Dear Mr. Secretary General of the United Nations.

Dear World.

I am the child who just happened to survive and yet struggles to breathe. I am the mother who did not die from  injury, but from seeing her children die one after one. I am the father who engaged in war to defend his family and land after giving up his belief in a peaceful revolution. I am the one who has been crying for six years. I am Syria.

I am the one who aspired for change, who believed in education, equality and social justice. But above all I am the one who believed in freedom. I am Syria.

I have been tortured while chained, and stabbed while silenced. The offenders did not bother removing their knives. I am bleeding yet resisting. I am alive but dying.

I have exhausted my power begging for help until my voice drained out and until I doubted whether I had a voice.  Did I speak a language no one understood? Wasn’t my language of pain universal? I am Syria and I seem to be a stranger.

I have been unjustly punished for claiming my right to freedom. I have been extinguished for claiming my right to be treated as an equal. I am Syria.

I am the victim of war and of injustice. I used to crave for freedom but today I beg for justice.


Photos provided by the World Press Photo Foundation, cover photo: “Douma’s Children,” Abd Doumany, Syria, Agence France-Presse

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