Two days left in this horrible month, and I can easily say that this is the worst month in the history of the city of Homs.
The worst part is that no matter how bad the situation got, it can always get worse, and that's exactly what happened.
February 28th, I woke up to the unbelievable shelling sounds from all around Homs at 5 AM, it continued all morning and was on a new level as I could clearly hear the sounds of 4-5 missiles being launched every few seconds. Bab Al Sibaa is being targeted more than ever today.
At noon, there were news about Special Forces heading to Homs, and that's when people panicked and went out to get some food and supplies in case we get trapped in our houses again.
The shelling sounds were so loud children were screaming in horror while they're inside their houses.
I went out and took a small tour and saw some new security forces barriers near what used to be the Cultural Center and many other places.
1 PM, water has been turned off from the city
2:30 PM, shelling continues as I'm trying to call my friends and relatives in different areas but phones aren't working properly. Cellphones and internet are still cut off Homs, international calls as well.
3 PM, the attack on Homs is getting worse by the minute now, vicious shelling sounds are all over the city, and rapid shooting everywhere.
I believe this is the worst attack we've seen yet.
4 PM, a blackout happened in Al Waar area and is spreading towards other areas
7 PM, we lost electricity
10 PM, electricity is gone in Inshaat, Hamra, Ghouta, and many other areas.
Darkness has spread all over the city So now in Homs most areas don't have water, electricity, cellphone networks, or internet.
The weather is bad, and food, gas, and diesel are very short. I made some calls (Land lines are still making local calls only) and found out that Homs might not have any water or electricity for days.
At that moment I had one question in my head: Are we still considered humans?
February has been a very rough month on everyone in Homs, the lack of communications in all neighborhoods was very hard on us, and electricity's been coming and going like water, but when this government cut all that's necessary for us to survive, that can only mean that they believe we don't deserve to live anymore.
We're not people to them, we're sheep. No, not sheep, since sheep get water all the time and we don't. To this regime, we're nothing.
I went to bed that night and a storm was in the making outside, and it woke me up around 4 AM when I heard sounds of stuff falling from balconies because of the vicious wind. Like life isn't hard enough already, now the government and Mother Nature are working against us once again. Terrific.
February 29th, still no water, electricity, cellphone network, internet, gas, or dignity. We have some water in storage as well as food and that helped very much, but we had the worst urge to hear the news, so I called a friend in Inshaat and he told me that electricity is back in there, so he read the news for me and told me about 106 casualties, and the attack on Baba Amr.
We used half of the water we have in the past 24 hours, and we started using less and less to save the rest. We only use plastic plates, spoons, and cups so we don't use water to wash the dishes, and we don't even make coffee or tea. We only drink when we're thirsty.
It started snowing outside, and depression was never so deep in our spirits.
Time was going slowly, and the food we keep in the fridge got defrosted and will soon get ruined.
March 1st, my favorite month started white, snow covered everything and like the two previous days, water, electricity, cellphones, internet were all cut off, and that's when we started thinking like cave people.
We took the food from the fridge, and we gathered snow in our balcony and put all the food in there so it can last longer.
Those who used all the water they have started collecting and melting snow. I never thought this might happen in the 21st century.
Assad and his gang belong to the dark ages, just like Mubarak, Gaddafi, and all dictators.
Baba Amr fell in the hands of Assad forces after 27 days of shelling, bombing, and shooting. As sad as this news was, I wondered if this will bring some peace to the city as people are tired of this siege that has been going on since the beginning of February. Food, medicine, and supplies are short everywhere.
My personal news: I woke up with a horrible ear pain and I couldn't get a hold of any doctors in my city, so I took some pain killers but they didn't do me any good. I'm a bit worried but there's nothing I can do as long as I'm in Homs. The siege was by both, Assad's forces and snow.
Around 2 PM, we got electricity back after 43 hours but we still got no water.
Do you have any idea how difficult it is to live with limited water?
3:30 PM, after two days of nearly complete quietness in my neighborhood, the sounds of nearby shelling are back
The shelling sounds continued all night but they weren't as close or as frequent as they were back in February, I guess Baba Amr took the most of their fury.
