July 13th, I did my first wall job, I took a can of black paint and emptied it on the walls of two schools.
July 16th, a mini war happened in my street. Armed security forces attacked us after the demo and we had to secure the streets and fight them with rocks to cover our escape.
July 18th, my neighborhood got attacked viciously, and many building were hit.
July 19th, I couldn’t find a single store opened since there was a strike after many people died on the 18th.
I didn’t write about earlier strikes or attacks because I am not sure about the exact dates in May and June in general. I didn’t take many photos and videos those two months, therefore I am not going to list anything I’m not 100% sure about.
July 27th, another can of black paint was used on the walls of schools by me, and the things I wrote in English are untouched until this day.
Ramadan has arrived, and I lost a friend on its first day. RIP Adnan Abduldayem, In Ramadan, I started, like many others, to go on two or even three demos every day. It was a good month demo wise, but it was a bad month as I lost many friends in it.
We used to start the day with a demo in the very early morning, but I rarely joined this one. The second daily demo used to take place around 4-5 PM, then the major demo after Tarawih prayer. Young men from Inshaat, Hamra, and Ghouta used to gather in my neighborhood every night. We used to secure the streets and stay out till midnight sometimes. It felt great and we felt that the end was near.
I lost 4 friends that month, one of them was delivered a dead body to his family on August 14th, and that night we did a major demo and a sit-down near his house. RIP Jamal Fatwa. This was a night I will never forget. We all gathered in front of his house and stayed there till midnight. There were thousands of us and no security forces at all, and we changed the signs of Granada Highschool to Jamal Fatwa Highschool as it is near his house.
I lost a friend who was working with the Red Cross. He was killed inside an ambulance on his way to help injured people, and I wrote a little poem about him when I heard his news. RIP Hakam Drak Sibai.
“Eleven bullets to that who wants to help
Eleven bullets, just to make sure, that he’s got the message right
You can’t save them, not from us
So you might as well quit the fight
We don’t care if you’re young or old
We don’t care if you’re big or small
We don’t care if you’re black or white, rich or poor
You’re all the same in our eyes
You’re all.. Nothing
And that you shall remain.”
September was a really bad month for me, I lost hope and got super depressed and that’s why I did not document anything. I tweeted what happened in that month when I could and I will leave it at that. The one major thing happened around me was watching a young man get shot right in front of me, he fell down and he was dead. All I remember is the numb feeling I had afterwards. I still don’t know the name of that guy. May he rest in peace.
By the end of September I went to Lebanon for a couple of days after being warned that I might get arrested again, and to try to cheer up a bit, but the day I got to Beirut, I got a call and I was told that my neighborhood got attacked viciously and there were explosions for the first time in my street. My parents were terrified but they didn’t get harmed. That trip was ruined.
I spent the first couple of days of December in Damascus, but got even more depressed when I woke up every day to chants from schools parsing Bashar Assad. Such chants couldn’t be heard in Homs in months.
October 9th, my house gets attacked for no reason and a bullet breaks my window and ends up on my bed when I wasn’t in it. I kept the bullet and I will make a necklace out of it someday. You know, what doesn’t kill you… That’s when we all knew that we’re not safe even inside out home. No place is safe anymore, as long Assad’s regime is still in charge.
Nothing much happened in October afterwards, my neighborhood was getting quieter as the security forces began shooting at people more often.
November came along and my neighborhood was surrounded with security forces barriers from all corners, they were always around and they didn’t let us do not one decent demo. They always show up moments after we start and it always ends up the same way, we run and they chase us with their cars and shoot in the air. I hurt my foot running away from a security car but I was not caught. Then again, a security forces’ car used a sound bomb near me and my ear was all messed up for a week after.
Also in November, the military fighter jets started roaming the skies of Homs almost every day between 1:30 and 5:00 AM. They could be heard clearly from most parts of the city.
November 20th, I joined an afternoon demo in Hamra which was almost entirely men free. It was an all girls demo, I obviously stayed behind the girls, but I sure took and shared some photos of the demo, and chanted with them. It was one of the most beautiful demos I’ve seen. No security forces whatsoever.
I started to get my faith back in November, and I decided I should be more active than ever. More demos, more news covering, and more wall painting.
December 8th, a huge black cloud covered the sky of Homs. I tried to go near it but couldn’t. I had this weird feeling that day, I felt that things were about to get worse. Much worse.
December 13th, news came from Damascus about a fifth friend of mine being murdered by the security forces. He too was a nice guy. Why is it always the nice one who end up dead?
December 23rd, I went in a demo around 2 PM and it ended badly when security forces attacked us and started shooting at us, we hid behind the dumpsters and the walls of a nearby house, then they started chasing us and shooting more, that’s when I headed home around 3 PM, only to find that there was no electricity, water, or internet connection there. We never had such a day in my neighborhood before.
December 24th, it was Friday, we went in a demo and security forces attacked us after only a couple of minutes, we started moving as they were shooting at us and coming our way, then a car showed up, 5 men came out of it and started defending us, they had guns and started shooting in the air to scare the security forces, and that did work, the security forces stopped and didn’t come any closer, we all left and the men got into their car and left the scene and no one got hurt, and that was the first time I personally see members of the Free Syrian Army. God bless them. This day is the day of the first two bombings in Damascus where many were killed, the regime blamed Al Qaida. We all knew it was the regime who did this since we’ve never ever had a problem with Al Qaida before, and because the regime has been calling us “armed gangs” and “terrorists” for months, when we’re all peaceful protestors being killed by the regime itself.
December 27th, what a day, I joined a huge demo near Omar Bin Khattab mosque and went all the way through Ghouta and Kurnich and ended up in Khaldieh. There were tens of thousands. TV said there were 70.000 people, but I think they were over a 100. On our way back we decided to go through Freedom Square (New Clock) and that’s when security forces decided to shoot at us and attack us with tear gas bombs. Many were hurt, and I saw 3 people seriously injured. My cousins and friends were in the demo as well, but I couldn’t find any of them as it was a really huge demo. This demo was the biggest since Ramadan.
The year 2011 is now over, but out fight for freedom sure isn’t. I hoped that we can get our freedom in 2011 like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, and when this didn’t happen, I declared 2012 as the year of freedom. We will continue until the end, and I’m very certain we will get what we want.
A new year and a new chapter start now.