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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 01
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

White smoke resulting from clashes between the FSA and Kurdish fighters looms above the Sheikh Maksoud district of Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 02
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

The Castello Highway, the main strategic supply route for the FSA. Kurdish fighters from the YPG backed by regime forces are trying to cut the FSA supply lines by controlling parts of the highway.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 04
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Citizens of al-Halk district in northern Aleppo carry foodstuffs. The rebel held district is considered to be a hot zone as Kurdish fighters from the YPG backed by the regime are attempting to take control over the area.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 05
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

White smoke resulting from an airstrike rises above the Ashrafieh district of Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 06
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

A merchant outside of the kiosk where he sells chicken in the market of al-Shaar distric, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 07
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

A merchant sits in the kiosk where he sells butane gas and charcoal, relied on for heat, in the market of al-Shaar district, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 08
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Children sell biscuits in the road of al-Shaar market, Aleppo.

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo 09
Aleppo, Syria
By rami.zien
17 Feb 2016

Children sell biscuits in the road of al-Shaar market, Aleppo.

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Aleppo Residents Flee Siege
Aleppo
By Mahmoud Alhaji Othman
10 Feb 2016

Footage shot on Feb 10, 2016 shows busses transferring refugees from rural areas in northern Aleppo to a safer place in "Dar Ta izzah" in the west of the city. The area has been bombed by Russian aircraft as military forces of the government of Bashar al-Assad try to encircle it. Thousands of people have fled the area and headed for the Turkish border.

The Free Syrian Army was in charge of this transfer and had to coordinate with Kurdish forces and the al-Nusra Front to ensure the safe passage of the busses through areas that they control.

(All interviews are in Arabic. Translations not available.)

See Also:
Inside Rebel-Held Aleppo: https://www.transterramedia.com/media/66652

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Inside Rebel Held Aleppo
Aleppo, Syria
By Mahmoud Alhaji Othman
06 Feb 2016

Video shot on February 6, 2016 inside the besieged rebel-held area of eastern Aleppo. The area has been bombed by Russian aircraft as military forces of the government of Bashar al-Assad try to encircle it. Thousands of people have fled the area and headed for the Turkish border.

Video includes interviews with a Free Syrian Army commander, Aleppo residents and a civil defense worker.

FULL VERSION: https://www.transterramedia.com/media/66652
(Full version is 23 minutes long. All interviews are in Arabic. Translations not available.)

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PHOTOS: Bashar al-Assad
Damascus
By lukas.goga
08 Jul 2015

Photos of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the presidential palace in Damascus.

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Aftermath of an Airstrike in Ma'art A...
Maarrat Al-Nu'man
By Omar Alwan
08 Apr 2015

Photos show the aftermath and rescue efforts following an alleged airstrike by Syrian regime helicopters at residential neighborhoods in the heart of Ma'art Al-nu'man, a city in northwest Syria on the highway between Damascus and Aleppo, resulting in at least 4 civilian deaths.

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Syrians Scrape A Living in Jordan (3 ...
65,Jordan
By Camilla Schick
12 Mar 2015

LEAD-IN MATERIAL
As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year, nine million people have been displaced, with 3.7 million of those having fled the country. Millions of Syrian refugees are scraping by in neighboring countries.

Jordan has registered 600,000 refugees – constituting almost 10% of the Hashemite Kingdom’s total population of 6.6 million, though the actual number may be much higher. One fifth now live in refugee camps, including Za'atari camp, the second largest in the world. It's illegal for them to leave Jordan's now overcrowded and increasingly insecure refugee camps, but many are now making the leap to urban areas, seeking work and a better life. Some Syrian families who fled to Jordan at the start of the war are fairing better than others who've arrived more recently. But they’re still struggling to survive beyond the camps, without enough allowance from the UN nor local charities to pay for food and medical care, or taking their chances with working illegally.

Despite not being legally entitled to work, many have taken up jobs at local shops at the discretion of Jordanian employers, while others are too afraid to leave their homes and are surviving on as little as 13 dinars ($18) per person per month from the UN.

UN REPORT
A recent UNHCR urban report, entitled ‘Living in the Shadows’ in January this year, based on 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps, concluded that two thirds of the refugees now in urban areas are living below Jordan’s poverty line. 1/6 are living in abject poverty barely surviving off the equivalent of 1.3 dollars per person per day. The UN has expressed grave concern that refugees are now turning desperate measures to make ends meet, with children dropping out of school and even women turning to prostitution.

JORDAN VALLEY
Khatah is a father in a community of more than 35 Syrian refugees living in UNHCR provided tents in the Jordan Valley by the Israeli border. Some of them have been living like this for 2-3 years. Most are young children. They try to earn some money working irregular days on the farms nearby, but it's not nearly enough to cover medical fees, food, and other expenses. One woman is heavily pregnant with her baby due fifteen days ago, while other adults are suffering stress and chronic illness. Khatah explains he cannot afford to pay 40-50 dinars per ID card for his family of 19 people. He wishes the fighting would stop in Syria and that they would all be able to return to them homeland one day.

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Syrians Scrape a Living in Jordan (1 ...
Jarash
By Camilla Schick
12 Mar 2015

As Syria’s civil war enters its fifth year, nine million people have been displaced, with 3.7 million of those having fled the country. Millions of Syrian refugees are scraping by in neighboring countries.

Jordan has registered 600,000 refugees – constituting almost 10% of the Hashemite Kingdom’s total population of 6.6 million, though the actual number may be much higher. One fifth now live in refugee camps, including Za'atari camp, the second largest in the world. It's illegal for them to leave Jordan's now overcrowded and increasingly insecure refugee camps, but many are now making the leap to urban areas, seeking work and a better life. Some Syrian families who fled to Jordan at the start of the war are fairing better than others who've arrived more recently. But they’re still struggling to survive beyond the camps, without enough allowance from the UN nor local charities to pay for food and medical care, or taking their chances with working illegally.

Despite not being legally entitled to work, many have taken up jobs at local shops at the discretion of Jordanian employers, while others are too afraid to leave their homes and are surviving on as little as 13 dinars ($18) per person per month from the UN.

