disappearance

The Boy who started the Syrian War

We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.

10 Feb 2017 12:29 GMTWar & Conflict, Syria’s Civil War

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed for ever.

The Boy who started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

FILMMAKER’S VIEW

by Emmy Award-winning producer, Jamie Doran

I was in Moscow recently, chatting to people you might have thought would have known better. Educated folk, among them an experienced journalist. I had asked them a simple question: how did the Syrian war begin?

They uniformly launched into the answer that has been peddled so often in recent times, that it has now become fact in certain circles: “It was the terrorists who started it all.”

The fact that ISIL in its current form didn’t even exist in Syria at the time, or that al-Nusra wouldn’t arrive until many months afterwards, appear to have been conveniently forgotten – not just in Moscow but in most media coverage around the world.

The surprise, even shock on their faces when I pulled out my laptop and showed them the trailer for our latest film for Al Jazeera, The Boy Who Started the Syrian War, was a wonder to behold. They simply had no idea.

They claimed they hadn’t been aware of how, for decades, dissenters towards government authority had faced the daily dread of a visit from the secret police, of torture, disappearance and extrajudicial execution.

They had apparently never heard about how fathers were frightened to allow their daughters to be alone on the streets for fear of abduction, rape and murder at the hands of the Shabiha, Assad-family militias that operated with virtual impunity.

And they were totally unaware that it was a mischievous prank by adolescent schoolchildren that lit the fuse that set a country ablaze.

Early in 2016, I was sitting in Books@Cafe, a hangout for liberally minded Jordanians on Al-Khattab Street, Amman, with cameraman and filmmaker Abo Bakr Al Haj Ali. He was busily puffing away on his narghile (hookah), as we discussed how Deraa, the city which had given birth to the revolution, had been virtually ignored by the media in recent years.

One of the reasons it had been overlooked was that the Jordanians wouldn’t let any Western journalists cross from their side. Almost the only other option was an official tour of government-controlled areas via Damascus that didn’t appeal to me at all, even if they had let me in, which was rather unlikely.

I’d spent the previous week sitting on the border, just an hour’s drive from Deraa, having established an agreement with the Jordanian military which would have made me the first Westerner allowed to cross over in three years.

READ MORE: Syria’s Civil War Explained

There I was, in the border compound about to leave Jordanian soil, when a call came to the post. Moments later, I was very politely placed in a saloon car … and driven back to Amman. I later found out that the representative of the British intelligence agency, MI6, in Amman had advised the Jordanian government that it would be a bad idea to let me cross … even though I was travelling on an Irish passport!

So, back at Books@Cafe, Bakr and I sat chatting about how we could make a film about Deraa without my physical presence. It’s his home town. His territory.

“So, who do you know, who was there at the very beginning?” I asked.

“I know the commander, Marouf Abood, who set up the very first people’s militia, after government troops attacked his village,” he responded.

“Interesting. And who else?”

He went on to reel off half a dozen names; commander this, commander that.

“Come on, Bakr. You must know someone else, someone different. Someone fresh,” I said.

Continuing to drag deeply on the narghile, deep in thought, he told me that there was no one else that was really very interesting.

And then he added: “Well, I suppose there’s the boy who scrawled the anti-Assad graffiti on his school wall that started the war.”

It was one of those moments where you could have knocked my 90 kilos over with a feather.

The boy who started the Syrian war! Think about it. It wasn’t ISIL, nor al-Nusra, nor any other terrorist group. It was an act of defiance, a moment of youthful rebelliousness, if you like, that led to an uprising which has seen more than half a million people killed and a country torn to shreds.

It wasn’t, of course, the fault of this 14-year-old boy and his three friends who joined him in this moment of adolescent disobedience – a prank which would have enormous consequences beyond their understanding. But when they were arrested by the police and tortured in a most horrendous way, a line was crossed from which there would be no turning back.

When their parents and families arrived at the police station to plead for their freedom, they were told: “Forget these children. Go home to your wives and make some more. If you can’t manage, send us your wives and we’ll do it for you.”

Anger rose. The fuse had been lit and, when police started randomly killing marchers in the demonstrations that followed, armed resistance became an inevitability.

READ MORE: The Syrian conflict does not end here

For me personally, this film has taken on an importance beyond many that I have made in the past. To be able to remind (and, in some cases, inform) a massive global audience of the true origins of the Syrian civil war, is an enormous privilege for a filmmaker.

For those directly involved in those origins, however, our film has provided an opportunity for reflection. So many have suffered greatly and sacrificed so much for a revolution which, by any calculation, is and will remain incomplete, no matter what the outcome of negotiations.

