Inside the Last Rebel Bastion of Homs

Format mpeg4, Bitrate 12.331 mbps

Hay al-Waer, Homs, Syria
October 27, 2014

Children and adults in the besieged suburb of Hay al-Waer, one of the last neighborhoods in Homs to remain under opposition control, show their defiance in the face of aerial bombardment and deprivation. Children hold signs sending messages of peace to the world and adults express their frustration at what they feel is their abandonment at the hands of the international community. Their messages emphasize a disdain for violence and the desire for education and a better, more peaceful world.

Shot List:

00:00 – 00:06
Pan left movement shows two young girls running around near partially destroyed houses.

00:07 – 00:12

Medium shot shows the same girls playing with a cat.

00:13— 00:47

A small number of civilians stand on both sides of the road. Children wearing colored paper hats hold cardboard banners.

The banners, written in Arabic, read:

“The Civil Assembly in Homs – the Administrative Committee; Freedom Race; Hay al-Waer.” “UN Security Council Resolution 2153 ?????” “Our children are without shelter, without protection.” “Together we build international civilization” (written in English). “For the price of a rocket, build a school, a hospital or an orphanage.”

00:33 – 01:46

More young children stand on the roadside holding protest banners. The banners read:

“We are being killed with the weapons of the regime, 'Halesh' [a derogatory term for Hezbollah that echoes Daesh, the Arabic acronym for ISIS] and the [US-lead international] coalition.”

“In our concentration camp, we love life.”

“We still stand together, we get our freedom” (written in English).

“For the price of a bullet, buy a pen.”

“Our children are the children of humanity – don’t forget” (written in English).

02:22 – 02:47

Pan right movement shows partially destroyed buildings in the distance.

03:21 – 03:32
Pan right movement inside a house shows heavy destruction. Rubble and wrecked furniture cover the floor.

03:33 – 03:46
Pan right movement inside a house shows a hole in the wall and torn curtains.


00:48 – 01:32 (Two men, Arabic):

“This is where the airplane bombed this morning. This building is full of civilians, from top to bottom. They are all refugees.

Look at the rabbits – even rabbits were not safe from Bashar al-Assad! He killed them all.”

The same man holds dead rabbits by the ears, saying sarcastically:

“These were carrying weapons and standing on the frontline.”

Another man holds two other dead rabbits:

“Oh dear Lord! This is a mother and her offspring.”

He goes on, mocking the regime’s propaganda about fighters receiving aid from foreign countries:
“This one is from Qatar, and this one from Saudi Arabia – they sent them to us. Arab countries will also send us chicks, but they still haven’t arrived.”

The cameraman replies sarcastically: “The [rabbits’] mother is from Turkey.”

01:47 – 02:21 (Man, Arabic. Intermittent shelling can be heard in the background.)

“We have been under siege in Hay al-Waer for more than a year. The Prophet, peace be upon him, migrated only once. We migrated three times; the first time we left Khalidiya [a neighborhood in Homs], the second time we were displaced from al-Jazira al-Sabi’a and the third time from al-Jazira al-Sadisa after we were bombed by warplanes today.

We call upon Muslims – we call upon God first and then Muslims – and say that we are under siege here in Hay al-Waer. We do not have a grain of salt. You have to understand this – not even a grain of salt. We hope for help from God first and then Muslims.”

02:48 – 03:20 (Man, Arabic. A Heavily destroyed building can be seen in the background)

“We have been under siege for a year and a half. The Assad regime is following a policy of starvation and bombing that Israel uses. [The regime] is laying siege on the refugees in Hay al-Waer. It bombed us with explosive barrels and missiles. There is no doubt that [the regime] is implementing an Israeli policy. Israel used to bomb refugees in Gaza and other areas with explosive barrels. We are tired of calling upon the world to help us, because no one is doing anything for us.”