UN REPORT
A recent UNHCR urban report, entitled ‘Living in the Shadows’ in January this year, based on 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps, concluded that two thirds of the refugees now in urban areas are living below Jordan’s poverty line. 1/6 are living in abject poverty barely surviving off the equivalent of 1.3 dollars per person per day. The UN has expressed grave concern that refugees are now turning desperate measures to make ends meet, with children dropping out of school and even women turning to prostitution.

STORY:
This is the ancient Jordanian city of Jerash, 50 kilometres north of the capital Amman. It’s now home to approximately 8,000 Syrian refugee families / 50,000 refugees.

34-year-old Ali and his younger brother Mohammed work shifts at a local coffee and tea shop. Living as refugees has put a huge strain on Ali's marriage, and he is now separated from his wife, and rarely gets to see his young son. He says they used to live in Al Midan, an affluent Sunni suburb of Syria’s capital Damascus. But when fighting between the Assad government forces and Syrian rebels began in their neighborhood, the family took the heart-wrenching decision to prepare to leave the country. Being the eldest, Ali headed to Jordan first to set things up for the rest of the family. Mohammed and his parents followed after.

The brothers live with their mother Yusra, who warmly invites us into their two-bedroom one-floor home. Yusra was recently widowed. Their father died of health complications shortly after joining them in Jordan. They know how terrible the living conditions are for those now living in Jordan’s over-crowded refugee camps. They tell us they consider themselves among the luckier refugees, who arrived in Jordan almost four years ago at the start of the conflict, having found work and a place to live.

Jordanian shop owner Khaled says he hired the brothers not only because Syrians will work for a lower wage, but also because he wants to help the refugees who are desperately seeking work. He says the Jordanian authorities are fairly lax when it comes to illegal refugee workers. He says all Arabs are brothers, and need to help Syrians until its safe enough for them to return home.

NOTES
We chose to focus the interview on the elder brother – Ali
Their mother, Yusra, did not want us to film her face

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File photos of destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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Photos of Destruction in Syria
Saqba
By abdalmanamissa
25 Feb 2015

A school and neighbourhood destroyed in the city of Saqba, Syria, on January 25, 2015. Photo by Transterra Media

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The Syrian Teenager Who "Chose" War O...
Morek, Hama
By TTM Contributor 9
30 Jan 2015

Morek, Hama, Syria

January 30, 2015

Fourteen-year-old Mohammad Khodr al-Hajji left school more than a year ago to fight against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Mohammad joined the opposition battalion formed by his father. He receives regular military training and has been positioned on the frontline outside the town of Morek near Hama, in an area called al-Sayyad. Opposition fighters took this area from the Syrian government’s forces fourth months ago. In a year or two, Mohammad hopes to actively engage in battles.

Mohammad’s case is not unique. Many children have been drawn into the Syrian conflict as it nears its fourth year. According to a Human Rights Watch report, non-state militias of different affiliations have recruited dozens of teenagers and given them perilous military tasks.

Khodr, Mohammad's father, says that even though his son is young, he might not be safer at home because he could die in an airstrike.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of Mohammad and other fighters resting in a cave

Close-up of Mohammad’s face
Close-ups of Mohammad’s hand

Various of Mohammad and other fighters inside a cave watching battle videos
Various of Mohammad lying down on a mattress inside a cave Wide of Mohammad helping his father wear military vest
Various of Mohammad and other fighters waling in a field
Medium of Mohammad loading his rifle
Various of Mohammad and other fighters inspecting anti-aircraft machinegun
Various of Mohammad and other fighters inspecting military positions
Various of Mohammad walking
Various of Mohammad loading his weapon
Wide of Mohammad holding his rifle inside a trench
Various of Mohammad with other fighters practice shooting SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad al-Hajji
07:39- 11:31
“I am Mohammad, the son of Khodr al-Hajji. We are positioned on al-Sayyad frontline in Morek. God willing, we shall stay steadfast. We have gone to war for the sake of God. God willing, we shall remain steadfast. I was at school and I was watching TV. I saw destruction and children. I went for the quest of freedom, against Assad’s infidel regime.
I saw my father and brothers fighting against the Assad regime. I decided to practice jihad with them. I have been here for a short while, but my father taught me how to use weapons – how to disassemble and reassemble a rifle and shoot, thanks be to God.
I saw people going out in demonstrations for the sake of God. I saw my father and brothers participating in battles. I said to my father that I wanted to learn how to use weapons. He said: “Do not learn this. You should stay away from this business.” I said: “Let me learn.”
Later on, he taught me how to use rifles. He first taught me to dissemble and reassemble the rifle and he then he let me shoot. I started to go with him to battles.
I was with my friends and I saw that they all participated in jihad, and I wanted to be like them.
At first, I used to like this but I do like anything after the trouble.
Interviewer: Why?
Because of these circumstances. We are scared of warplanes because they bomb schools. We stopped going to school. I stopped going to school a year ago. I am in the eighth grade. Warplanes bombed the school and we stopped going there.
Interviewer: When was that?
About a year or more. Only a child was injured. He was injured at school.
I am positioned on al-Sayyad hill, the Morek frontline. I am learning how to shoot if the enemy comes.
In the village, we saw the bodies of people killed by the army at a checkpoint. Good God, they were all disfigured. I was very scared, but after I saw this I stopped caring about anything.
When I first grabbed the rifle I felt something very great. It was something very great. We have taken arms for the sake of freedom and God almighty.
There is no work. People have stopped working. We want to work but there is nothing to do. I kept participating in the revolution.
Why is he [Bashar al-Assad] fighting against us? Why? It is his fault.

Interview: Why?
He is fighting against us. They know that we are Muslims and they can see what is happening to the people, yet he is fighting against us. This is his fault. He is a Muslim and so are we, yet he is fighting against us. We consider him a disbeliever. He is killing Muslims. He is killing people and destroying homes.”

