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Even the dead cannot escape the bombi...
Yarmouk Camp
By Rame ALsayaed
17 Apr 2015

The bodies of killed Yarmouk Camp residents, which have been discovered under the rubble, had to be buried in a playground because the main cemetery was plowed by air bombing.
Syrian government forces bombed the camp with explosive barrels at the same time as heavy clashes pitted ISIS fighters against various Palestinian and Syrian militias.

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Yarmouk Camp Residents Suffer Bombing...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
10 Apr 2015

Yarmouk Camp (Damascus), Syria
April 10, 2015

This video shows the aftermath of air bombing carried out by Syrian government forces on Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees, located in the outskirts of Damascus.
Interviewed camp residents aired their frustration, saying that the bombing has added to their to their long suffering due to a military siege by Syrian government forces and a dire shortage of food supplies, which has lasted for the past four years.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various night shots of destroyed buildings

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
00:16 – 00:21
“This is the aftermath of barrel bombs dropped on Yarmouk camp by regime forces after midnight.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
00:26 – 01:12

“I was sleeping at home in the lounge. There was suddenly falling; something very loud was falling. As I lifted my head to see what was going on, I felt an earthquake… it was something like an earthquake. Something hit… as my head was up something hit me in the face. What was that? I did not know. I looked around and I saw dust. I opened the door and walked outside and started to shout, calling on the neighbors. One said, ‘I’m hit’ while the other did not answer. The one who did not answer me, may God rest his soul. He has been martyred.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
01:13 – 01:55

“People were sleeping in peace. Are there any fighters here? Are there any rifles or mortars? Civilians were crushed under explosive barrels. Fear God! Have fear for God, Bashar! See how the civilians have been torn to pieces at the hospital – Palestine Hospital. Have fear for God, people. There are no fighters here. All the people here are civilians and children. Where can people go? We are suffering! We are suffering from hunger and thirst, and now you bomb us with explosive barrels at night? God is sufficient for us and He is the best guardian.”
[Standing next to dead cat] “We want to safeguard animal rights, not human rights. Westerners consider animals to be sacred.”

Wide of smoke rising during daytime

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
01:55 – 02:01

“God is greatest! Regime forces are bombing Yarmouk camp intensely. God is greatest!”

Wide of severely damaged buildings during daytime
Various of civilians walking amid the rubble

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
03:10 – 05:05

“I am an old woman. I am 70 years old. I have been under siege alone for four years. My only son is outside the camp. My name is Um Mohamad. My only son and four daughters are outside the camp. We are suffering a lot. This is enough. We need bread, anything to feed on. I live in hunger. I am alone at home. What is happening to us is pitiful. We have had enough. We have suffered a lot we left Palestine and we are still suffering, while the entire world is standing against us. What is happening to us is pitiful. It is really pitiful. I do not have any energy to walk. Whenever I stand up I fall again. I live in the camp on my own.
This is outrageous! Until when will this keep going? All the other towns are receiving food – Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babilla – they have everything they need.
They say that we are receiving food aid; this is a lie. God is witness that we are not even getting a piece of bread or an egg. God knows where this food ends up.
I live on my own, and no one has knocked on my door to give me a loaf of bread or an egg. What is happening to us is pitiful. They should open the road before us. I want to leave; I do not want to stay here anymore. I have had enough. If they open the road I will leave. I stayed here to guard my house, because I have suffered a lot in my life and my husband 40 years ago. I struggled to build this three-story house and raise orphaned children. I cannot leave to be looted.
For God’s sake, find a solution for our camp. We have had enough. This is pitiful. What can I say? Everything is befalling the camp. Everything is befalling Palestinians. What have we done to deserve this?
This is outrageous. Everybody has a decent life except for us. What is our fault?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:05 – 05:32

“We have been under siege in the camp for four years. We have not gotten anything. We have not received any aid. All the organizations are giving aid to Beit Sahm and Babilla. We shall remain steadfast in Yarmouk camp. We thank you, Ahmed Majdalani [Palestinian Authority envoy to Syria], for the gifts you have sent three or four days ago. You have done this instead of giving us food or securing the road for us.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:33- 06:17

“We live in the Yarmouk camp. We will not leave our homes, no matter what happens; even if they keep bombing us with barrels until we die. We want to eat and drink. Organizations are distributing food in Yalda and Babilla because they move there. We went there and registered our names, but we were told that only people living at schools can receive food. What about people living under bombing? What about someone who does not want to leave his home? They should open a safe road and let food in. We are suffering to get food. Only people with money can secure electricity. The problem is the same with water; you would have to keep going back and forth, carrying water with containers to be able to fill half a tank. How will this situation end?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:18 – 06:37

