SCRIPT: Young Syrian Lenses

1 more in collection Young Syrian Lenses

OPENING SCENE

I am the Munshed Ahmad Haboush

I was in 110 countries, I traveled around the world, I saw many things.

here is what happened to me: I was in New York for a concert

at the airport I saw some people watching on the TV screens .. Images from Syria

People had their hands tied behind their backs and other people pounding over 

their heads.

When I saw that scene tears came to my eyes.

INTRODUCING KARAM AND THE MEDIA ACTIVISTS

My name is Karam Al Halabi I work for Halab News since its foundation, at the 

beginning of the Revolution.

I work as a photo and video-reporter, I produced very strong images for Halab 

News. Halab News is the most important channel in Free Aleppo, and the most 

influent.

It is made of 50 media-activists on Aleppo and its surroundings our job, as a

network is to transfer the events to the international community and to the 

local community in Syria. All the events connected to war and other side events.

It is a very dangerous job because we work on the places of the classe and of 

the bombings.

Many accidents happen, also with the civilians it occurs to be attacked also by 

them at the same time when the bombings come from helicopters, planes or mortars 

we also follow the operations led by armed civilians and by the Free Syrian 

Army.

We try to make a complete coverage of the events. Ten of us, from Halab News, 

were injured some were injured slightly, others reported serious injuries and 

fractures.

MIG BOMBING SCENE

Karam and other media activists arrives by car on a bombing site ... minutes after 

the explosion

Karam talks about the role of media activists

As an independent news network, we are all connected by a relationship of 

brotherhood it is not just a professional relation. We never have problems among 

us, before being media-activists we are all rebels.

Our commitment in the Revolution has evolved in Information we all are into the 

same tunnel, among the rebels there are no differences there is a good 

relationship with all the other media-activist inside and outside [Halab News].

INTRODUCING MOHAMMED KURDI

My name is Mohammed Kurdi I work as a media-activist before I used to work in 

the relief what I see everyday in Alepp is the bombing with explosive barrels 

everyday blood, massacres, children destroyed schools and mosques bombardments 

every day and all the world is silent.

In the past, when a barrel was dropped people used to cry, to protest, while 

now, even if a member of the family dies, a brother, a father or a mother people 

just remain shocked, but they don’t do anything even bombardments became a 

routine, because the bombardments just don’t stop. As a consequence, if in the 

past we were enthusiast to do this job, now, to the eyes of the world the Syrian 

war is not a primary issue anymore.

Now, all the misdeeds of the Regime are shown, but as I told you it is not 

finding a solution to this conflict, standing between us and this dictatorship 

that is killing us.

UNEXPLODED BARREL SCENE

Day life continues normally while poeple pass near a crater made by an uneploded 

barrel ... this is Aleppo

DESTROYED HOUSE SCENE

One of the media activists stops by a destroyed house to speak with the owner 

who is the last one of his family to still live there ... among the ruins of what 

once was his home. The man is waiting for someone fron the Local council to 

rebuild his house. People are fleeing from Aleppo

ALEPPO LOCAL COUNCIL

We are now at the main entrance of the Aleppo Local Council it is made of two 

parts this first part is for the local administration it is an important part of 

the Local Council it takes care of the city sanitation electricity water The 

Local Council started its activity in March last year [2013] there has been 

elections the first cycle of this council lasted six months then it was extended 

for three more months, for a whole of nine months then we called for the second 

elections it has been the first attempt in Free Aleppo proper elections, without 

any influence of the Syrian Regime as it was in the past.

The first democratic attempt and the first democratically-elected group is in 

this council

Engineer Taji Hassan

In free Aleppo there used to be 2.300.000 people, but now, after the 

bombardments rate increased in the last four months, the inhabitants left are 

between 700.000 and 800.000. 

Here Abdulrahman gives the milk for the babies

OUTSIDE THE RELIEF CENTER SCENE

Karam and other people joke with a woman out of the relief center ... we talk 

about chicken nuggets and dinner invitations 

INTRODUCING MUNSHED AHAMAD HABOUS

Before the Revolution people used to live in a spirit of

common love among the Peoples but in this love, there was a sort of fear One was 

afraid of the other‚ that guy is from Mukhabarat‚that man is a spy of the 

Government‚it is true that people used to live in peace but it was an apparent 

peace.

There was a lot of fear, you could get to suspect

even of your brother. If one man spoke to another, they would tell him: ”Be 

careful! Here, even walls have ears!" Actually, peace was fear ... and this 

happened for 40-45 years. The peace existing in Syria, was actually fear.

The meaning of Peace is in Peace itself. The meaning of Peace is in love, in 

Brotherhood. Peace is that if something happens in a country one has the right 

to criticize it. While here you could not say one word about

the State.

If you said even one word about the State, you didn’t know if you'd be jailed in 

Reb al Khali or God knows into which other prison and if you would stay there 

for 20 or 30 years. Where was Peace? There was no Peace in Syria!