Various/ Medium of Mohammad. NAT Sound: (Arabic) Mohammad and another fighter argue with a local man about the need not to light a fire in order to keep the area safe from airstrikes.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad al-Hajji, Child Fighter
12:30 – 14:15
The trigger. Shooting. This is something great. Shooting at the enemy is quite something. I stay on guard. If the army advances, we fight against it.
Both; I listen to my father and I go to battles. I am still young and I am learning. In a year or two, I will start participating in battles, God willing.
Interviewer: Suppose that you were injured in a battle. What would you do? Suppose you were shot in the leg, God forbid. What would you do? Your father is far from you.
What would I do? I would keep resisting until I die.
Interviewer: If you were hit in the leg, you have this walkie-talkie in your pocket and this rifle, and you are lying down on the ground and cannot walk. What would you do?
I would call my father on the walkie-talkie in order to cover me and move me out. If I was hit in a battle, I would call my father on the walkie-talkie. The men will cover me and they will move me out.
If my injury was lethal I would be scared, but what could I do? My father would take me to hospital and the doctor would treat me. God willing, I will remain steadfast.”
Various of Mohammad inside a trench
Various of Mohammad assembling and loading his weapon Various of Mohammad aiming his weapon
Close-ups of Mohammad’s hands holding a rifle
Various of Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s father, outdoor
Close-ups of Khodr al-Hajji’s hands and face
Medium of Khodr al-Hajji talking to fighters of his group inside a cave
NAT Sound (Arabic) (15:29) Over the walkie-Talkie: Mohammad Abu al-Lays, look at the fields, look at the vehicles. Where are you? Mohammad Abu al-Lays do you hear me? Where are you? (16:24) Tell us more, how long have you been here? What are your plans for the future? (16:33) (16:34) Day 57. Everybody is firing at us. We were staying at a house… (16:44) Mohammad was with you? - No, Mohammad was not with us yet, but the older one Ahmad was. He was 17 - 18 years old. He was born in 1996 (16:58). (16:59) How many children do you have? - I have 10, five girls and five boys. The boys are Mohammad, Ahmad, Bachir, Nazeer (17:05)

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s Father, Head of opposition armed group
(17:43)

Khodr Ahmad al-Hajji from Morek, from Idlib province, the village of Maarat Dibsah. When we first started engaged in the revolution, it was peaceful. The regime started to use violence against us and fire at us while we were demonstrating. You would be marching in a demonstration clapping your hands when suddenly the regime’s men start to fire at you, and people start to fall around you. Things took a new turn. We lost many martyrs.
It was then that people realized that we needed to carry arms to protect ourselves from these tyrants. The regime used to give orders to open fire on those people, and many of them became martyrs.
Whoever did not have money borrowed money… we are poor people. We had to borrow money to buy a rifle and bullets. This is how it started.
Every now and then we used to see an army vehicle. At first, we used to have pity on the Syrian army, saying that they were our children and we did not fire at them.
But at a certain point, the Syrian army itself helped Bashar al-Assad remain in his post. This was four years ago.

Till now, some members are defecting from the army but in small numbers.
If entire divisions and brigades defected, we would not have reached this point.
The members that did not defect from the army allowed Bashar al-Assad to remain in power until today. He also received foreign support from Satan’s party [Hezbollah] of Lebanon, from Iran, all the countries are supporting him. This really affected people, but we remained in our revolution. We started firing at the army and take its positions. We shall continue until the last moment (20:00)
(20:03) My son Ahmad, God bless you and your children, has been fighting with me for almost for two years, two-and-a-half years. I gave him guns and he started to fight with me. My younger son Mohammad kept saying, “Father I want to go with you; Father I want to go with you.” I brought him along, too. It was not a very long time ago. I taught him at first how to dissemble and reassemble a rifle, and then I taught him how to shoot. After that, he started to come with me to the front positions. This is as far as Mohammad is concerned. All is done for God’s sake. If God wills, we will stay on this path until the last drop of blood. We will not go back, for the sake martyrs we lost. We will continue if God wills, and the younger might join, too. If [the war] is going to last longer, the younger people will join.
My brothers, my cousins and I are continuing with this, God willing. I do not care anymore about education because we are losing so much important as loosing blood. Education is nothing when compared to blood. Education is necessary and we should learn and teach our children but we got to a point where the regime destroyed schools with explosive barrels. You will find only one safe school in the entire village; the other ones are completely destroyed (21:50)

(21:51) Mohammad is brave, with the will of God. I want him to continue in this revolution given our circumstances, God willing. (21:59) (22:00) For me, if Mohammad wanted to study, he would not have chosen to carry weapons and fight. I do not have any problem if he wished to remain in school. But, when he saw me fighting along with his brother, he insisted on joining me, so I brought him along. I hope I did not choose a wrong path for him. If he becomes a martyr, it would be for God’s sake, he would be lucky; God giveth, God taketh. I am convinced with what I am saying, this is not a compliment (22:35) (22:36) I am proud of him. He behaves like a man. Despite his young age, he acts like a man, thanks be to God. Some people told me that he is too young to join the war, but they were few. Others told me it is good that he started training at a young age, since the war might last for many years; the whole world is against Syria, especially against the Muslim, Sunni Syrian people. The whole world is against us. All nations are fighting like dogs against us.” (23:20)

(23:21) As for his mother, she did not have any problem at all. When she knew this is what he desired, she did not oppose him. - How does she feel when you both leave together for war? - Her heart aches, but thanks be to God she accepts this. We are believers. We believe in God almighty and in fate. What God has written shall happen. Let us suppose Mohammad or his brothers are at home now and warplanes bomb the house with barrels. If his days are over, he will die at home.”

Wide of fighters looking at a helicopter in the sky
Wide of fighters preparing lunch
Various of fighters eating
Medium of Mohammad opening a pack of dates
Various of fighters praying

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FSA fighter Reciting anti Bashar Assa...
Deir-ez-Zour
By b.yaacoub
11 Dec 2014

FSA fighter Reciting anti Bashar Asad poem before battle against ISIS

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Education Changes Under Syrian Opposi...
Aleppo
By mohammed alhadi
02 Dec 2014

November 2014
Taqad, Aleppo Province, Syria

Students in the rebel-controlled village of Taqad to the west of Aleppo no longer have to pay tribute to the Syrian regime.
In this village with a population of 11,000, public schools follow books issued by the interim government appointed by the opposition Syrian National Coalition.
The director of one the local schools says that the new curriculum “shifted from glorifying the regime to glorifying the homeland.”
References to Bath party’s ideology or the “achievements” of Presidents Bashar al-Assad and his father the late President Hafez al-Assad were omitted from the new books, which are printed in Turkey and opposition-held areas in Syria.
Schools in this little town, however, have other pressing needs to deal with. Teachers work in overcrowded classrooms and students sometimes ditch school when they hear the sound of warplane

Interviews

00:45 – 00:55
Interview with Abdel Karim Subhi, a second-grade student (Boy, Arabic)
"I am eight years old. Whenever the airplanes are flying, my brothers and I do not come. We wait for them to end their raids so we come to school.