“We are civilians, living in Yarmouk camp. We have children and sick people. Treatment is not available. We do not have food or water. Let them open the road for us. We need to eat and drink. They should give us aid. We do not have food. What can we do? We cannot leave our homes. If we leave our homes our problem will even bigger.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:38 – 06:42

“God willing, we will stay in the camp until we either die or return to Palestine.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:42 – 07:15

“When we left Palestine I was seven years old. But I will not leave Yarmouk camp, now that I am 76 years old. Yarmouk camp is my soul. I dug its ground with my own hands. I transported construction material over my head to build my house – one building block at a time. I dug the foundations with my own hands. We shall remain steadfast in the camp, whatever happens.”

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Syrian Brothers Survive in Damascus (...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
19 Nov 2014

Youssef and Ahmed are two young orphans who are struggling to survive with their two sisters. After losing their father and mother a couple of years ago, the children now struggle to survive in the besieged Damascus neighborhood of al-Hajar al-Aswad.

The children's father was killed during clashes with the Syrian army in their native Deir Ez Zour. Shortly after their father's death, the situation in Deir Ez Zour became too violent and Um Youssef escaped with the children to al-Hajar al-Aswad, a neighborhood in southern Damascus.

In the beginning of 2012, when the mother was standing in line to get some bread for her children, the Syrian government bombed the bakery and Um Youssef was severely injured. Due to the siege imposed on the area by the government, she was not able to get proper treatment for her wounds and she died shortly after. Youssef, Ahmed, and their two sisters became orphans.

After losing their mother, the children's aunt, Um Farah started looking after them. However, their lives did not get easier as Um Farah's ability to care for the children was limited as she was already poor herself and had her own children to look after. Regardless of the challenges, Um Farah did not give up on Youssef and his siblings, and tried to provide for them. However, the siege and resulting poverty forced Youssef and Ahmed to begin providing for themselves.

TRANSCRIPT:

Interviewer:
Ho do you spend your day Youssef?

Youssef:
We wake my aunt up to tell her that we are going to get water, so she would not worry about us. After we are done, we go to school, and when it is time to go to the kitchen, we take permission from the teacher and leave to go put the buckets and claim our place in line. Then we go back to school and after we are done we go to the kitchen, get the food, and come back home.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you wish for?

Youssef:
To have my mother and father alive. When I see children with their parents, I feel sad, I see them with their parents, playing and joking, but I cannot do that because my parents are dead and I have nobody but my aunt.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you want to be when you grow older?

Youssef:
I want to become an FSA fighter

Interviewer:
Why do you want to become and FSA fighter?

Youssef:
I want vengeance from the people who killed my mother and father.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish to become when you grow older?

Ahmed:
I want to become a doctor because when my mother was injured, there were no doctors to treat her. That is why I want to become a doctor, so I can treat the ill and the injured.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish for?

Ahmed:
I wish the old days would return and I can go back and play with the children I used to play with, and to go back to school and forget about everything and not wake up early to go look for firewood, water and food. That is how we spend our days, very tiring.

Um Farah, their aunt:
Their mother died while she was at the bakery getting bread. A bomb was dropped and her kidney was injured. And their father, he died before their mother did. He was going with some people and carrying a gun and some people betrayed them and 100 men were killed. Their father was one of them. They have nobody, I brought them to look after them and I will not give up on them. For their bad luck, things got worse and life got more difficult. We have been under siege for a year, without food or medical care or anything. We go to the garden and get some edible plants while the children go to the public kitchen and get some food, that is how we are managing.

Interviewer:
How many children are they?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are four, two older girls and two boys.
That is how we are living, the children go everyday to get water from a place far away, it has been two months since they cut off the water.

Interviewer:
How do the children treat you?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are great, they call me mom and I do not make them feel that I am only their aunt. I love them very much, and I treat them as if they were my own children.

The teacher:
Youssef’s case is similar to many cases we have here at the school. This child lost his family and he no longer has people to care for him. In the beginning, we felt that he is lonely and isolated, until we knew what his problem was, and as much as possible we tried to push him to communicate with the other children. In addition to that, similar to many other children, they bring buckets and container and take permission to leave class in order to go to the public kitchen and get food so they can survive.

(A LONGER VERSION OF THE STORY IS AVAILABLE)

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Orphaned Brothers Struggle to Survive...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
13 Aug 2014

al-Hajar al-Aswad, Damascus
November, 2014

Youssef, 8 years old
Ahmed 12 years old
Um Farah, Aunt

Youssef and Ahmed are two young orphans who are struggling to survive with their two sisters. After losing their father and mother a couple of years ago, the children now struggle to survive in the besieged Damascus neighborhood of al-Hajar al-Aswad.

The children's father was killed during clashes with the Syrian army in their native Deir Ez Zour. Shortly after their father's death, the situation in Deir Ez Zour became too violent and Um Youssef escaped with the children to al-Hajar al-Aswad, a neighborhood in southern Damascus.

In the beginning of 2012, when the mother was standing in line to get some bread for her children, the Syrian government bombed the bakery and Um Youssef was severely injured. Due to the siege imposed on the area by the government, she was not able to get proper treatment for her wounds and she died shortly after. Youssef, Ahmed, and their two sisters became orphans.

After losing their mother, the children's aunt, Um Farah started looking after them. However, their lives did not get easier as Um Farah's ability to care for the children was limited as she was already poor herself and had her own children to look after. Regardless of the challenges, Um Farah did not give up on Youssef and his siblings, and tried to provide for them. However, the siege and resulting poverty forced Youssef and Ahmed to begin providing for themselves.

Now, Youssef and Ahmed scour the streets of al-Hajar al-Aswad for food and anything that they can use to survive.

A typical day for Ahmed and Youssef begins early when they go searching for drinkable water. After their search for water, they head to school in a makeshift classroom that was established by volunteers in al-Hajar al-Aswad. For the boys, school is considered they only good thing in their lives during the war. However, Youssef usually leaves in the middle class to go reserve a place in the line for the public kitchen. Once he reserves his spot he heads back to school.

After school is over, Youssef returns to the kitchen to pick up the food. They then take the food home to have a meal with the rest of the family.
After taking a short rest, they go out searching for firewood, which is the only material available under siege that can be used for cooking and heating. After an exhausting day they go to sleep.

Youssef and Ahmed can no longer remember cartoon shows; they have not watched any since the electricity was cut off two years ago. The only thing they care about is helping their aunt provide food and other needs for the family.

Youssef and Ahmed are examples of many Syrian orphans who struggle to survive.

The Syrian government imposed a siege on al-Hajar al-Aswad at the end of 2012 and the siege has thus far resulted in the death nearly 70 people from starvation and dehydration. The situation is getting worse after the regime increased the siege by cutting off the water in al-Hajar al-Aswad.
TRANSCRIPT:

Interviewer:
Ho do you spend your day Youssef?

Youssef:
We wake my aunt up to tell her that we are going to get water, so she would not worry about us. After we are done, we go to school, and when it is time to go to the kitchen, we take permission from the teacher and leave to go put the buckets and claim our place in line. Then we go back to school and after we are done we go to the kitchen, get the food, and come back home.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you wish for?

Youssef:
To have my mother and father alive. When I see children with their parents, I feel sad, I see them with their parents, playing and joking, but I cannot do that because my parents are dead and I have nobody but my aunt.

Interviewer:
Youssef what do you want to be when you grow older?

Youssef:
I want to become an FSA fighter

Interviewer:
Why do you want to become and FSA fighter?

Youssef:
I want vengeance from the people who killed my mother and father.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish to become when you grow older?

Ahmed:
I want to become a doctor because when my mother was injured, there were no doctors to treat her. That is why I want to become a doctor, so I can treat the ill and the injured.

Interviewer:
Ahmed, what do you wish for?

Ahmed:
I wish the old days would return and I can go back and play with the children I used to play with, and to go back to school and forget about everything and not wake up early to go look for firewood, water and food. That is how we spend our days, very tiring.

Um Farah, their aunt:
Their mother died while she was at the bakery getting bread. A bomb was dropped and her kidney was injured. And their father, he died before their mother did. He was going with some people and carrying a gun and some people betrayed them and 100 men were killed. Their father was one of them. They have nobody, I brought them to look after them and I will not give up on them. For their bad luck, things got worse and life got more difficult. We have been under siege for a year, without food or medical care or anything. We go to the garden and get some edible plants while the children go to the public kitchen and get some food, that is how we are managing.

Interviewer:
How many children are they?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are four, two older girls and two boys.
That is how we are living, the children go everyday to get water from a place far away, it has been two months since they cut off the water.

Interviewer:
How do the children treat you?

Um Farah, their aunt:
They are great, they call me mom and I do not make them feel that I am only their aunt. I love them very much, and I treat them as if they were my own children.

The teacher:
Youssef’s case is similar to many cases we have here at the school. This child lost his family and he no longer has people to care for him. In the beginning, we felt that he is lonely and isolated, until we knew what his problem was, and as much as possible we tried to push him to communicate with the other children. In addition to that, similar to many other children, they bring buckets and container and take permission to leave class in order to go to the public kitchen and get food so they can survive.

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Starving in Al hajar al aswad during ...
By Rame ALsayaed
14 Jul 2014

Video Shot between 5 and 14 of Ramadan, 2014
Al Hajar Al Aswad, Yarmouk, Syria

Over half of the inhabitants of al-Hajar al-Aswad did not break their fast on the first day of Ramadan, due to a lack of supplies in the market and the lack of the ability to purchase anything, even if it was available. In addition to the water shortage that has being going on for 28 days.

This video was shot during the days 5-14 of Ramadan in different areas in al-Yarmouk camp in Damascus.

Some shots show the aid from UNRWA and others show protests demanding to end the siege applied on al-Yarmouk camp, and interviews with a few civilians talking about their situation

Interviews:

Um Mohamad
“Open the roads, all the people died, all the people died, people outside died and the people inside died, open the roads. Four young men died in the camp, four young men in the liberating army, Allah Akbar!
Open the roads so the families can return, my house is empty, Open the roads."

Um Wahib
“We are the families in al-Yarmouk camp, women, children and men. Our only wish is for the roadblock to be removed, we do not want the boxes (aid packages), it is true that a box lasts for a week and revives us but after the week is over how are we going to eat, there is no bread, no food. It is Ramadan and we are breaking our fast with water. We have only water for Iftar and Sahoor. So we ask the authorities to feel our pain and help us, and to make sure we receive the aid that is sent. We also demand peace for al-Yarmouk camp and for the inhabitants who left, to return”.

Haj Abu Khaled
“We do not have water to drink. It been a year since we've had electricity. If we got sick there would be no medications for us, we can only pray to God. The demand the right to return to Palestine, we are not even able to get the right to return to al-Yarmouk camp. It has been a year and we are homeless in the gardens of Damascus and we can not even get the right to return to al-Yarmouk camp which is three minutes walking distance”.

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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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Children in Rebel-Held Damascus Vote ...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
02 Jun 2014

June, 1, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Video shows Syrian children in the opposition-held al-Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus assemble a mock polling box where they use shoes instead of voting ballots to demonstrate their opposition to Bashar al-Assad. The shoes belong to people who have been killed in the fighting in al-Tadamon. Waving or throwing a shoe at someone is considered a serious insult in Syrian culture. Footage includes vox pops of civilians and FSA fighters expressing their opinions about the Syrian presidential election.

Interviewer:
What are you doing?

Hana:
“I am voting for Bashar.”

Interviewer:
And why are you voting for him like this?

Hana:
“That is his worth and value.”

Interviewer:
What did Bashar do to you?

Hana:
“He starved us and he killed all of our relatives.”

Interviewer: Do you like him [Bashar al-Assad]?

Hana:
“No.”

Interviewer: How are you voting for him [Bashar al-Assad]?

Hana:
“We are voting for him with shoes [sign of disrespect in Syrian culture].”

Interviewer: What are you doing here?

Samar:
“I am voting for Bashar.”

Interviewer: Why are you voting for him like this?

Samar:
“This is his value.”

Interviewer: What did he do to you?

Samar:
“He dropped bombs on us; we can see the planes firing at us. We became very hungry and nobody fed us or cared for us.”

Mohamad (FSA fighter):
“This election is a big joke. He is undermining the rebel forces and us and he thinks people are bling and ignorant. You can see even the children here did a polling box to vote for him with shoes. These are the shoes of the martyrs, of the fathers who died because of the bombing and the shelling. We have only God to support us.”

Yousef (civilian):
“Bashar al-Assad will not win, no matter what, he will not win. We will take him down with our shoes. If he has missiles, we have guns, like this, and we will beat his army. They have Bashar al-Assad to support them but we have God. Allahu Akbar [God is Great]!”