March 2nd, electricity seemed so useless with the absence of water, it's been three days now and we're running out of it, only 150 liters left from the 1000 liters we had, we used 850 liters since the water was cut off and what's left cannot serve for more than a day at best.
What do humans do without water? They die.
Cellphones and internet aren't working for the 26th day, and I'm trying to find ways to get online but can't find any. I tried to connect through another city but the lines gave me a busy signal, then I tried to get an international Dial Up line, but all international calls have been disabled for more than a week now.
I called a friend of mine in Damascus and asked him to search for a method for me to get online and am still waiting for his reply.
Three demos happened in my neighborhood today, none of them were big and I didn't join any. My ear is still hurting me, but I wore a wool hat, and covered myself up well and went out for a couple of minutes. It was very cold outside, and very dark.
The streets were empty and the sounds of shelling could be heard every few seconds coming from afar, and shooting from nearby as well. I heard someone calling me from the darkness and couldn't see who it was, they told me not to be scares, but I wasn't anyway.
I walked towards the voice and found a member of the security forces, he was wearing his uniform and holding his rifle and standing behind a wall. He asked me what I wanted and why I was there, and then he told me not to walk in that area at night and to be careful. He was nice to me and he even offered me some water if I didn't have any at home. I asked him what he thinks will happen next, he hesitated to answer, but it was obvious what he was trying to say. He mumbled something about Libya and Egypt, and that was enough. He's a good guy, but he was too scared to leave his barrier and join the free army. I asked him if he needed a place to stay in and I was hinting that I can help him leave Assad forces, but he didn't answer. I walked away from him without saying another word. I wish I could protect him, but I can't even protect myself. Free Syrian Army is made of good people, but they're not well funded, or organized. They're losing ground in Baba Amr like they did in Zabadani earlier this year, and there's nothing I can do to help.
March 3rd, fourth day without a drop of fresh water. Most people don't have drinking water anymore and are buying what they can find. We do have water to drink for the next two or three days, but as you know that's not the only water we, humans, need. I haven't taken a shower in four days. I haven't made a teapot in four days. Hell, I haven't flushed the toilet properly in four days.
Thousands have been killed, neighborhoods have been destroyed, babies have been slaughtered, tens of thousands have been arrested, hundreds have been tortured, and cities have been attacked with heavy artillery, no cellphones, no internet, no international calls, no salaries, no electricity, and no water. All this because we demanded freedom. Is freedom worth all this? My answer is yes. Yes. Now more than ever.
The night was extremely quiet and that helped me get a good night of sleep for the first time in days.
March 4th, Fifth day without fresh water. My best friend called me and told me that his neighborhood has water and asked me if I wanted any, so I took some empty containers and went to get water. 45 liters of water is better than nothing.
While I was waiting for the containers to be filled I felt like I am in one of those poor African villages we see on TV, where people walk miles to get fresh water and carry it on their heads, except here it's cold, and I put the water containers in the car instead of on the top of my head and drove. So yeah, our situation is still a bit better than them, since we're not starving yet, but hey, we'll get there sooner than later. I drove around after I got the water and saw some security barriers but didn't get close to any of them, and I saw a huge line of cars waiting to get some fuel, security forces were checking their IDs and not giving them all the fuel they want.
I got home and phone calls about water coming to different areas kept on coming, good for them, we're still waiting. We still need water because all of the water we have left can only be enough for drinking and nothing else. In the afternoon, we finally got water (using one of those blue water motor things), hallelujah.
Five full days without water, now let's wash the dishes, take a shower, and maybe cook something. We spent the past five days eating canned food with plastic spoons. No vegetables since we couldn't wash them and no cooking since we didn't want to get the cookers dirty.
We get to have real food and fresh water today, oh how blessed we are, thanks to our great government. Of course I'm being sarcastic here.
The joy of getting fresh water didn't last long as it was cut off again less than three hours after they turned it on, but those hours were enough for my family for showering, doing the laundry, and washing the huge pile of dirty dishes and spoons that has been waiting in the sink for five days, we also filled enough water for five or six days, just in case.