01:02 – 01:30
Interview with Ahmad al-Deek, a pro-opposition education official in Aleppo province (Man, Arabic)
“Books did not undergo a radical change in their content, but some of their content was modified, especially the parts where the regime is sanctified. Only national educational was totally removed from the curriculum. The Syrian National Coalition is working on printing new books and distributing them in the liberated areas. We also stress on the importance of education as a basic necessity in life, whether under bombardment or not. Education is a weapon to confront the regime, and the answer towards a better Syria in the future.”

01:31 – 01:44
Interview with Rama Humaida, a seven-grade student (Girl, Arabic)
“My siblings and I come from a middle class family, and we come to school every day to learn. My favorite class is the one related to Religion, and I wish to be a religious studies instructor in the future.”

02:50 – 03:13
Interview with Ahmad Jumaa, the director of Qaddour al-Sayyed school (Man, Arabic)
“This is Qaddour al-Sayyed School for Girls. The school has five sections classes; there are 12 teachers, some of whom are volunteers. We were able to get the necessary supplies such as books and notebooks with the help of some organizations.”

03:14 – 03:31
Interview with Nour Qassem, a grade-seven student (Girl, Arabic)
“My siblings and I come from a poor family, and we come to school every day to learn. My favorite class is Arabic, and I wish to be an Arabic instructor in the future.”

03:33 – 03:48
Interview with Raed Abdu, a primary school teacher (Man, Arabic)
“Despite our difficult circumstances and continuous airstrikes, we started the new academic year. This year was different in terms of taught subjects, especially national education and history.”

04:32 – 04:42
Interview with Ahmad Jumaa, principal of Qaddour al-Sayyed school
“I am the director of the Qaddour al-Sayyed School. The Syrian National Coalition distributed new books to the schools but we had to print some of the missing books in the local print houses.”

04:49 – 05:16
Interview with Abdullah Jumaa, a local teacher (Man, Arabic)
“The books were modified according to the situation we are living in now. All the parts where Bashar al-Assad and his gang are sanctified were removed. The new books shifted from the glorification of the regime to the glorification of the entire homeland, and new parts were added that reflect the actual situation.”

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Aftermath of Raqqa Bombings by Syrian...
By TTM Contributor 20
01 Dec 2014

27 November 2014 Destruction from recent airstrikes in Raqqa by Syrian Regime warplanes.

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Education Changes Under Syrian Opposi...
Aleppo
By mohammed alhadi
30 Nov 2014

November 2014
Taqad, Aleppo Province, Syria

Students in the rebel-controlled village of Taqad to the west of Aleppo no longer have to pay tribute to the Syrian regime.
In this village with a population of 11,000, public schools follow books issued by the interim government appointed by the opposition Syrian National Coalition.
The director of one the local schools says that the new curriculum “shifted from glorifying the regime to glorifying the homeland.”
References to Bath party’s ideology or the “achievements” of Presidents Bashar al-Assad and his father the late President Hafez al-Assad were omitted from the new books, which are printed in Turkey and opposition-held areas in Syria.
Schools in this little town, however, have other pressing needs to deal with. Teachers work in overcrowded classrooms and students sometimes ditch school when they hear the sound of warplanes.

Shot list

00:00 – 00:06
A medium shot shows pages from a primary-school book coming out of the printer.

00:07 - 00:20
A medium shot shows a man binding a book.

00:21 – 00:32
Interview with ِAhmad Jumaa, principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

00:33 – 00:35 A medium shot shows a man binding a book.

00:36 – 00:39
A wide shot shows graffiti that reads: “He who opens a school closes a prison – Al-Urfan Organization [an Islamic social welfare organization].”

00:40 – 00:43
A wide shot shows a young boy carrying a backpack with the UNICEF logo running across the school courtyard.

00:44 – 00:46
A close-up shot shows a school girl writing.

00:47 – 00:59
Interview with Abdel Karim Subhi, a second-grade student (Boy, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

01:00 – 01:03
A close-up shot shows the face of a young student during a mathematics lesson.

01:04 – 01:07
A wide shot shows a teacher explaining a mathematics problem to a student on the blackboard.

01:08 – 01:32
Several shots show books being printed.

01:33 – 01:30
A close-up shot shows the covers of books produced by the Syrian interim government.

01:31 – 01:46
Interview with a primary school teacher (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

01:47 – 01:53
A wide shot shows a second-grade science class in session. The teacher asks: “Who can name an animal that could fly?”

01:54 – 02:02
A medium shot shows a second-grade student answering a grammar question.

02:03 – 02:07
A close-up shot shows the hands of two students writing.

02:08 – 02:20
Interview with Rama Humaida, a seventh-grade student (Girl, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

02:21 – 02:26
A wide shot shows a teacher writing on the blackboard from behind as students follow.

02:27 – 02:44
Interview with Abdullah Jumaa, a local teacher (Man, Arabic)/ interview transcript below

02:45 – 02:49
A close-up shot shows a page of a book issued by the Syrian regime that explains the history of the 1970 Corrective Movement, the coup d’état carried out by the Baath Party.

02:50 – 02:54
A close-up shot shows a page of a book issued by the Syrian regime that explains when President Bashar al-Assad came to power and praises Syria’s policies.

02:55 – 03:01
A close-up shot shows the covers of books produced by the Syrian interim government.

03:02 – 03:10
A wide shot shows a demolished school wall.

Interviews

00:21 – 00:32
Interview with Ahmad Jumaa, principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School (Man. Arabic)

“I am the principal of Qaddour al-Sayyid School. The provisional Syrian government gave us schoolbooks. Some books were missing, though, and we had to print them locally.

00:47 – 00:59
Interview with Abdel Karim Subhi, a second-grade student (Boy, Arabic)

“I am eight years old. Whenever airplanes are flying, my siblings and I do not come. We wait for them to end their raids so we come to school.”

01:31 – 01:46
Interview with a primary school teacher (Man, Arabic)

“Despite the hard conditions we are living in and continuous airstrikes, we started the new academic year.”

02:08 – 02:20
Interview with Rama Humaida, a seventh-grade student (Girl, Arabic)

“My siblings and I come from a middle-class family, and we come to school every day to learn. My favorite subject is religion, and I wish to be a religion instructor in the future.”

02:27 – 02:44
Interview with Abdullah Jumaa, a local teacher (Man, Arabic)

“Books were amended to suit the current situation. All the content that glorifies [President] Bashar al-Assad and his were removed. The new books shifted from the glorification of the regime to the glorification of the entire homeland. Certain passages were omitted and other ones that suit the current phase were kept.

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Inside the Last Rebel Bastion of Homs
Homs, Syria
By Mohannad
27 Oct 2014

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.

Interviews

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.”

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Kidnapped by ISIS and Forced to Conve...
Qamishli, Syria
By laura.lesevre
20 Oct 2014

Qamishli (Northern East Syria, close to the Turkish border): a Christian man tells when he was at the mercy of the Isis, forced to convert to Islam and threatened to be beheaded

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Young Syrian Lenses
Aleppo
By Ruben Lagattolla
24 Sep 2014

Date: April 2014
Length: 52'
English Subtitles
NSV available

Since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution, Aleppo rebels have relentlessly documented events on the ground through their media outlet halabnews.com, providing footage for top international broadcasters. This documentary film approaches the media arm of the Syrian resistance where war photographer Enea Discepoli, who attempted to organize a photo exhibition in Old Aleppo with media activists from Halab News media, left off. Crossing the border, photographs in-hand, they would soon find that conditions on the ground made their exhibition impossible. This story similarly aims to see through the lenses of these young Syrian media activists, to witness the Syrian tragedy unfolding since 2011. Told through interviews, facts given by reporters, and through filmed first-hand accounts of the tragedies unfolding on the ground; the film seeks to put the viewer directly beside these Young Syrian Lenses. Military operations unfold on camera, however, the film also engages the Aleppo Local Council which is the only democratic hope for the population.

This journey alongside a group of young, hopefully media activists is told through images rather than narration. At the same time, the film prefers considering the human condition instead of high-impact military imagery that too often let the viewer forget the humanitarian tragedy of war.

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Eyes On the Ground: FSA Spotters Netw...
Idlib Province
By TTM Contributor 9
23 Sep 2014

September 18, 2014
Idlib Province, Syria

Since the start of the Syrian war, groups of civilians have quietly monitored the movements of Bashar al-Assad’s forces in order to assist the armed opposition to the Syrian government. Known as "Spotters", their ranks include children and they monitor an area stretching from Quneitra to the Syrian-Turkish border.

According to some, it all started with individual efforts until these spotters became connected to each other through support stations. The spotters monitor the movements of the Syrian regime’s forces on the ground and in the air.
The air spotters monitor the movements of Assad’s air force on hand-held devices that specifically spy on pilots and airport terminals. They then inform fighters on the ground of the plane’s direction and its target. They follow up on the aircraft’s aerial activities to monitor and often confront them.

“Front Spotters” refers to those who monitor the movement of ground forces. They work on the front lines and in battles to keep abreast of enemy movements. They spy on the enemy’s activities and the movement of vehicles and soldiers, and provide targets for mortars and cannons.

Shots List:
1- Shots of the youngest spotter in the region, Ali Badran, aged 15, who has been monitoring for almost six months. He followed in the footsteps of his father who worked as a spotter before ceding his place to his son.
2- Shots of the spotter Ali Badran with his father as he monitors on the top of Zawiya Mountain in the Idlib countryside.
3- Interview with the spotter Ahmad Badran Abu Ali during which he talks about the start of his work, his gradual advance, how his son got involved in the field and how he sees his work.
4- Close-up and medium shots of Ahmad Badran during the interview with him.
5- Shots of Ahmad Badran and his son sitting on top of Zawiya Mountain in the Idlib countryside.
6- Interview with Ali Badran, the youngest spotter who is just 15 years old, during which he talks about his work, studies, the importance of his work, and why he dropped out of school to work in monitoring.
7- Close-up and medium shots of the youngest spotter Ali Badran.
8- Shots of the spotter Abu Khaled on the roof of his house where he refused to talk to the camera.
9- Wide, medium and close-up shots of the spotters Jamal Deebo and Abu Bahr, positioned on the highest hill peak in Maarrat al-Nu’man, covering Wadi Eldaif area and the Hamadia Camp from the Maarrat al-Nu’man side.
10- Interview with the spotter Jamal Deebo during which he talks about his work, its importance, and the difficulties he encounters.
11- Interview with the spotter Abu Bahr who works on the western front of Maarrat al-Nu’man during which he talks about his work, its mechanisms and importance, and the challenges they face given the shortage of equipment and support.
12- Shots of Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades and a fighter on Camp Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib Countryside.
13- Interview with Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades during which he talks about the spotters, their importance to the front fighters, their types and work mechanisms.
14- Shots of Mutaa’ AlQassem, the commander of one of the Martyrs of Syria Brigades and a fighter on Camp Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib Countryside.
15- Interview with the spotter Muhammad Abu Abdullah from Maarshamsha Town in the Southern Idlib Countryside who is a military spotter on the front, during which he talks about his work, its mechanisms, how to pick up the enemy’s signals and deal with the information he gets from the hand held devices, and the difficulties he encounters.
16- Close-up and medium shots of Abu Abdullah during his interview.
17- Interview with Abu Abdullah continues as he talks about his work with the Syrian Army in monitoring.
18- Close-up and medium shots of Abu Abdullah inside his own spotter on Wadi Eldaif’s front in the southern Idlib countryside.
19- Shots of Abu Abdullah while working on the handpieces.
20- Shots of Abu Abdullah on the front line correcting to the fighters the targets of the missiles launched on Wadi Eldaif and shots of Wadi Eldaif’s where Al Assad’s forces are positioned and considered surrounded for more than two years.
21- Wide and medium shots of Omar Ibrahim AlJaban (Abu Uday) Commander of The Martyr Sheikh Abdul Waris Battalion in the Nation Brigade in Edlib Countryside that works in Wadi Eldaif and Hamadia Camp.
22- Interview with Abu Uday during which he talks about the fighting places, the spotters and their importance for the fighters on the ground, and the difficulties they encounter.
23- Close up shots of Abu Uday during the interview.
24- Close up, medium and wide shots of Abu Uday with the fighters in his battalion in their camp on the Wadi Eldaif front.

Soundbites
Starts at 00:34
Ali: How are you?
Other man: I hear you, over
Ali: Where are you? How’s the situation at your end?
Ali: Calling for Sham, Sham how is the situation?
Sham: There is only one aircraft hovering.
Ali: The war in Hama has not ended yet. The pig said it had but he’s a liar and a deceiver. Be cautious, the war has not ended yet.
Sham: I see two helicopters with barrel bombs
Ali: There are two helicopters with barrel bombs coming from Hama, brace yourselves and be cautious.
Ends at 01:22

Starts at 01:31
Man: Badran, Badran
Badran: I hear you, brother
Man: How are you Abu Ali?
Badran: May God Protect you
Badran: I go with my colleagues, and monitor the battle for a day, or two or even three, I have no problem. Now my son, Spotter Ali Badran nicknamed The Young Badran monitors the area while I work and try to make a living.
Badran: Hello
Man: Hello
Badran: When they talk about him I feel proud because he’s doing all he can to help in Jihad, this is his capacity.
Ends at 02:09

Starts at 02:22
Ali: I monitor the area and I help by sending warnings to the brothers to avoid the barrel bombs. I am 15 years old and I am in grade 9. I am in grade 9 but I will not attend my classes because of the situation and because schools will not open their doors. We have to fight in the name of God. This is what God called Jihad.
Ends at 02:55

Starts at 03:02
Ali: What do I do? For example an aircraft just left Hama, when it leaves he sends me signals and riddles, he says pines for example. Now the riddles we use have been changed and I’m trying to learn and memorize them step by step. For example when an aircraft leaves Hama I send warnings to the fronts of Northern Hama Countryside, the Southern Front, Khattab, Muri, Kifirzeity. I send warning to the liberated areas and the fronts.
Ends at 03:31

Starts at 03:35
Ali: My plans? I hope I have state-of-the-art equipments that are more developed than those the other spotters use so that my voice reaches Al Qalamoun, Aleppo, Ar-Raqqah, Latakia and all fronts.
Ends at 03:57

Starts at 04:01
Jamal Deebo: okay Abu Yasser.
Man: tell them there is a checkpoint on the road
Abu Bahr: I see soldiers moving next to the checkpoint
Ends at 04:15

Starts at 04:19
Abu Bahr: okay, God bless you
Ends at 04:22

Starts at 04:25
Abu Bahr: it’s clear, all clear
Ends at 04:27

Starts at 04:46
Abu Bahr: Abu Bahr here, I hear you, over
Man: How are you?
Abu Bahr: Great
Ends at 04:57

Starts at 05:01
Jamal Deebo: At each moment and each second you find us working to serve the fighters on the fronts and to serve the civilians in their houses and towns. As you can see, aircraft are constantly hovering and towns and villages are always showered with missiles and shells, from the far Karm Al Hawajez targeted by airports, long range cluster missiles and ground-to-ground missiles.
We are noticing that anyone with no job is becoming a spotter. Unfortunately this is a mistake we are making. It is a huge mistake we are making. We are supposed to organize the work because as you know spotters are the best weapon we have right now. Tanks and missiles would be useless without a spotter. Intruders cannot do their job without spotters who clear their way.
Ends at 06:06

Starts at 06:12
Abu Bahr: Our spotter is a part of a network that covers an area stretching from Daraa to the Syrian Turkish borders. I work here on these fronts from Hama’s airport to the area I told you about. We send warnings to the civilians and the fighters on the ground who are the rebels about the aircrafts, missiles, shells. Civilians go to the shelters while the fighters prepare themselves to the battle. This is what we do as spotters.
Ends at 06:44

Starts at 06:47
Abu Bahr: I used to serve in the army’s signal battalion. A fight is pointless without a sign, wherever it takes place. We have very simple equipment.
Ends at 06:57

Starts at 07:01
Man: During the battle I was searching with Fouad for Hammoud
Ends at 07:06

Starts at 07:15
Mutaa’ AlQassem: We have two types of spotters that serve our interests. Air spotters and Front spotters who have stations just like us. The first spotters, who are air spotters, send a warning from the moment the plane takes off by saying: aircraft take off from Hama’s airport for example. The spotter defines the location of the pilot as his work station location. This is when all the campers and all the rebels take precautions. And when a plane takes off without a notice, the spotter warns all the fronts that the aircraft took off and the pilot did not send a notice.
Ends at 08:34

Starts at 08:39
Mutaa’ AlQassem: The second spotter is the one at the front. He is a camping spotter who monitors the movements of the soldiers and their vehicles. He also has listening devices to spy on them. For example if the spotters on the eastern front see soldiers in a certain area and building, they have to deal with the situation.
Muhammad Abu Abdullah: For him and his fellow campers. I’ve been a spotter for two years
Interviewer: And what did you do for a living before that?
Muhammad: I was a concrete worker. As you can see we have hand devices that belong to the army. We saved the frequencies the army uses. After thorough research we managed to reveal these frequencies. Each time we reveal a frequency and know it is used in our area or in other areas such al Hamdiya or Jdar ElKheder we save it. We try to save them in order, the Emmay frequency has other 5 sub frequencies, so we save them together, this makes it easy for us to switch between frequencies. The army has state-of-the-art equipment. This is how we can manage to be as fast as them in switching between frequencies. We save the frequencies of one area on one device. We spy on all the talks and all the targets and warn the other guys on the front. An Air spotter is not located near the front, he is usually far from the fronts in an area he deems fit and has equipment to monitor aircrafts. He might be able to listen to the army’s frequencies; however his work is concentrated on the aircraft frequencies. He reports the movement of the aircraft, their possible targets and the airport they are heading to.
Ends at 10:48