Mahdi (civilian):
Sarcastically: “Look at what he gave us, good living conditions, that’s why we should vote for him.”

Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?

Saleh (FSA fighter):
“Bashar will definitely be taken down. He starved us and people had to plant in the streets to harvest something to eat. He starved us and we do not acknowledge him or his government.”

Alaa (civilian):
“Look at this, he [Bashar al-Assad] drops barrel bombs on us. Look at the destruction, that is why we should not vote for him. He was considered an illegitimate leader since the first day we protested.”

Interviewer: What do you think of the presidential election?

Fadel (FSA fighter):
“The Election here is 100% doomed to fail. The first droplet of blood here was enough to make him an illegitimate leader and no one here will vote for him. We named this election "The election of blood". The situation here does not allow anybody to vote for a president like him. He dropped bombs on us and destroyed us, why would we vote for him after all this? The people who are going to vote for him are the people living underneath his protection.”

Ahmed (civilian):
“We are here in al-Tadamon, a fully liberated area, and we do not acknowledge this election. Bashar al-Assad became an illegitimate leader since the first droplet of blood was spilled in Dara'a and all other areas. He is no longer our president.”

Ali (FSA fighter):
“These elections are made for his [Bashar al-Assad's] supporters only. We are free. Since the revolution started, Bashar became an illegitimate leader. We will keep fighting here in al-Tadamon and we will keep fighting until we take down this dictator with God’s help.”

Abu Saleh (civilian):
“This is the election of blood. What election are they talking about? People are dying, they are hungry, besieged, humiliated, and women are being imprisoned everywhere, it is a very sad thing.”

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Syrians in Opposition-Held Damascus S...
al-Hajar al-Aswad, Damascus, Syria
By Rame ALsayaed
31 May 2014

May 31, 2014
al-Hajar al-Aswad, Damascus, Syria

Residents in the southern Damascus suburb of al-hajar al-Aswad give their opinion on the Syrian Presidential Election. Many of them voice disdain at the electoral process and declare their intention to boycott the election.

Samer, FSA fighter:
"What elections! There are elections in Syria? We haven’t heard of any elections? Do we even have electricity to hear about elections? Explosions, barrel bombs, firing and shooting, that’s the area of al-Hajar al-Aswad, no food, nothing. We need two hours to get a bit of water and you are asking me about elections."

Abu Hussein, Citizen:
"Unethical, Illegal elections do not relate to any Syrian citizen. The killing that happened here in Syria is not acceptable to anybody and we are against the elections in every way possible. Any person who votes is considered an enemy of religion and humanity in honor of the lives that were taken here in Syria and the properties that were destroyed over the heads of their owners."

Abu Arab, FSA commander:
"The elections are a big failure. The Syrian regime represented by Bashar al-Assad is illegitimate, and has been illegitimate for over 40-50 years, not only now. We don't want elections, we want Bashar’s head."

Abu Mohamad, Citizen:
"I will not vote for anybody, ever."

Interviewer: Why won’t you vote?

Abu Mohamad:
"My children are all dead, who would I vote for and why."

Ammar Issa, Surgeon:
"What elections are you talking about with the barrel bombs dropping everyday, the hunger that we have been suffering from for over a year and a half, the million and a half refugees, and the nine million internally displaced Syrians? What elections are you talking about?"

Saddam al-Zir, FSA fighter:
"Through all of this fear and all that is happening he [Bashar al-Assad] is sieging people, starving them, and dropping barrel bombs. He is forcing people to vote for him, but elections don’t happen that way, the country has to be in complete peace for elections to happen in a legitimate way."

Jassem, Citizen:
"This election is an historic scandal. How will it happen when 90% of Syrian territory is out of the regime’s control? There are ten million refugees and six million internal refugees, what elections are they talking about?"

Wael, Citizen:
"It is weird that while they say there are elections going on, we are still getting barrel bombs dropped on us. We are still suffering from shelling and bombing, how can there be elections in a country that lacks safety, security, and justice and where thugs attack the weak? If any elections are happening it is a lie, a big lie. Many people are now refugees and many men are imprisoned, but no matter what, Bashar will be taken down. Even if he wins these elections, he will be taken down."

Ahmed, FSA fighter:
He [Bashar al-Assad] will definitely win this election, but we do not acknowledge him or his government."

Khaled, Citizen:
"This election is a lie. All we have is barrel bombs dropped on us, raped women in prisons, blood and killing. We don’t acknowledge him [Bashar al-Assad] or his government."