I used to live in a village next to Daraa. Recently, life in Syria has been horrible. It was almost impossible to have a job or to study. The only option was to support the Government. One should be part of the ruling party or sign up as a volunteer and help them. In Syria you cannot talk about the President because he is seen as God. Otherwise, after the Arab Spring commenced Syrian people started thinking about their situation and their life. Children also watched TV and realised what was going on in countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen or Libya. Although mature people were afraid to start a protest, children that were between 12 and 15 years old started writing messages against the Government in Daraa, on 15 March 2011. Right after this there were around 20 children arrested by the police. Parents and older people in the area formed a group and went to meet Atef Najib (President Bashar al-Assad’s cousin), the political security chief in Daraa. They wanted to see the children free. Atef Najib told them there is no way they could have their children back, but if they would want other children he could send his police officers to their wives. This is a very disrespectful thing to say to a person in Syria. People were very angry already and the next day, after praying in the mosque, people started the first protest in Daraa. There were maybe 50 people at this peaceful protest, on 18 March 2011. Trying to cease a possible revolution, Syrian Army troops were quickly sent from Damascus to Daraa and killed three people in this group. But this is how the revolution started, because there were more and more people joining further protests. I joined them as well. I remember there was one day when 300 people were killed over there. People were angrier and angrier, shouting ‘Freedom’ every day on the streets of Daraa. Soon after this other cities joined the revolution: Homs, Hamah, Baniyas, Damascus, and Al Qamishli. At the end of 2011 I enrolled with a University in Latakia. After two years of studying Economic Business I heard of few of my friends who were attacked by the Syrian Army. That was when I realized there is no future in Syria and I decided to leave the country. After three months of trying and selling cars and properties I managed to arrive in the United Kingdom. My dream is to continue my studies, help my parents and see them in a safe place.
O. H. S.