Cries from Syria (2017) Movie Script

[somber music playing]
[motor whirring]
[waves splashing]
[man] There were 12 of us
and the boat was overloaded.
The boat capsized into the sea.
[baby crying]
I tried to catch my wife
and my children in my arms.
But one by one they drowned.
[waves splashing]
[somber music playing]
[narrator] 1963,
the Socialist Ba'ath Party's
regime is installed in Syria
as a result of a coup.
1971, the Ba'ath's party member
and military officer,
Hafez Al-Assad,
comes to power in a wake
of a military coup,
persecuting his opponents.
For thirty years he rules
the country with an iron fist,
crushing any sign of dissent.
1982, residents of Hama rise up
against Assad's Ba'ath party.
The Syrian Army
besieges the city for 27 days,
killing an estimated
40,000 people.
The Hama massacre has been
called the single deadliest act
by any Arab government
against its own people
in the modern Middle East.
In 2000, Hafez al-Assad dies.
Power is handed over
to his son, Bashar,
a British- trained
largely seen as a reformer,
and a hope for change.
In 2010, a series
of public protests
engulfs the Middle East.
It is called The Arab Spring.
Dictatorial regimes
in Tunisia, Libya,
and finally, Egypt, fall.
In Syria, people watch
these developments with
anticipation and hope.
[somber music playing]
[woman] Syria is a very ancient
and beautiful country.
It's one of the most ancient
countries all over the world.
It's called
the cradle of civilization.
The first alphabet
came from Syria.
But unfortunately,
we Syrians have been
living under dictatorship
for 40 years.
[man] When Bashar al-Assad
became the president of Syria,
we all thought that
he's better than his father,
Hafez al-Assad.
But he was even worse,
because anyone who'd
joke about him, or his father,
or the Assad family,
or the whole government,
he will just disappear,
or he will die.
[man in Arabic] No one was
able to say anything
about Al-Assad's regime.
You would be
imprisoned, or killed,
or imprisoned for life.
[man in Arabic] We are scared
in this country.
Even in our private lives
we cannot talk about politics.
[man in Arabic]
People wanted to
get rid of the regime.
The revolution started
in Tunisia.
And most of the youth and
the people who were not
satisfied with the regime,
or were treated unjustly
by the regime
they started to wonder
if a revolution
will happen in Syria.
But we were so optimistic that
the revolution will, sooner
or later, start in Syria.
[man in Arabic] We used to sit
next to our school
and watch the demonstrations
and what happened in Tunisia.
So my friends and I
decided to write
"It's your turn, Doctor."
on the school wall.
So we did.
[oud music playing]
[woman] They wrote,
"It's your turn, Doctor."
Because the head of
the Syrian regime,
Bashar al-Assad,
was trained as a doctor
in the UK.
[man in Arabic] The next day,
the school found out
and reported us.
They told my father,
"You have 24 hours to give
Samer to us,
or we will take his mother
or his sister until
he surrenders to us."
[intense music playing]
[inaudible clamoring]
So my father handed me in.
About 14 cars came.
Then they sent us
to the Criminal
Security Department.
[door creaks]
They tied us up,
and hung us on the wall,
and beat us hard.
They kept us in tires.
beating, torture.
We were in prison
for two months.
After that they set us free.
[somber music playing]
[woman] Slowly, some of
the kids were released.
But still, number of them
are still missing.
How on earth a regime
can torture these kids?
Nails have been taken away
from their fingers.
And then people
started go on the streets
in massive numbers.
-[intense music playing]
-[chanting slogans]
[man in Arabic] The regime
started to beat
the children of Daraa.
The people reacted to this,
"It's time for revolution
in Syria."
[chanting slogans]
United, united, united.
The Syrian people are united.
[man over pa system]
[gun firing]
[inaudible clamoring]
[gun firing]
[woman] We've never expected
that the government could
bring death to all of us,
only because we protested
and we demanded
our simplest rights.
And because of that
people started to protest
more and more.
[man] The parents of Daraa
demand the police to
release their kids.
The police simply said that,
"If you want children,
make new ones, because
they are already dead."
And then they sent their
bodies to their parents.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
Look what the regime
in Syria does.
Because he is
demanding freedom.
After 22 days of torture,
Hamza was released.
He was swollen and all his body
was full of bruises
and stitches, it was horrible.
But the thing that added
more fire is the reaction
of the regime.
[man in Arabic] And even
Hamza Al-Khateeb, the young
innocent boy they killed,
and cut his limbs,
and cut off his genitals.
The media said
he was trying to rape
the officer's wives in
the military residence
in Daraa.
[woman] This little kid
has raped women?
How come? And people simply
refused to silenced.
[chanting slogans]
[playing the conga drums]
Then more and more bodies
of the horribly tortured kids
started to be released.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic] Let us show
the whole world the reforms
of Bashar Al-Assad.
And they were just slaughtered
in the detention center.
They were kids,
just 11 and 12 years old.
[chanting slogans]
And why?
Only because they wrote
a sentence on the wall?
[man over pa system in Arabic]
My son, Thamir, who is now
among the martyrs of God,
which the criminal gangs
of Al-Assad caused in
the army headquarters.
Because those who did this,
are not human.
[man in Arabic]
The real ugly face of
the regime had been revealed.
Children of Daraa were
a divine message to
the Syrian people
to stand against corruption,
injustice, oppression.
[woman] It started
the revolution there.
All over Syria.
[somber music playing]
-[chanting slogans]
[man in Arabic]
We did not have the courage
at first to protest.
But we got angry
when the regime
tortured children
by pulling their nails.
I participated in
the revolution from
the very beginning
standing on shoulders,
demanding freedom.
Do you like Abdul Baset?
Do you love him?
Then kiss
Abdul Baset al-Sarout.
[man] One guy, his name
is Abdul Baset al-Sarout.
He was really popular because
he was a soccer player
in our national team.
[woman] Abdul Baset al-Sarout
was one of the most
famous goalkeepers,
but during the revolution,
he became one of
the most loved icons.
Old and young know
The one who
Kills his people
Is a traitor!
[Al-Sarout] I contribute
to this revolution with
the peaceful songs I wrote.
This is a demand
Not a song
He who kills his people
Is a traitor!
The songs document our stories.
The songs encourage people
to protest and fight.
[man in Arabic]
At the first protest
there was a lot of youth.
That day I felt powerful.
We wanted to make history
and change the future.
[woman in Arabic]
Ghiath and his friends
used to offer
flowers and water bottles
to the security checkpoint.
Some of his friends
used to tell him,
"What are you doing
offering them a flower
and water?
They are raising a weapon
in your face,
and you are offering them
a water bottle and a flower?"
He was like a young Gandhi.
[chanting slogans]
[woman] Imagine that.
We used to go to
the processions holding roses.
Can you imagine
how your heartbeat
goes quickly, quickly,
watching your people just
calling for change,
calling for freedom,
and holding roses
in their hands?
[man over pa system in Arabic]
Tell me, do you want Bashar?
-[crowd] No we don't!
-Anyone else like him?
[crowd] No we don't!
[woman in Arabic] His goal
was revolution after seeing
the children of Daraa.
He used to attach to
the water bottle and the flower
a paper with a note
"You and I are brothers."
"If I were in your place,
I would not kill
peaceful protesters."
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
We are brothers!
We are brothers, guys!
[Assad] The majority,
the good Syrian, the patriot,
the natural people.
But of course you have
the infiltration of
the terrorists among them.
And our job as the government
is to save their lives
through destroying
the terrorists.
[gun firing]
[woman] The head of the regime
started to call us terrorists.
We demonstrated holding roses
and bottles of water,
and he called us terrorists.
[gun firing]
[Al-Sarout] If self-protection
is considered as
an act of terrorism,
then we are terrorists.
If seeking freedom
and civil rights is terrorism,
then we are terrorists.
[gun firing]
[man] That was
my first time I saw blood.
Blood from people like me.
Very painful for me.
And that time when I heard
a whisper,
that was like... [whistles]
[gun firing]
[man] It's Ahmad!
That whisper, that was
the voice of the bullet.
which entered into my face.
This regime, they are
supposed to protect us
from enemies,
but they are not protecting us.
They are shooting us.
[gun firing]
[man in Arabic]
I had a huge desire
to show the world
what happened in Syria.
At least three people died
and six injured
in initial reports.
[man in Arabic] Since that day
I've continued working
with the press
by sending messages to some
channels about what's happening
or creating videos
of recent events.
-[somber music playing]
-[crowd clamoring]
[man in Arabic] From
the beginning of the revolution
we had a strong weapon.
That weapon was the camera.
[chanting slogans]
We show the world our weapons.
Our cameras, our bare chests,
our large numbers,
crying for the regime to fail
and freedom to be achieved
[woman] In July 2011, in Hama,
more than half a million people
joined the demonstrations.
At that time, we felt
like,"Yes, we all need
the revolution,
we all want the revolution."
[boy in Arabic]
My uncle took me
and we joined the protest.
And then they started
arresting people.
[crowd chanting]
[woman] The most
difficult torment in
my life ever is
when the regime broke
into my home
to arrest my brother.
[somber music playing]
Since the very beginning
of the revolution,
he was my best friend
and my brother.
After four years now
in the detention center,
we know nothing about him.
[woman in Arabic] I was
arrested by the regime
on September 29th.
We arrived at the prison.
They said,
"The terrorists are here!"
There was a young woman,
seven months pregnant.
I saw her give birth
from the intense beating
they inflicted on her.
Then they killed the infant,
right in front of me.
They raped men,
they raped women,
and even the old women
were raped.
They raped my friends
in front of me.
I swear to God, in front of me.
[man in Arabic] At that point,
the regime's crimes
reached a level
we could no longer stand.
Some of the soldiers
from Assad's army
simply left because
they are honest
and free people.
They refused to obey
the orders and be a part
of the regime's crimes.
You bastard, you want freedom?
This is freedom.
[man in Arabic]
When we entered the army,
we swore to protect our people.
A six year old boy,
a sniper bullet
entered his left cheek.
[man in Arabic] We sided
with our people and
formed the Free Syrian Army.
From protecting a gang,
to protecting the people.
[somber music playing]
In the name of God,
to the free Syrian people.
I declare separation from
the Republican Guard
and the murdering army.
I declare my separation
from Al-Assad's brigades.
I declare my separation from
Al-Assad's murdering army.
I declare my separation
from Al-Assad's army.
And this due to
the following reasons,
the killing of the unarmed
civilian in all Syrian regions,
and detention of thousands
of citizens.
We pledge that
the Free Army will fight
along with all of the brigades
against the murderers
until God gives us victory.
[man in Arabic] We then started
communications with everyone,
including the other sects.
We communicated with Druz,
Alawites, Kurds, all sects,
so they can join this army.
That would represent
the real unity of
the Syrian people.
[Al-Sarout in Arabic] There was
so much pressure on us,
so the Free Army was founded,
and I joined a military group
fighting with them.
In the name of God
compassionate and merciful,
may God support our shooting.
[boy in Arabic]
I thought many times
about joining the Free Army.
They only enlisted
people who were
15 years old and above.
They told me,
"You are still young."
[man in Arabic]
What made me join
the Free Army?
I want to protect my country.
I hope to God
that things will be better.
[crowd chanting]
United, united, united.
The Syrian people are united!
[woman in Arabic] I was
at my home when my sister
called me saying that they...
arrested Ghiath.
[somber piano music playing]
[man in Arabic] Everybody knew
that there was a general from
the regime intelligence
threatening to kill Ghiath
during the demonstrations.
[woman] One of the generals,
everyday, he called his mom.
He threatened her that
he's going to cut her son
into pieces,
he's going to slice her...
I mean, why?
[woman in Arabic]
They detained him
for three days.
Then they brought us Ghiath.
Actually, they did not
bring us Ghiath.
I mean, it was not
his gracefulness, nor
Ghiath's smiling face.
In fact, signs of torture
were very clear on his face.
I touched him and kissed him,
he was so cold...
[woman] When we went
to his house,
I still remember his wife.
She was married only for
six or seven months before.
She was wearing
her white dress.
[chanting slogans]
[man in Arabic]
When we found out
he was killed,
there was a huge demonstration
in Darayya.
Around 40,000 protesters.
It was the biggest
demonstration yet.
When we left to take Ghiath's
corpse from his house,
we realized the streets
were closed.
The army blockaded us.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
This is the funeral
of the hero, Ghiath Matar.
[woman] Ghiath was
a very simple person,
but I think he can both
be simple and an icon.
And to pay tribute to that,
ambassadors from
the United States, Germany,
France, Denmark, and Japan
came to attend his funeral.
[woman in Arabic]
We couldn't visit him
the first month.
Regime security surrounded
the graveyard.
Because even when
he is under the soil...
he is a spike in their throats.
Even under the dirt,
they are scared of him.
[chanting slogans]
[woman] We used to
use the Syrian flag
in all our demonstrations.
Which is red, white, black,
and two green stars.
But unfortunately,
the regime started to
take these footages
and used them as a propaganda,
that these large masses
are supporting Assad,
it's supporting the regime.
[intense music playing]
So we started to
use the original flag
of independence.
It used to be
the flag of independence
from France.
Which is green, white, black,
with three stars.
So in order to
differentiate us from them,
we started to use this flag.
[helicopter whirring]
[boy in Arabic]
They asked for freedom,
but nothing happened at all.
Bashar Al-Assad did not
give up his authority.
The regime began to besiege
those who demonstrated.
[intense music playing]
[woman] The regime
broke into the city of Darayya
using 600 tanks.
The people of the town,
they started to use
all means possible
to fight back.
[man in Arabic]
I remember getting up
all of a sudden
and I wasn't sure if I had
heard an explosion or not.
Then I heard tanks shooting.
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
Our houses were destroyed.
There was a heavy blockade
on the city and its people
from the regime.
[fire crackling]
[guns firing]
[man in Arabic] This is
the checkpoint and the tank
that is shooting us.
They have destroyed
three houses this morning.
They've been shooting
since morning.
Look how it affects the wall.
This is from the tank shot.
Look, look! Here are the shots.
Three hours later,
and it's still burning,
and we got the children out.
Random bombing on houses.
Are these armed gangs?
They burned the whole house
We are facing people
who are unafraid of God.
And we have continued
to be peaceful!
[guns firing at a distance]
Here is the tank.
It's aimed right at us.
[woman] One by one, the regime
started to beseech a number
of cities all over Syria,
locking people in these towns
with no supplies.
[Assad] Because of
the situation we are in now,
there is no way
but to fight them directly.
But it's not enough.
You need first--
before you fight
and defeat them,
to cut and suffocate
their supplies.
[chanting slogans]
[girl in Arabic]
It was really scary
when we were under siege.
No one could come to us,
and we couldn't leave.
[woman in Arabic]
It was six days of blockade.
Children are suffering from
lack of supplies.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
Sometimes we didn't eat
for a day or two.
We weren't even able to sleep
from severity of the hunger.
The army sold food,
but at very steep prices.
[girl in Arabic]
We never felt full.
When we felt felt hungry
mother would give us water,
lemons and mint.
And we drank it.
Our neighbor came to us
and she said, "Leaves of trees
are very tasty like chips."
[woman in Arabic]
Many people in that period
only ate weeds.
This extreme malnutrition
is seen in a lot of people,
especially children,
the elderly, and women.
[man in Arabic] Can you imagine
the stages of a child
starving to death?
I haven't eaten in seven days.
[man in Arabic] Now imagine
the child's family
watching him starving to death.
[man in Arabic] This child,
Abdul Aleem Al-Khateeb,
died of starvation
because of the siege on
the city, which lasted for
one and a half months.
[girl in Arabic] I felt
I was going to die,
because of that
I wrote my will.
This is my will.
"I ask you, my mother,
to remember me,
prepare my bed every night,
and remember
my continuous smiles.
And you, my sister,
tell my friends that
I died from starvation.
And you, my brother,
remember when you
and I were hungry.
Oh, angel of death, go ahead
and catch my soul so that
I can eat in paradise.
Don't worry, family,
I will eat for you in
paradise as much as I can"
[in Arabic] A long time ago
we had electricity.
Before Bashar cut
the electricity,
we used to push a button
and the water would go up.
Every day we wake up
at 6:00 a.m.
to pump and pull water
to the top floor.
And we go searching
on the ground
for any rotten bread
we can find.
Even searching in the garbage.
Some people died of hunger.
And some people slept
without eating,
and some people slept
and didn't wake up.
[indistinct chatter]
[intense music playing]
[man in Arabic]
Aleppo was a little late
in joining the civil war.
The regime did not want
revolution here,
because we had the biggest
economy in the country
and the regime depended
heavily upon us.
[boy in Arabic] We said,
"Oh, God, we don't want
the war to come to Aleppo."
[man in Arabic] In the seventh
month of 2012
the Free Army entered Aleppo.
Then the Eastern neighborhoods
were under
the Free Army control.
The Western and rich
neighborhoods were under
the regime's control.
[music intensifies]
[gun firing]
[boy in Arabic] The Syrian Army
attacked the Free Army.
Some of us were caught
by the regime.
They caught my cousin,
and till this day we still
haven't heard from him.
[guns firing]
[man in Arabic] When
the Free Army entered Aleppo
and began the liberation,
we thought it wouldn't be long.
Three or four months maximum,
and Aleppo will be liberated,
and we'll control everything.
[guns firing]
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
War was never our choice.
We were forced into war.
[somber oud music playing]
I have my group of fighters
who fight for our land
and our religion.
My group is called,
"The Martyrs of Bayyada."
I had to learn how to fight
and how to use weapons.
Leave it locked, brother.
The fighters used to
be demonstrators.
Civilians whose homes are
being shelled, their brothers
are being shot.
Fighting and war
are difficult things.
