WARNING: THE FOLLOWING FILM CONTAINS VIOLENT CONTENT THAT MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR SOME VIEWERS. VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED.
Following the revolutions in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt, hope was in the air that Syria would be next. The boys’ words were written in protest of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian regime’s leader and a trained doctor in the UK. Yet when Daraa’s parents called for their son’s release, activist Kholoud Helmi describes that “the police simply said that if you want children make a new one because they are already dead and then they sent the bodies to their parents”. In her eyes, the regime’s active torture of children began the revolution in Syria.
A series of protests began across the country, where activists would sing or raise flowers against weapons as a sign of peace. In response, President Bashar Al-Assad described his job as a government “to save their life through destroying the terrorists”. “If self-protection is considered an act of terrorism, then we are terrorists. If seeking freedom and civil rights is terrorism, then we are terrorists”, responds activist Ahmad, who began broadcasting Al-Assad’s regime of terror to show his people what was happening in his country.
One by one, the regime started to besiege numerous cities all over Syria, blocking people inside those towns with no supplies. “It was really scary when we were under siege. No one could come to us and we couldn't leave”, remembers Masa, an 11 year-old orphan. As a result of the blockades, citizens couldn’t eat or sleep for several days. Those in Aleppo hoped the Syrian Free Army would free the city.