Mouawiya Syasneh, The boy who started the Syrian War, is now a young man who, like so many other young men in Deraa, carries a Kalashnikov rather than a satchel these days. As viewers will discover, his own family has paid a dreadful price for the events that followed his actions back in February 2011.

His own reflections are now a matter of record for the first time.

Article from: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2017/02/boy-started-syrian-war-170208093451538.html

Video from Al Jazeera English:

Published on Feb 10, 2017

SPECIAL SERIESSYRIA’S CIVIL WAR
The Boy Who Started the Syrian War
We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.
09 Feb 2017 10:22 GMT Syria’s Civil War, War & Conflict

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed forever.

The Boy Who Started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

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VETO – Assad Horrendous Crimes Against his own People


Published on Sep 8, 2013

VETO is a short film sheds light on the current Syrian Revolution and the circumstances behind the transformation from peaceful movement to an armed revolution. VETO takes you through the last three and a half years of this unbearable suffering with over 200,000 Syrian victims and more than 9 million displaced people, and a clueless world about how to stop this horrendous crime! VETO was made in 2012 and was nominated for the Documentary of The Year Award in Germany 2013 and was highlighted by several international media outlets.

VETO est un petit film qui nous éclaire un peu sur la révolution syrienne et les circonstances qui l’ont faite passer d’un mouvement pacifiste à une révolution armée. VETO vous emmène le long de ces 3 1/2 années de souffrances insupportables avec plus de 200’000 victimes syriennes et plus de 9 million de personnes déplacées et un monde désemparé sur la manière de stopper ces crimes horribles ! VETO a été réalisé en 2012 et nominé aux oscars 2013 du film documentaire de l’année en Allemagne et a été remarqué par plusieurs media internationaux.

يلقي هذا الفيلم القصير الضوء على الثورة السورية والظروف وراء تحولها من حركة سلمية إلى ثورة مسلحة، ويأخذك الفيلم
خلال سنوات الثورة ليرصد المعاناة التي اودت يحياة أكثر من 100،000 سوري و تشرد أكثر من 5 ملايين شخص و مازال المجتمع الدولي متفرجا و متناسيا مهمته في وقف هذه الجريمة النكراء و قد رشح هذا الفبلم لجائزة افضل فيلم وثائقي في مهوجان سينما من اجل السلام في ألمانيا في عام 2013 وكان قد نال اهتمام خاص من قبل العديد من وسائل الإعلام العالمية
http://unhcr.org/FutureOfSyria/scarre…

Music: “Buyer Beware” by Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)
Artist: Hans Zimmer
Category: News & Politics

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

4 MIN OF HORROR | ASAD’S DEATH BARRELS

Assad’s atrocities:
1) “agents of death and destruction”
2) sieges and attacks
3) destabilized the region
4) killing and maiming scores of civilians daily
5) Shelling and aerial bombardment from a distance and up close
6) “starvation or submission”
7) drawn-out sieges and indiscriminate attacks
8) Checkpoints (encircle cities) meanwhile “are often the starting point of a horrific journey of disappearance, torture, sexual abuse and, for many, death”
9) Massacres, beheading children: “Terrorist Infiltrators”
10) Use of chemical weapons against his own people


published on Nov 19, 2014

4 MIN OF HORROR | ASAD’S DEATH BARRELS رعب براميل الموت

Feeling hell already? this is what our brothers in Syria have been going through for the past 4 years.

Winter is here, please let’s not forget them, let’s help save the little ones from freezing to death. Search for a trusted organization near you and donate today! If you have already donated, donate more, if you already helped, help more, if you already pray for them, increase in your prayers, may Allah hasten his victory for them.

They are fighting the world’s Tyrants gathered from east to west in the most purest spot “Sham”, they’re fighting on behalf of the entire Ummah, and what did we do in return? Nothing but lending them our deadly silence and betrayal.

I ask Allah to save us from his curse and punishment for letting our brothers down, they are sacrificing their souls, and the souls of their loved ones yet we’re to lazy to sacrifice an atom weight of less than that.

We will all be questioned on the day of resurrection for this! This blessed revolution was decreed by Allah so He would distinguish the wicked from the good, which one of the two did you decide to be amongst?

They don’t need us, they have the lord of the heavens and the earth with them, and there are numerous Hadiths about the guarantee Allah has promised Syria (Al-Sham) and it’s people that He will take good care of them, rather it is we who will be amongst the losers both in this Dunya and on the day of judgment.

Read more: Assad atrocities outstrip Islamic State in Syria, UN panel says | The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/assad-atrocities-outstrip-islamic-state-in-syria-un-panel-says/#ixzz3Jv32Ww73
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