After five days of waiting we got two and a half hours of water, I honestly didn't expect more, because having water is a privilege in Homs these days, and electricity is luxury, giving us more water would spoil us.
Please excuse my constant sarcastic remarks, I am just trying to show how pathetic life in Homs really is. I saw people collecting rain water to use in the past five days, and worse, I heard of people saving the water they used in their showers, laundry, and dish washing and using it in their toilets since they couldn't flush using the water they saved for drinking.
Most houses in most neighborhoods in Homs smelled like poo for the last couple of days since people couldn't flush their toilets.
I'm very glad that my family is made of three adults only. Having large numbers of people or having kids is a serious problem in such situations.
The responsibility is unbearable, to take care of your family, to provide water, food, and supplies. Especially since most of us don't work or make money anymore.
March 5th, we got more fresh water and electricity is still working, but cellphones and internet aren't.
The last time I checked my email or tweeted was on February 5th, exactly a month ago, and we still don't have international calls, but since we can still make local calls, we found a way to contact our relatives outside the country.
We call someone in Damascus or Aleppo and they call the relatives outside via Skype and leave the PC and phone's speakers on. It's not a good quality call but it's better than nothing. Some people figured out a way to get dial up connection in Homs but it didn:t work for me.
My relatives went to Inshaat and checked their house that have been occupied since early February, they did go once before but they couldn't stay long or do anything since there was a tank and a bunch of security forces waiting for them to leave, they went today and did some cleaning and they took some pictures and videos before they cleaned anything.
The amount of garbage they found inside their house in unbelievable, and they noticed a few things they didn't notice before, more things went missing from the house, electric devices and valuable decorations.
They came by and told us what they saw but I couldn't get a copy of the videos yet. Security barrier in Inshaat didn't let any men in since the morning, they only let women get inside, but they changed that after a couple of hours.
March 7th, a relative of mine was kidnapped in Homs and the kidnappers asked for a security forces member who has been caught by the free Syrian army in return. With this man, the number of the people I somewhat know and have been kidnapped became 13. Only four of them are back so far. We get news about more people getting kidnapped every day and the authorities won't do anything about it since their families are the ones who are doing all the kidnapping.
Shooting could be heard every few hours but I haven't heard any shelling in a while.
March 11th, cellphones worked for about two hours and got disconnected again. Shelling sounds have been back for a few days from three or four different areas in Homs. Red Crescent vehicles have been delivering food and supplies to some neighborhoods and people in my area started collecting donations for those who came from Baba Amr and other places.
March 12, shelling sounds gets louder in the early morning hours then news about two massacres in my city. What was confirmed to me is this: Tens of bodies were found in two areas in Homs, they were all women and children, and they were viciously raped then killed. Some of them were slaughtered, and some were burned alive, and the rest got tortured and killed by breaking their necks after breaking their arms or legs.
Security Council still can't even condemn what's happening in Syria because of Russia, and the rest of the world is watching. The war on terrorism stops at the Syrian border and Assad's terrorist forces are supported with weapons and money from Russia and Iran.
I wonder what will Russia do when this blows up in its face like what happened with the USA after they helped terrorists in Afghanistan against the Soviets.
I went out and toured some areas of the city and saw some cars that have been shot at and smashed by tanks. Most cars in Inshaat got smashed by Tanks or blown off by Assad forces in February. I took some photos of some of the cars I saw and will publish them when I get internet connection.
Speaking of it, many people called me and told me that their ADSL and Dial Up are working since yesterday after more than a month of getting cut off the entire city. My 3G isn't working and I couldn't find any open internet cafe's anywhere near my house so I will wait more. I didn�t go to a friend's house to get online because it's not worth risking my life for.
I saw Kofi Annan shaking Bashar Assad's hand in Damascus while Assad's forces killing us in Homs and wondered how could Kofi shake his hand when it's covered with innocent blood? How could he smile while talking to him when his forces are raping our women and torturing our children?