Politics & Society
July Wed 25, 2012
She is a witness live from one of the neighborhoods of Damascus, where the battle rages. Lena Al-Shami, an anti-Assad activist, lives in an area of the capital still controlled by the regime, where just this past Sunday there was a massacre that left 15 civilians dead. Lena, the battle name of a young woman who, in order to support the revolution without being caught, has chosen to leave her job and live by constantly changing her identity, tells her story, from the beginning of the revolt on Facebook, to the demonstrations silenced by the military, interviews with relatives of the victims and the terror of being arrested at any moment, to Ilsussidiario.net.How long have you been a part of the anti-Assad rebels? I live in Damascus, so I personally witnessed everything that has happened in the Syrian capital since the beginning. My heart was with the revolution, but initially I could only participate secretly via a Facebook group. It was very dangerous for us to write or speak with our real names, so we just exchanged e-mails with information.Did you also participate in the first protests? I demonstrated in the center of Damascus, one of the most dangerous areas, and we were attacked by the Shabiha (paramilitary groups loyal to Assad). One of them hit me, but thank God I was not arrested. They shot at us with Kalashnikovs and they launched tear gas on us. A few days later, I attended the funerals of the victims, which were the events that sparked the revolution in Damascus and that changed everything.What happened at those funerals? The security forces shot at us that day as well, and some of my friends were wounded but we managed to keep them from falling into the hands of police. I traveled to different places that were under siege or protected by the Free Syrian Army, where demonstrations were held with thousands and thousands of people, which ended with the bombings by the Air Force. I talked to people who had lost their families because of the regime, and I met with the wounded, some of whom had gone blind, while others were left maimed or severely mutilated. I saw with my eyes practically everything that could be seen.What is the situation like now in the capital and in particular in your neighborhood?
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