Enab Baladi: Citizen Chronicles of the Syrian Uprising (Free PDF)

Copies of Enab Baladi newspaper’s 45th issue among the debris of a destroyed building in the city of Daraya, rural Damascus (December 2013). Photo credit: Enab Baladi.

Hummus For Thought is pleased to announce the release of “Enab Baladi: Citizen Chronicles of the Syrian Uprising”, available as a free PDF. You can right-click and download it or just open it on your browser.

This is the result of a collaboration between Joey Ayoub and Alice Bonfatti who worked as editor and Arabic-to-English translator respectively. Georgia Hyland also worked as the proofreader. Needless to say, this project is in collaboration with Syrian citizen-journalist outlet Enab Baladi. Their website is available in English and in Arabic.

© Enab Baladi, 2019, All rights reserved.


To Enab Baladi’s Martyrs

Mohammad Anwar Kuraitem
One of Enab Baladi’s Founders
28-11-2012
Mohammad Fares Shihadeh
Daraya Reporter
16-01-2013
Ahmad Khaled Shihadeh
Managing Editor
12-03-2013
Nabil Sharbaji
One of Enab Baladi’s Founders
03-05-2015


Table of Content

Prologue: An Idea Called Daraya 7

Chapter 1: Why Enab Baladi? 13
1 – Why Enab Baladi? 15
2- I Am in This Revolution for Many Reasons 17

Chapter 2: Early Citizen Journalism from Daraya 19
1 – Daraya: Protesters and Security Forces Clash During the Friday of
Right of Self-Defence 21
2 – Daraya: Evening Demonstrations Drain Assad’s Militias 22
3 – Daraya: A Women’s Sit-in Protest for the Detainees 23
4 – Daraya: Air Force Mukhabarat Used Machine Guns and Armoured
Vehicles Against Student Demonstrations 24
5 – Mass Demonstration and Heavy Security at the “Arming
the Free Syrian Army” Friday Protest 25
6 – Daraya: Some Are Released, but Many More Arrested 26
7 – Student Demonstrations on Wednesday for the Release and
Freedom of Mohammed Sharkas 27
8 – Daraya: Near-daily Intrusions into the City by Shabbiha and
Assad’s Forces 28
9 – Our Women: Demonstration in Solidarity with Nour al-Tal 31
10 – Besieged Daraya Fears the Madaya Scenario 32

Chapter 3: The Syrian Regime: A Long History of Civil Repression 35
1 – The Syrian Regime Continues Its Policy of Systematic Killing 37
2 – The Assad Regime: Is It Looking for Legitimacy and Justification
for Its Actions? 40
3 – The Assad Regime Has Decided to Opt for Civil War! 44
4 – Between Rhetoric and Failure 47

Chapter 4: Women at the Frontline 49
1 – Women at the Heart of the Syrian Revolution 51
2 – Women at Work and Men at Home: Change of Roles Strikes
a Hard Blow to Traditional Customs 54
3 – Women Fear Arrest: Assad’s Attempt to Suppress Their Voices 58
4 – Aleppo’s “Little Women” 59
5 – Women Held Captive in Syria: Weapons of War and Terror 62
6 – You Can Never Besiege My Mind! 64
7 – In the Grips of Extremism: Syrian Women Forced into Slavery
in Deir ez-Zor 66
8 – Wives Separated From Their Detained or Missing Husbands:
Society Forbids What Shari’a Law Permits 69
9 – Little Openness Towards Women Working in
Opposition-Controlled Areas 78
10 – Syrian Activists Taking off Their Veil: Revolution or Escape? 86
11 – Spouses, Friends and Families Divided as Struggles of
War Reshape Bonds 90
12 – What You Don’t Know About Female Journalists’ Personal
Lives Inside Syria 94
13 – Syrian Breast Cancer Patients Suffer Twice as Much During War 96

Chapter 5: Detainees and Stories from Syria’s Prisons 99
1 – On the Brink of Anticipation 101
2 – The Women’s Section of Adra Central Prison: Torture of a
Different Kind 103
3 – Rasha Sharbaji: The Story of Detainee Number 714 106
4- ‘Nobody’’s Family… Memories of a Political Prisoner 109
5 – Documenting Darkness: Stepping Inside Syrian Prisons 111
6 – Branch 215’s Gargamel: The Military Security Officer in Damascus 119

Chapter 6: Violent Conflict 121
1 – Commander of the Martyrs of Islam Brigade to Enab Baladi:
“We Have no Choice but to Sacrifice Everything” 123
2 – Abu Salmu: Commander of Osod al-Tawhid Battalion in
Daraya in Conversation with Enab Baladi 129
3 – 32nd Anniversary of Hama Massacre: Facts and Testimonies
Aabout One of the Most Brutal Contemporary Massacres 134
4 – From Damascus: This is Sparta! 136
5 – “The End of Aleppo”: The Reasons Behind the Defeat and its
Potential Consequences 140
6 – A Year After the Collapse of Aleppo, What Has Changed? 151

Chapter 7: Local Councils: Unique Examples of Self-Organisation 161
1 – Does Local Media Promote Hatred Between Arabs and
Kurds in Syria? 163
2 – Arabs, Kurds, and the Social Ties That Overcome Political Conflicts 174
3 – Local Councils in Syria, Affiliation and Mechanisms: An Interview with
Osama Natoof, Head of the Local Council of Rif Dimashq Governorate 181

Chapter 8: Refugees and Forced Displacement 185
1 – The Syrians Who Have Not Died Yet 187
2 – The Change of Priorities among Syrian Revolutionary Activists:
From Ghouta to Germany 189
3 – Car Parks for the Displaced in Damascus 194
4 – How Will Daraya’s Children in the Camps Complete Their Education? 198
5 – Discouraging Refugees from Staying: How Lebanon is
Forcing Syrians to Leave 199
6 – Syrian Refugees Are Forced to Buy the Worst and Most
Expensive Passport in the World 206
7 – Syrians Change Their Names to Obtain Turkish Nationality 209
8 – 750 Syrian Minors Married to Foreigners from Nine Nationalities in 212
9 – Countless People Commemorate Syrian Dancer Hassan
Rabeh Following His Suicide 213
10 – “Baynetna”: An Arabic Library Opens in Berlin 215
11 – Hamish: A Cultural House for the Syrian Community in Istanbul 216

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