Idlib Calling: Yes, they scared us

December 4, 2018

Friday 30 November

Friday Raed Fares and Hammoud Juneid from Kafranbel were killed. The news about the murder of the two activists spread immediately around the world, causing shockwaves among Syrians and friends of Syria. Raed was known throughout the world for, among other things, the cartoons and cutting slogans sent form Kafranbel every week. No one has claimed responsibility for the murders, but most people have an idea about who is behind it. For that reason, I hesitated to ask Ahmad about it.

“Hi Ahmad, tell me honestly… is it possible for you to say something about the murders of Raed and Hammoud?”

“I am afraid. They killed someone who stood for everything we believed in: freedom and dignity. Raed was a man who brought people together and always reminded us of what we stand for. The slogans and cartoons from Kafranbel reminded us and the rest of the world who we are and what we are fighting for.”

“Do you have an example of one of his slogans?”

“Let me try, in Arabic: : nahnu hadamna mazra’et al-Assad fa khaluna nibna al-watan. It means something like, ‘We destroyed Assad’s farm, let us build our fatherland.’ You have to know that the regime and its supporters were always talking about ‘Assad’s Syria’ (Suriya al-Assad), as if they can rule the country like feudal lords, as if the country is their personal belonging, as if they own us. We wanted to destroy that, but more importantly, rebuild the country afterwards, build a new country for everyone.”

“Friday it was quiet in Saraqeb. We did not dare to go out on the streets. But we saw that the people of Kafranbel went to the funerals in great numbers. First it was a silent marsh and then it became a demonstration.”

“They want to kill our ideals. Yes, they scared us, and we know what they can do. They show no restraints. But we also know that their battle is an impossible one. You can kill people. But you cannot kill ideals and values. I am 100% convinced of that. And this gives me hope and consolation.”


Get involved with our peace work.
Subscribe to the PAX Action Alert.