian children tortured by Assad Regime

Syria War Creates Generation of 1.1 Million Lost Children

Syria’s traumatized refugee children will be the ones to rebuild their country

Syrian war leaves children traumatized

#Syria #ASSAD #AssadCrimes #AssadWarcrimes #AssadGenocide #AssadHolocaust #syria_crisis #syria_conflict #syriacivilwar #torture #syrian_torture #syrian_refugees #childrenofsyria #Damascus #Aleppo #homs #Idlib #UN #NO2VETO

Ground Zero Syria- Chapter 1

Ground Zero Syria: Chapter 1 (Parts 1-6)

Published on Sep 4, 2013

In 2012 VICE commissioned photographer and videographer Robert King to document the civil war that has been ravaging Syria for the past two years. Largely based on Aleppo, Robert’s footage of the violent conflict that continues to unfold in the region is perhaps one of the most thorough and brutally honest documents of a war that is increasingly destabilizing the Middle East as it spills over into neighboring Turkey and Lebanon. This full-length version of Ground Zero: Syria combines all six parts of our series to offer a startling glimpse into a chaotic war with no clear end in sight.

Watch the rest here:
Part 7:
Part 8:
Part 9:

Ground Zero Syria is a series where we’ve compiled photojournalist and videographer Robert King’s footage into a series of raw, largely unedited vignettes that present a snapshot of the ancient city as it crumbles and burns while its citizens are killed indiscriminately.