It was the 18th of April 2011, I just arrived from shopping at the dorm. When I arrived the atmosphere was very tense. I heard loud voices, people talking about a demo, about the country and about supporting the president. I had heard a lot before about the Arab Spring and the demonstrations in several Arab countries against the dictatorship of the presidents. I also saw in the news that there were demonstrations in several cities in Syria. I never understood why, it never interested me much what came in the media. Everything I knew, I knew from my friends. I tried to avoid the demos.When I arrived in my room that day and started dressing, my room mate and I started a discussion about the demo. He told me that participation in this demo was obligatory and he would like to go with the others. Especially that night. Outside it got loud, screams, laughter. I realized that the gathering was called. It was a bad feeling because I knew I had to participate in this demo. I got up, excited. Suddenly my friend from the dorm called me. He warned me not to participate and said we had to flee, it was getting too dangerous, he said. We arranged to meet outside the dorm to escape together. Outside it was crowded with buses, students and security everywhere. The doors were locked to prevent students from fleeing. The securitys checked the rooms and corridors to make sure no one was hiding there. I went with my friend into a corner, there were several students. We fled to a restaurant and hid there, it was the only solution.
The situation was very tense. When we made sure that nobody was in the dorm, we went back to our rooms and waited. Suddenly my room mate came into the room, his facial expression was unimaginably horrible. He could not speak. After a while he spoke, words I did not understand, he said something of hell and shots and blood and hundreds of people and such. It was a very difficult time for me. I went straight to another friend to see how he was doing. I saw cruel things, some were tortured with electric shockers, others had their clothes taken off. When I asked what happened, I learned that more than ten thousand people in Al-Saa in the centre of Homs protested against the government and the president. The government and the militias then gathered the students and officials to make a demonstration for the president. After noticing that the number of demonstrators against the government was much higher, they started shooting at them.
More than one hundred people lost their lives. My friends were right in the middle, the only choice they had was to crawl on the ground and run away from terror. At that moment, I realized that everything had changed.
Storyteller’s name: Anonymous
Interviewer’s name: Sarah El Desoke
Country of origin: Syria