This is not a movie, not a film, not a scene from a drama series… It is what reality has been like in Syria for the past 20 months of our ongoing revolution. A true tragedy that is.

This photo was taken for children Maryam and Yassin Sabbagh on 14th of July, 2012, drawing what their life has been limited to: mortars, shelling, darkness, fear, and destruction; deprived from education, from schools, from having friends and neighbours to play with, from enjoying the blessings of life like world’s children, from food and sanitary water, from electricity, from everything..

Yasin and Maryam Al Sabbagh - 14/7/2012
Yasin and Maryam Al Sabbagh – 14/7/2012

About an hour ago [around 6:00 p.m. [Syria time]], photographers took another photo for both children, as innocent and steadfast as ever, still inside the besieged districts of Homs, playing in a small field trying to let release some of the desolation and distress in their hearts. Here they are,smiling brightly though their eyes are heavy, maybe because of malnutrition or because of the lack of sleep under all this constant bombardment..

Photo taken about a hour ago in besieged districts of Old Homs - 20/1/2013
Photo taken about a hour ago in besieged districts of Old Homs – 20/1/2013

A short while ago, a piece of news stabbed my heart hard and petrified my eyes in disbelief. Both children, Yassin and Maryam, got hit by a mortar bomb fired by the regime’s forces in pro-regime districts, and got consequently martyred while playing outside. . Their smiles were exterminated from their faces eternally. I frankly still am in denial. Even the toddler the children’s father was carrying could not stop weeping and screaming at the scene of Yasin’s and Maryam’s mother hugging their corpses tightly to her chest, smelling them and caressing their foreheads for the very last time… The parents are shattered, traumatized, so heartbroken no words can blurt out their emotions now, that rush of fury and glumness burning their hearts.

Rest in peace sister Maryam and brother Yasin. Forgive me I’m too far from where you are, too far physically but I could swear my soul is right where your parents are now. 

Same stories are being repeated everywhere in Homs and in Syria. Maybe the faces change, but the pain is tantamount and is one. Jobar district, Sultaneyyeh district, and Kufrayah village in Homs are also being extensively bombarded today as more than 500 rockets hammered all 3 areas since the early morning hours up until now as the regime has surrounded it from all 4 sides attempting to invade it. SOS calls have been sent from doctors and from the media office there to the world, beseeching it to immediately halt this savage military campaign targeting 35,000 civilians and displaced civilians in these 3 aforementioned areas. They have no way out, literally no where to go. They cannot flee the area and there is no where to hide. 

[more details about Jobar, Sultaneyyeh, and Kufrayah can be found here: ] 

Jobar, Homs, 20/1/2013. Mother and his child wounded by bombardment.
Jobar, Homs, 20/1/2013. Mother and her child wounded by bombardment.