Monday, March 21, 2011

Jassem's Heroes & Marwa's Story – March 21, 2011

Protests in Deraa are no longer restricted to Daraa City, but now expanded to included many of towns and villages nearby, especially Jassem and Daael. Still several arrests were reported, though it is not clear whether they were arrested today or yesterday: Youssef Al-Sayassneh, Shukri Al-Mahameed, Muhammad Jabr Al-Massalmeh, Issam Al-Mahameed, and Issa Al-Massalmeh. Hundreds are reported missing.

Jassem Video

Eyewitness account from Jassem through direct communication by Chat:

Eyewitness 1: The demonstration began when Imams called out from Mosques saying “People of Dignity, People of Honor, your folk in Deraa are being slaughtered.” 1,500 gathered within minutes.

Eyewitness 2: Today we took part in a large demonstration in Jassem. It was wonderful. We said what we wanted. We killed fear. It was the happiest day of my life. The demonstration came in response to the siege of Deraa City… We walked in the direction of Abu Tammam Square… People wanted to go and throw stones at the District Director, but we insisted on keeping tings peaceful by chanting “Silmiyyah.” Party officials came to us and asked us what we want, we said: “freedom.” That ended our communication.  

We said, literally, that we wanted “political and religious freedom.” We were allowed to enter the local Police Station to deliver our demands.  We then went to the town of Ankhal, we found that the inhabitants had destroyed the local party headquarter, and tore a posted of the President. It seems things will continue to escalate until next Friday… The demonstration ended in Ankhal without a simgle security officer showing his face.  

As we confirmed yesterday, statue of Hafiz Al-Assad in Deraa’s main square was demolished, all posters of Bashar were torn, and “Down With Assad” slogan was sprayed on walls of many of schools.

More videos from Deraa
(No ambulances allowed in Deraa)

(Funerals)

(Doctor speaking on lack of Medicines and rumors of Hezbollah operatives in Deraa)

 (use of life ammunition)

The main event today was in Qamishly where Kurds poured into the streets to celebrate Newruz. Though no clashes with authority were reported, speakers at the celebrations called for ending state of emergency, release of political prisoners, and respect for political freedoms. In a gesture of support to the revolution, protesters raised the Syrian flag on the stage.


At night, celebrations turned to protests, with protesters filling the narrow streets of the city, shouting “Freedom, Freedom, Freedom” and cars honked their horns.

Qamishly at night

Meanwhile, small demonstrations continued to take part in various Damascene neighborhoods and suburbs, including Kafar Sousseh, Douma, Mouaddamiyyah and Al-Hajar Al-Aswad.

Hajar Al-Aswad

(Protesters chanted “Horan, we are your men.” Horan is the historic name of the Province where Deraa is located. Hajar Al-Aswad’s inhabitants are originally from Deraa)  
Mouaddamiyyah 

Special Segment:

Participant account of the demonstration that started it all in Suq Al-Hamiddiyyeh in Damascus March 15:
(The witness is willing to give interviews, please call me for his contact details. He is no longer in Syria now, but has family members in Damascus and Deraa, and is in touch on daily basis with them. His information is still quite reliable).

I was at the Hamiddiyyeh Bazar and Marwa and others were arrested in front of me. I almost lunged at them, but didn’t. It happened near the Omayyad Mosque, they jumped like monsters. I stayed until they had got them out while beating them. I felt broken.
The beginning was good. We were four, but in short period of time, our number exceeded 100. We crossed all of Hamidiyyeh, until we reached Hariqa, where security people came and began chanting for Bashar. We paused for a while, then 2 protesters tried to start a clash, but I stopped them, chanting “Silmiyyeh, Silmiyyeh” (peaceful, peaceful). People joined me.
Shortly after that, people dispersed, but our group returned to Al-Hamidiyyeh. We were about ten. No one joined us after that as we stood at the Gate of the Umayyad Mosque. We felt disappointed. Marwa shouted “The Syrian people are dead.” We decided to leave. That’s when they attacked us.”

Video of Marwa’s Arrest: