Under Siege: A Syrian Diary
We don't want to die all at once
During the uprising, I've had to leave my family’s house and move in with my friends.
My flatmates are four young men who all became citizen journalists and photographers a few months into the revolution.
Despite the fact that we quarrel all the time and for the silliest reasons, I am grateful that I share my day-to-day struggles with them.
Since the siege on Homs began more than a month ago, our place has had neither water nor electricity. (Read more...)
We have walked long distances every day to get some water from the wells present in ancient homes of the neighbourhood. There have been many days when we had to survive without water because it was impossible to move during periods of unremitting shelling.
As for electricity, we use generators that work on diesel to secure it. We get the fuel from homes that are no longer fit for living - those with destroyed walls and no doors.
Generators often break down when they run for long hours and there are no technicians to fix them.
Five days ago, our generator collapsed and the water was cut off too because the instrument used to pull water from the well works on electricity.
For five days we lived without electricity and water.
And worst of all, our computers ran out of batteries so we were completely paralised. There was no way of communicating with the outside world. A lot of videos and news were not disseminated because of that.
During these five tragic days, I felt grateful for having flatmates. Nobody but them can really understand what it means for someone to live for days without basic needs that everybody else take for granted.
But as important as it is to have them around, we have recently decided that we should stay as separated as possible from each other.
To film footage or snap photos in the streets, for example, we try to go out separately and at different times.
The idea is: we do not want to die all at once.
We are some of the few citizen journalists left in Homs. Our deaths would be tragic for many residents in the area because that would mean their voices would no longer be heard by the outside world.
Thus if a shell falls in the street I am working in, only I will get affected and the rest can continue to do their job.
And while I may feel better if a friend accompanies me, there is no place for emotional decisions in Homs.
We signed up to this revolution. Any decision we take is based on one question: will it help our revolution or not?