Reality is stranger than any fiction, and Syria 2013 promises to be the strangest reality of all. There is something purely Dickensian, particularly Kafkaesque and all Orwellian clearly at work here, as our Dystopia unfolds. How Dikwellian!
The World Outside Our Shoes
American human rights activist, Carl Wilkens (@CarlWilkens), director of World Outside My Shoes, an educational non-profit "committed to inspiring and equipping people to enter the world of 'The Other' - 'The Other' may be under our own roof or on the other side of the globe," paid a visit to Al-Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan last month and produced the videos below. Conditions have grown increasingly worse in the last few days on account of snowfall and the freezing rain.
http://youtu.be/x5Af7Jgm1-I , http://youtu.be/Qw7zvUF3oZQ , http://youtu.be/o4x6hnzQ2Xc , http://youtu.be/lJf4fmmv7sk
In 1994, Carl and his family were living in Rwanda when the genocide broke out. Carl sent his wife and children to Burundi with an American convoy but Carl felt he could not leave his friends behind, many whom were Tutsis. Carl saved about 400 people from the Gisimba Orphanage. His presence at the orphanage was enough for the militia not to slaughter everyone inside its walls. Today, Carl travels the United States to speak with students, teachers, and parents about his experience in Rwanda.
We need more American and international activists like him to be involved and build pubic pressures on various western government to play a more proactive part in alleviating the suffering at least.
While rebels released their 48 Iranian hostages in one go, the regime is yet to honor its commitment: hundreds have been released, but hundreds more await, including all the big names, people like Tal Al-Mallouhi, Mazen Darweesh and Lt. Col. Hussain Harmoush. Reasons for the delay are not clear.
Local activists report that the capture of the Taftanaz Military Airport was delayed for many weeks because Jabhat Al-Nusra fighters insisted on going it alone preventing other rebel groups from taking a too active part. Now, JN has several helicopters in its possession, and reportedly several of their members can pilot one.
Rebels from Jabhat Al-Nusra destroy a helicopter gunship at Taftanaz Military Airport http://youtu.be/1TTsotBbBiI Closer Look at the wreckage and the dead pilots http://youtu.be/OXLE-2Ku88w And pound the airport http://youtu.be/kOaplsN_Qpg MiGs pound rebel position around the airport http://youtu.be/3X8w3iS3eqM But, on Friday, rebels manage to storm the entire airport and consolidate their hold. Parading their gains http://youtu.be/tyq4K59Sso4 , http://youtu.be/-Then24i2gM , http://youtu.be/cNXY4OtmOKM Rebels now have a number of helicopters under their control http://youtu.be/ublEzaKIv54 , http://youtu.be/X4XDbbY37o8 , http://youtu.be/r_e2nXPHvII
The Little Match Boy of Damascus: no comment necessary http://youtu.be/-uEbc2NXB-A
Video clip found on the mobile of a captured loyalist militiaman is a montage showing missile launchers in action against rebel position in the town of Daraya, Damascus. The song in the background praises Assad and is replete with cultural references particular to the Alawites http://youtu.be/N5g2Ry40dfs This video from an activist a street littered with the dead bodies of pro-Assad militias after rebels managed to repel their recent attack on the restive suburb http://youtu.be/trqYb__4hqU
A brief documentary about Syrian refugees in the town of Arsaal, Lebanon (English subtitles) http://youtu.be/49USydscMCc
Clashes in Basr Al-Harir, Daraa continue http://youtu.be/66vDXiWUylM , http://youtu.be/RN7NAPiTu68 Rebels destroy a tank http://youtu.be/u4txngFq6-U Rebels rescue their wounded http://youtu.be/3Zxrv_HVh_4 , http://youtu.be/3Zxrv_HVh_4 In nearby Nahteh, shelling claims many lives http://youtu.be/uPq8T1uGYHE
Fighter jets resume their raids on restive neighborhoods in Eastern Ghoutah, Damascus: Saqba http://youtu.be/Tp8jFJ901E8 Hamouriyeh http://youtu.be/jinZnO3AmsA But in nearby Jisreen, children find time to play in the snow http://youtu.be/Fvi-hY0Q584 While rebel tanks roam the streets of nearby suburbs http://youtu.be/s_2fhFn2YOs
In the town of Zabadani along the border with Lebanon, snowfall gives locals some relief from pounding, but increases their suffering due to lack of power and heating fuel, as this local activist describes http://youtu.be/Fj1FtMhKYIM Similar testimony from a different local http://youtu.be/p6fpup7mGE4 Snowfall continues http://youtu.be/b7PL05v7720 But on Friday, the shelling resumed http://youtu.be/SDpZz56OTDE
In Damascus City, clashes continue in Yarmouk Camp http://youtu.be/yE4R0-3VccI Meanwhile, the military airport at Mazzeh continues to be sued as staging grounds for missile attacks against restive suburbs around the city http://youtu.be/DbL-kwpXUi8
Clashes continue in Deir Ezzor City http://youtu.be/Bo0EbLX4gpY , http://youtu.be/7G5AZz2RxCw , http://youtu.be/aCd1EdmTEhs
In Aleppo, cold weather notwithstanding, rebels continued pounding the military airport at Managh http://youtu.be/WXXT7ARLDMs , http://youtu.be/iL8uGgWipa4 , http://youtu.be/6QIr8w1vfdk
Despite the severe cold, hundreds of small rallies took part in towns and neighborhoods across Syria: Manbij, Aleppo http://youtu.be/WZDSbOfvS6U Jobar, Damascus http://youtu.be/8DUVVenXNqA Hama City http://youtu.be/4vzWg8QHP2I Al-Kashif, Daraa http://youtu.be/OeNhYcPuujQ Boustan Al-Qasr, Aleppo City http://youtu.be/utOtPFcsrOs Salqeen, Idlib http://youtu.be/IwKQ5yKWA8Y Arbeen, Damascus http://youtu.be/BeIkjjgKqy4