But the People’s mouth were shut and appearances were saved People were 

silenced. For 40-45 years in Syria, instead of Peace they have seeded Lie, 

Deception, Malice, Unjustice ... whatever had been seeded ... it was corrupted, and 

this is since when they took power in Syria until today.

SNIPER SCENE

Karam and some fighters talk about the snipers that are hiding on the other side 

of the road, where there is regular Syrian army.

Karam speak about the destriction in Aleppo on the radio with some other 

activist

Abu Alhoda I see a lot of black smoke rising from Soub Sabeh Rab I cannot go 

there thug I just see a lot of smoke [radio] there’s a building in town

which is burning since half an hour ... I am in Ahrash, there is nothing here.

Then maybe the smoke I see comes from the front but I see a lot of black smoke 

from the buildings now I am in the old town, there is nothing here OK.

This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Aleppo It has been destroyed by the 

war with tank shells and MIG bombs of Assad that was a very ancient building 

from the Ottoman period it was hit by a helicopter. Here we are close to Hanano 

[neighborhood] they bombed from airplanes, tanks and other weapons.

They destroyed it all the Old City.

Here many people died 14 people died here

MUNSHED AHAMAD HABOUS PLAYS SONGS IN IS HOUSE

KARAM PLACE SCENE

Karam speaks about the sound of snipers shooting in the dark

MA'SARANIYA SCHOOL SCENE

A local man describes the situation of the neighborhood

We are now in Tahrir Al Bab in the neighborhood of Ma'sanariyah the Regime’s 

Army is 700 meters far to the East and 650 meters far to the South.

The teachers of Ma'saraniya

We are the teachers of the school here in Ma'saraniya our role, as women, is to 

help the children to get over this war to face the psychological problems caused 

by the bombardments there is a kid who was hit by the chlorine inside the 

barrels to the nose and to the eyes she’s always tearing, she is seven years 

old, there is also one who is six years old. They are traumatized.

It’s a problem also when we send them home we send them home in pairs because if 

they walk in bigger groups, the plains bomb them.

Two days ago two or three barrels were dropped we took them immediately inside 

we were so scared, so we split them in small groups.

Yesterday a mother came, she was so worried for her children many kids are not 

coming to school anymore their parents are afraid of the barrels.

We hold English and drawing classes for the drawing class, I made the children 

draw trees and houses as it is normal in any other primary school but during the 

class a child showed me his work:

he had painted a house, but on one side was a rocket and on the other was a MIG 

he even wrote their names beside there was also a tank so I asked him:

“Honey, why are you drawing such things?” and he answered:

“this is the reality we are living now” ...” Why don’t you draw anything else?"

so I helped him to draw a flore but then over that he drew a jet fighter.

I always try to ask them: “Why are you doing that?” By now not only adults have 

problems also the children suffer the situation. Even when they sleep, the 

children are in anguish when they wake up in the morning when they laugh, when 

they think.

The classroom is closed now they come to play sports here. We are very close to 

Aleppo citadel here it’s the most dangerous area here but because we are very 

close to it the snipers cannot hit our school they hit some areas farther from 

here, but not here.

KID SCENE (wiht a group of kids along the streets of Aleppo)

What are you doing? ... are you making a video? My name is Jalal Al Tala'ani we 

were sitting‚ we were sitting there and the barrels fell, then we ran back home.

When we got back outside, we stepped in the world of the dead.

Did anybody of your family die? No 

How many people died? 15, maybe more

How many barrels?

Barrels? First one barrel and then another barrel.

At what time did it happen? ... Around 11 o’clock ... 11 am? ... Yes

Did you see serious injuries? When we got back out I saw a man, one of his eyes 

had sprung out of his face.

Did you see serious injuries? mutilations?

No ... at a certain point I couldn’t stand it anymoreand I went back home

Were there any children? Yes, two of them died no, more than that, there was 

also a newborn baby four kids, two from another neighborhood, and two from here 

four children.

The first barrel fell, and people came to help and then they dropped the second 

that’s a double sin.

Do you want to know anything else? Bashar, keep bombing! Here we are! We are not 

afraid!

Four of his friends died here ... do you understand?

CHILDREN OF ALEPPO SCENE - Sura Nnaba [The Tidings]

Karam meets a group of children who are playing on the street ... a little girl 

sings a sura of the Koran

AIN JALUT MASACRE SCENE

A media activist speaks about what happened at the Ain Jalut school 

Many horrible massacres happened here, like the one at the Ain Jalut school 

young children, killed by two bombs dropped by a MIG. It was a terrible vision 

of those children what was left was just a hand, or the head.

Karam and other people they walk inside the destroyed school

Look! These shoes belong to the children, look the blood the blood of the 

children.

