Eastern Ghouta: One Year After the Chemical Attack


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Format quicktime, Bitrate 5.837 mbps

August, 2014
Eastern Ghouta, Damascus

Residents of the besieged Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta reflect on the chemical attack on their neighborhood one year later. The footage opens with shots from the night of the attack and then moves to footage shot one year later in which children and residents recall their experiences. A grave digger is also interviewed at a burial yard containing mass graves of people killed in the attack.


Man at 1:50: Reminds me of Tragedy. tragedy "printed in our hearts" that will never go (fade) away. it will be transmitted to future generations, it will be saved in all history books. Imagine how in 1 glimpse, more than 2000 persons found death, children, women youth ...
Contributor: is this the neighborhood that was bombed?
Man: yes this is it. We removed the corpse of 60 persons from there houses you see in the back, kids and women. The way they bombarded this neighborhood can't be described, not even by a "Butcher", no words to describe how a person, a government or a regime can do this.
Contributor: These days remind you of what?
Man: Tragedy
Contributor: what were you doing the same time last year?
Man: Nothing, we were living a normal life. there was bombing, and we were trying to coop (adapt) with the situation, until God makes things better. It was normal until they gave us a gift (present) that took away the lives of nearly 2000 persons (kids, women..) You can see dead kids everywhere "like flowers". Look at those kids (showing the kids playing next to them), innocents. Isn't it a pity to kill this innocence, this laughter?
Girl at 3:24: We were sleeping at home when our neighbor started to yell at us : "go to the roof, there's chemicals here!" We went up to the roof, then we heard gunshots, we came back down. We entered our rooms, closed the doors, got water supplies with us and wore our masks, then we started to faint and fell on the floor, until the paramedics came to rescue us. Among the dead were my grandma, my uncle, my cousin, his wife and daughter.
Man at 4:20: Here are all the dead people.
Contributor: Approximately how many dead?
Man: Around 300
Contributor: Where were the others buried?
Man: In Hamoryah, in Kafr Batna. They were buried in mass graves, due to the incapability in burying them.
At 4:58: This grave used to fit approximately 40 corpses, we put 80, one on each side. Then we covered the bodies with soil and we did it over and over again.
At 5:14: Approximately 400 or a little bit less of those who were buried here were dead because of the chemicals, 150 of those who were living here were buried here. The other 150-200 were transported from other villages to here, and approximately 400-500 martyrs were buried in other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta.
At 5:34: There (pointing at a neighborhood in the background) you find around 204 martyrs that died because of the explosion, caused by a bomb planted in a car by the regime. Approximately 1800-2000 martyrs are in these graves.
It's a very tragic memory, all our loved ones, our women, our kids, our youth are dead. I pray for God to give everyone who participated in this massacre the punishment they deserve. Some media agencies said that other neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta were affected, but the truth is that Zamalka and Ain Karma were the most affected.
At 6:32: I hope the international community thinks and punishes everyone who participated in this massacre in the courts, especially the Syrian regime and everyone else related to it.
At 6:52: on 8/21/2013, around 12:30-1 at night, we heard the first rocket. Everyone was horrified and started to shout :Chemicals, Chemicals, and it was at this time when the ambulances started to come to give the first aids. We helped as much as we could with the simple primitive capacities we had, few medicaments and Vaccines (syringes. needle..)
Unfortunately, those we couldn't help fell on the floor until they were transported to the hospitals in Eastern Ghouta. It was a really sad tragic day. Everything was expected, but not being bombed with chemicals, it was really hard. Around 3 at night, 2 or 3 more rockets were fired, targeting a crowded residential area, and people started to go up the the higher floors in the buildings, trying to escape. Unfortunately, the 2 rockets were fired simultaneously, the number of martyrs was really high. One of the medical centers was hit, all the medical crew and the people there were killed. We started to look for survivors from these medical centers, searching them one by one, and we buried all the martyrs, around 150 from Irbin and Kafr Batna, some women were buried there as well, due to our limited capacities.
Subhan Allah, it was one of the hardest days, we moved martyrs from 12 at night that day til the next day at noon, most of them were kinds and women from Irbin, and were buried in mass graves here.
It was a real tragic memory. An international committee of researches came and took samples, supposedly to hold the regime accountable for this massacre. And it was of course proven after the analysis that the regime was responsible for this tragedy, because the rebels don't have enough capacities to do it, And until now, we saw nothing from the international community, only few compensations and aids were given to the families of the martyrs.