Starts at 11:00
Man: we hear you
Muhammad Abu Abdullah: for all the brothers filling bags, the pigs can see you and are preparing an attack but I can’t know where they are. They are talking about you. Be cautious. May God protect you.
Ends at 11:20

Starts at 11:27
Muhammad: Brothers on the western front, God protect you.
Ends at 11:40

Starts at 12:10
Interviewer: How old are you?
Abu Uday: 79 years old. My brother was responsible of this area. He died in the Al Marsous battle. Thank God spotters are very beneficial. There are air spotters and ground spotters that monitor the army’s movements. Spotters have warned fighters on the ground more than a dozen times of the army’s attacks. These attacks would be lethal were it not for the spotters on the fronts who warn the fighters of the army’s movements, the fighters would have died. Spotters on the fronts have saved the fighters more than a dozen times. Air spotters also play a key role when they report an aircraft taking off from Hama’s airport, we take precautions and stand ready to fight.
Ends at 13:55

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Syria's Anti-Assad Christian Militia
Qamishli
By Rozh
08 Jun 2014

‘Sutoro’ (‘Security’ or ‘Police’ in the ancient Syriac-Aramaic language) is an anti-Assad Christian security force operating in the predominantly Kurdish autonomous regions of northeastern Syria. Sutoro, whose members come from the ancient Syriac minority, patrol and protect the Christian neighborhoods in the area. They also fight alongside Kurdish forces against both Bashar al-Assad and islamist rebel groups like ISIS. Although Syriacs were not persecuted for being Christians under Assad's secular Baathist government, they claim that they were nationally oppressed because the Baath regime had declared Syria an Arab-only state and denied the existence of all other ethnic minorities.

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Supporters of Bashar al-Assad Rally i...
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 4
04 Jun 2014

June 04, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Car convoys of supporters of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad rally on the Mezzeh Highway in central Damascus.

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Government-Held Homs Votes in Syrian ...
Homs
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 3, 2014
Homs, Syria

Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Baath University.

Speakers:

Fatima Hussein, head of polling station:
"Since the early morning, ever since we got to the polling station ready to vote, large numbers of people came to the polling station. This is a huge rebuttal to all the enemies of Syria who are fighting us. This huge turnout came to vote for the new president of Syria who will lead us to the safety and security and help us rebuild Syria".

Mohamad al-Nasri, "Syria Lovers Youths" Spokesperson:
"We came here today to join this national celebration. We are convinced that we are going to vote for President Bashar al-Assad to renew his presidency because he is our leader here in Syria. We are also, as young adults, working here in the polling station to organize the election and ease the voting process. We are very happy on this day because we truly consider it a national celebration".

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Syria Election: Residents in Governme...
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 3, 2014
al-Matar Neighborhood, Deraa, Syria

Video shows Syrians in the government held Deraa neighborhood of al-Matar casting their ballots at a polling station in the al-Oumawiyin Elementary School.

Speakers:

Ramez Zarzour, Head of Polling Station:
“Whoever wants to vote can take the voting ballot and enter the secret room, or he can do the procedure here in front of people. He chooses his candidate and votes for him. Many people came today. Even though we are suffering from difficult situations many people still came in”.

Ramia Ibrahim, Resident:
“Today I voted with my free will, and by that we would be applying the concept of democracy they [the international community] were referring to, but of course in our own way, not theirs...not the way of blood and destruction. Today we started building Syria and we will keep going. I voted for the person who will build Syria and we will be behind him”.

Ahmad al-Fares, Resident:
“We came here today to ensure our belonging to this country, to Syria. [We came] to ensure our loyalty to this country, and to say 'yes' to the presidential election”.

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Government-Held Homs Votes in Syrian ...
Homs, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 3, 2014
Homs, Syria

Residents in the Government-Held city of Homs cast their ballots in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the al-Baath University.

Mohamad Moussa (Resident):
“I came here to vote for the right president, the one who will help us against terrorism, the one who rebuild Syria and who make us feel secure. We should all vote, it is a right for every citizen and I wish they would let our little children vote because it is a right. This is a celebration and a victory for Syria which proved to the whole world that it is strong and resistant. We want a president who is a fighter, who is strong and able to return security to Syria”.

Imad Ali (Residnet):
“We are the citizens of Homs and we are here to participate in this public celebration because it is real democracy and we want to teach the whole world that in Syria there is true democracy. While they [the world] lack the simplest means of democracy, we participate in this public celebration because we want a unified Syria governed by president Bashar al-Assad. Syria is facing the imperial system and we will participate in the election because Syrians taught pride, resilience and democracy to the world”.

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Syria Election: Damascus Polling Stat...
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June, 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Polling station in the Ministry of Information in Damascus filling up with voters day progresses.

Vox Pop 1:
“I made a finger print with blood on my voting ballot for President Bashar al-Assad because he is the only one who can help us out of this crisis. We are all by his side to rebuild Syria and become better and better”.

Vox Pop 2:
“[This] Election is a constitutional right for every Syrian citizen who is proud of his nationality. This election came at a very sensitive period of time and it is necessary so that all Syrian citizens can vote and show the world what Syria is all about. All citizens should participate to choose the right president at the right time”.

Vox Pop 3:
“We as Syrian mothers are feeling the importance of this event more than anyone. Today we are electing a new Syria and we are witnessing the birth of a new Syria. It is true that we feel pain, pain for the martyrs and pain for the destruction that has happened because of the terrorist militias, but, as always, the joy of birth and the happiness you feel when you see a new born makes you forget the pain”.

Vox Pop 4:
“The election today is a democratic turning point in the history of modern Syria. Today is very important and every ballot box represents a bullet in the face of the enemy. Whoever conspired against Syria is now waiting for the results of this election and the results will definitely be in favor of the people and the country”.

Vox Pop 5:
“We are here in the Ministry of Information and we voted for the president Bashar al-Assad. This election is very important to all Syrians and I hope for all citizens to participate”.

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Bashar al-Assad Casts His Ballot in t...
Damascus
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad casts his ballot in the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in al-Malki Neighborhood of Damascus.

Video Source: Syrian State Television
No Sound

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Syrians Vote in Damascus
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June 16, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Video shows Syrians casting their votes for the Syrian presidential election at a polling station in the Ministry of Information in Damascus.