Media activist keep on talking about the massacre

We were helping the teachers at the schoolthen, two days ago it happened, April 

the 30th 2014 they were organizing an exhibition of the students drawings they 

wanted to show the reality they are living in through drawings that were 

inspired by their life there were very meaningful works we were happy to 

document the exhibition and to portrait the works the drawings represented the 

war we are now living some works depicted two flags, one of the Free Army and 

the other of the Regime.

We agreed to go to do the reportage the day after, we woke up at 8 am, we set up 

the cameras then, before going out, we heard a blast we said: “Let’s hope for 

the best!” ... we took a taxi to Al Ansaari to Ain Jalut school. When we arrived 

at the school we got shattered, there was blood everywhere, we were Petrified, 

the nightmare that the children had drawn had turned into reality.

They finished coloring their drawings with the blood. The world do not see how 

did they die they killed just children they massacred just children as in the 

Hula massacre, this is another bloodshed another bloodbath, here in Ain Jalut

to tell is not to see ... to tell is not to see

BARREL SCENE

A helicopter releases a barrel on the city ... Karam and other people reach the 

place of the explosion by car. A building in the district of Hellock was 

completely destroyed ... there are dead bodies and parts of bodies everywhere

A media activist speak about how he got wounded during the bombing in Hellock 

(interview edited with inserts of images shot on the site of the explosion)

I rushed to Hellok ... I passed home to take the video-camera ... I parked the car 

and I went to the place of the bombing while I was walking beside the hospital 

not paying too much attention to it I heard some screams coming from inside so I 

went to the entrance to see what was going on but before reaching the door a 

barrel fell just two buildings far from me about ten meters far ....

Fortunately the barrel didn’t fall on the road it fell on a building when it 

exploded, the blast hurled me inside the hospital this is why I didn’t report 

any serious injury

I was only hit to the head, to the hand and some smaller wounds because I was 

hit only by some smaller slivers thank God I’m still alive!

The blood was flowing strong and I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I lost the camera 

in the blast then I screamed and after a while I couldn’t see anymore because of 

the blood and the dust then the blood started flowing in my nose and mouth

and I couldn’t even speak anymore

I first went to Dakkak hospitalbut it was already full of injured from the 

Hellok attack in the neighborhood two civil hospital were hit, plus a bakery and 

a market. 

More than 50 people died at least those who could be identified for many others 

it was impossible. They are martyrs.

The hospitals were full of casualties. In the end I found a hospital, far away 

from the bombing area not to disturb the near ones, they had to care about worse 

cases than mine

Karama speaks about the Hellock bombing

A horrible massacre. They could not identify the bodies It’s tremendous. We 

never had such a war, in Siria‚ it is a war‚ between Good and Evil ... Inshallah 

the Rebels will win.

IN THE STREET WITH RAMI ZIEN SCENE

Actually we can’t see a future because‚ it became our life, our daily life is to 

do this job. I mean it’s not [just] job anymore, because‚ we do nothing but this 

job. It’s our daily life, this is what we do: photographing and transferring the 

news.

So I don’t think of the future now, I just think of what will happen next, 

what’s waiting for me. I don’t expect my future, I expect what’s going to happen 

it’s driving me and I’m not driving it.

Are you afraid to die?

No, not really, because it became a usual thing especially here in Aleppo. It’s 

only yesterday more than 50 people killed in only one street and today it’s 

rising to 60 and maybe it’s going to 100 with 200 or 300 injured in only one 

day!

It has became a usual thing to die but, to be honest, I am more afraid of 

[being] injured more than to die

Karam speaks about the planned and never made photo exhibition

We had decided to do a photo exhibition on behalf of Halab News and also of 

other networks.

The exhibition would have involved all the media-activists working in Aleppo we 

wanted to expose the photos in a building in Old Aleppo to show people’s 

suffering and the reality of the Syrian war.

The exhibition tells more than one story and each photograph is loaded of 

meaning there’s a relationship that connects the photographer to each of his 

pictures. It’s a link of passion and work, when a photographer sees one of his 

photos exposed he is fulfilled because he sees the people appreciating his work 

so that they can understand the suffering that he encounters doing his job.

Unfortunately we could not realize the project we will wait for this wave of 

bombardments to end. God willing.

CLOSING SCENE

Inside a car Karam sits next to the driver while the car passes through the 

rubble of Aleppo. Begin to sing a rebel song ...

“A winding road and no way out 

we all have a heavy heart, we cannot bear this anymore, 

Where is the revolution and where are the news on it? 

everywhere there is injustice and oppression 

oh my cousin, oh brother 

your situation is like mine 

add to boil water for tea I'll tell you how I am 

Say things in the face, openly 

people do not see 

that the hearts of the people to be reconciled 

and that the revolution once again be our ideal 

Where is the revolution and where are the news on it? 

everywhere there is injustice and arrogance”

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Created by Ruben Lagattolla

30 Sep 2014