My Ties Are Through That

“There isn’t a single Syrian family that has not had to deal with loss in Syria…, but humanity in general should be worried.”


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Transcript for My Ties Are Through That

In March of 2011, after what happened in Egypt and you know, the revolution that was happening in Libya and Tunisia, there was a group of Syrian youth and they took some graffiti and they wrote on, you know, in the village, like, “The people want the downfall of the regime.” And so, the Syrian forces like, the President’s — the dictator Assad’s forces took them, and he kept them for I think, like a couple of weeks, and he like — you know, these children were between the ages of ten and fifteen. And he returned them after like, you know fourteen to seventeen days with their nails pulled out, and their genitalia cut off, and you know, cigarette burns all over… Honestly it was — and at the time, that was absolutely like, the most horrific thing any of us had ever seen. That, you know, that was like, what sparked the whole thing. The families of those children came out and they started protesting first, you know, just you know, a few… like fifty and then hundreds and then gradually it became fifty thousand, you know, in my home city of Homs.  It just kept getting bigger and bigger. Bashar al-Assad just literally like, he reacted with brute violence. It’s absolutely—it’s disgusting the way he’s reacted. Now we’re just kind of fighting for the country back and for the revolution to be victorious.

My whole — almost my whole dad’s side of the family is in Syria, and a lot of my mom’s side, a lot of my cousins. They’re in Homs, which is the third largest city, and they actually have, you know, called it the capital of the revolution, because they just have been amazing, amazing throughout the whole revolution. Like, from the beginning they were there, and they were fighting, and they were protesting, and it’s just really awesome. But there isn’t a single Syrian family that has not had to deal with loss in Syria. No one’s been exempt from it. That’s — you know, of course, that’s always going to be there, so… I actually lost two cousins just about five months ago. They were tortured to death in Syria. The cousins that I lost — their parents, their siblings are all still there, so you know, of course my ties are through that. But also just through the fact that, you know, it’s really not just the fact that I’m Syrian. I mean, you know, I have as much allegiance to Syria as I do to what’s happening in Burma, in Bangladesh, in Sudan, in Afghanistan, in Palestine, everywhere. I mean, Syria is obviously the fact — knowing that my family members are there, and you know, knowing and not even understanding the kind of pain and anguish that they go through every single day, you know, it makes it difficult, but it’s — it’s not a national crisis. It really — it’s, you know, it’s a thing that humanity in general should be worried about. Everything that’s happening there. You know, we should all be worried about it. It’s not, you know, not just if you’re Syrian should you be caring. It’s like, it doesn’t matter. If you’re human you should be caring about what’s happening there.