Interviews:

Shirine Ahmad, Head of Polling Station:
“At 6:30 we were at the polling station, we opened the box and counted what it contains [blank voting ballots and envelopes]. We counted the envelopes and then we waited for the agents to come and seal the box. We then continued with the process. In the process [voters] first present their ID; we own a device to discover fake ID cards [ID's are verified]. Then the ID number is recorded in the polling document. The voter then takes an envelope and a voting ballot and enters the secret room. In the room he records his choice and then places it by hand in the ballot box and retrieves his ID. He then marks his finger with ink and that is the end of the process”.

Ali Ahmad, State Employee:
“This huge event, the day of the Syrian presidential election, is a national and constitutional duty. We want to chose the Doctor [Bashar al-Assad] who can treat the illness Syria is suffering from and can find the right treatment for this disease. This cooperation between Syrians is meant to build the country after over 85 countries around the world have tried to destroy it. This cooperation between Syrians today is meant to build what terrorism has destroyed”.

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Syrians in Opposition-Held Damascus S...
By Rame ALsayaed
03 Jun 2014

June, 3, 2014,
al-Hajar al-Aswad

Residents in the opposition-held Damascus suburb of al-Hajar al-Aswad tell of starvation and mourning on election day and express their opinions about the Syrian presidential election. Opposition-held areas, like al-Hajar al-Aswad, are excluded from the voting process and have no polling stations.

Vox Pop 1:
“[We are] Still going on with our lives. We have no idea about the election happening outside. We are here in a besieged area in southern Damascus where we have no electricity and no water. We do not know what is happening outside of this area and we are still going on with the revolution. And about the election, who is it for? For the people’s blood, or for the chemical and barrel bombs? Or for the children who he [Bashar al-Assad] starved and slaughtered? What elections is he talking about? The country is destroyed and there are nine million refugees within Syria and outside. What should we put in the ballot boxes, the names of the martyrs? The names of the children who died from chemical weapons? Or the children who were slaughtered? What elections? For the country that is now occupied by Iran and Russia, the country that he [Bashar al-Assad] destroyed? Now he wants to make elections?!”

Vox Pop 2:
“This election is a joke. It is made so we would vote for a appalling president. Here in the liberated areas we are living our lives normally and we do not care about such an election, it is not credible and he is lying to the people. He is lying to himself and to the people because they are stupid and they need a stupid president like himself”.

Vox Pop 3:
“First let him bring back my mother and father who he killed with bombs and then I will vote for him. And let him give us food and water and open the roads for us and then I will vote for him”.

Vox Pop 4:
“This is the clearest image of the election. If you want to know about the election look at this: a bit of rice and soup, we are starved and besieged. Either you starve or kneel. If you want to vote for Bashar al-Assad, then you have to kneel before him. Let whoever wants to vote for him and kneel. This is the clearest image of the election, we have been completely besieged by the regime for over a year now. The election that we are having here in al-Hajar al-Aswad is being called the "Blood election". It [the Blood Election] is the election for the martyrs of the brigades of the FSA in the southern area. This [the Blood Election] is the real election because it is not meant for Bashar, [the person] who destroyed the country, killed people, and raped women”.

Vox Pop 5:
Interviewer: There is an election going on today...

“What election? Look at the people standing in line, waiting for the bit of rice to eat! And you say election?!”

Vox Pop 6:
“This election is for him and his thugs. Whoever demanded freedom has no election. This election is for his thugs”.

Vox Pop 7:
“As you can see we are breaking wood. We have no opinion in the election because we demanded freedom. We no longer have an opinion and he [Bashar al Assad] will win 100%. His people, his supporters, and his thugs are more important [to Bashar al-Assad] than us. All of this is for the international community so it would agree with him because it is just as hypocritical as Bashar al-Assad. As you can see, we are excluded from all of this”.

Vox Pop 8:
Interviewer: Today election is going on in Damascus, what are you doing?

“As you can see, this is the election for Bashar. We are cooking on wood fire to eat, that is if we eat. What is this election for? For the barrel bombs or our children who they [the Syrian Army/Government] have abducted? Or for my son who starved to death? Why should we vote for him [Bashar al-Assad]? If we do not vote for him they [the government/army] would hurt us when we stop at check points. Why would we vote for him? You can see our situation, we are begging for food, a bag of flour costs 1000 Syrian Pounds ($4). We go from place to place begging for food. One day we eat and ten days we have nothing to eat. Why would we vote for him after all this? For our children who died or the ones they have abducted or the innocent who had done nothing? May God have no mercy for him. If we find a bit of food to eat I hope he never finds it”.

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Syrian Presidential Candidate Hassan ...
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June, 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri casts his vote at a polling station in the Sheraton hotel in central Damascus. Nouri held a press conference in the same location after casting his vote.

Hassan al-Nouri:
“Today in Syria we have started a new era, the era of true victory over terrorism and this global war [inflicted on Syria]. Syria has won with the will of its people and the great Syrian Army. I, as a presidential candidate of the Syrian Republic, have voted for myself of course. I declare that if it was not for the strength of the great people of Syria, we would not have got to this day. We stand here among all of you voting for the new president of this country, among the will of Syrians and the strength of Syrians and thank you”.

Question: What are you chances of wining given the popularity of Bashar al-Assad?

“President Assad is very popular, but he is also facing strong competitors”.

Question: What do you promise Syrians if you become president?

“If I become president, I promise Syrians that I will walk the path of national dialogue and a peaceful Syrian to Syrian dialogue. [I promise] to fight terrorism in order to achieve peace and security in this country and to commence the project of national economic and social reform that we desperately need”.

Question: In case you do not win in the election, how will you serve your country?

“If I do not reach the position of president, I will remain a good citizen who does his best to serve his country. I believe that I have recorded my name in the political field of Syria and I am certain that we will all play a great role in building Syria and accomplishing total victory”.

Question: How do you feel about the election process so far?

“So far the whole operation is democratic and we are optimistic that we will see a strong victory. This enormous march of people is something that I was not expecting. This march is expected to continue into the night and we might need to extend [the election] for another day”.

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Syria Presidential Election 2014
By TTM Contributor 13
03 Jun 2014

Syrians voting in the Syria presidential election, June 3, 2014