Even in our religion,
fighting is abhorrent.
We are marching
towards our deaths.
-[gun firing]
-[distant explosion]
[man in Arabic]
More than 20 mortars
hit this place.
There are women and children
in the houses.
We can't pull them out.
And you expect us
to remain peaceful?
The people want to be armed...
A mortar just fell beside me!
A mortar fell on
the civil areas!
Wipe your tears
Let me feel happy
When I see your smile
Oh, Mother
The nicest martyr
Is coming to you in heaven
In new clothes, Mother
[guns firing]
[man in Arabic]
To my fellow Muslims
to the honorable people
of Syria.
We, the Central Command
of Jabhat Al-Nusra
aim to fulfill the following.
Liberate the land of Syria
from the rule of the tyrant,
Bashar, and his allies.
All praise due to God,
Lord of All.
Your brother,
Abu Mohammad al-Julani.
[woman] Jabhat Al-Nusra Front
is an Islamic militia.
They started to gather
themselves and we had
al-Qaeda in Syria.
[gun firing]
[man in Arabic] There weren't
any problems between them
and the Free Syrian Army.
Both were fighting side by side
on the front lines.
But actually they came to
stab us in our very core.
[man in Arabic] One day I was
arrested by some unknown
people from Jabhat Al-Nusra.
My only crime was criticizing
their behavior on Facebook.
They had the screen-shots
of my posts.
They arrested me and
took me to an unknown
place for two months.
[man in Arabic]
Al-Nusra arrested me.
They kidnapped me.
It started with electricity,
knocking teeth out,
breaking ribs.
And now I have to use these,
because they knocked my teeth.
[somber music playing]
Others hit me with
thick electricity cables.
They hit me until
the cable dissolved.
I still have small pieces
of cable under my skin.
When they hit me,
they were saying,
"You started the fights
against ISIS who are
our brothers."
You started the fight
against Islamic fighters.
All of you Free Army
are apostates.
[man in Arabic] The cruel
torturing was identical to the
technique used by the regime.
Even the detectives were
the same who worked with
the Al-Assad regime.
[man in Arabic] I spent a year
and nine months there.
[man in Arabic] I am a leader
from Al-Maara,
and all the Syrians went out
on the streets and demanded,
"Freedom for Jamil Afesee!"
That pressure was
the main reason they
released me from this turmoil.
And after I fixed my teeth,
I went directly back
to the battle.
[gun firing]
[chanting slogans]
[woman] The regime decided
to punish Darayya
because we never
stopped demonstrating.
[helicopter whirring]
[somber music playing]
[woman] I returned back home
and it was not home.
Sixty percent of
all the buildings
were all set on fire.
And then you could
see trash, and rubbish, and...
and skeletons.
It's not trash and rubbish,
they were just
bodies of people
on the streets.
[gun firing]
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
We endured hard times
for a year.
After this period there were
strong military actions,
very fierce operations against
the civilian neighborhoods
that had demonstrated.
[gun firing]
[man in Arabic]
Brutal bombing
of civilian houses.
Trapped Homs.
Homs is dying, why are you
not by our side?
Why don't you help us?
May God take revenge
on you, Bashar.
[boy in Arabic]
We were at school when they
started bombing schools.
The teacher told us,
"The one who will be silent,
I will let him go."
My cousin and I kept silent,
and then the teacher
told us to go.
Before we arrived home,
the school was hit by a bomb.
Praise be to God,
my cousin and I were
not in the school.
But all of my friends,
may their souls rest
in peace, died in it.
[somber music playing]
[woman in Arabic]
I have children in
4th and 8th grades,
so whenever we hear
sounds of planes,
we worry the plane
has bombed someone.
But we can't stop the children
from attending school.
[somber music playing]
[girl] There was a school
art exhibition for drawings
that the children set up.
My sister was a participant
in the exhibition.
It was about drawings
that reflected each
child's personality
and the situation
they were living in.
And at exactly 10:00 a.m.,
the students
were standing there
waiting for their parents for
the opening of the exhibition.
[jet engine revving]
[man in Arabic]
Bombing of a school
in the Sukan area,
the students were there.
[girl in Arabic] A missile hit
the school corridor,
right where the drawings
were hung up and the children
were waiting.
It seemed intentional,
like someone was told
about the exhibition.
[crowd shouting]
[intense music playing]
[woman in Arabic]
The girls' bodies
looked horrible.
Shreds of them were
on the floor, on the walls.
Blood was on
the girls' paintings.
After a while, they found
my daughter's body under
the rubble and took her out.
When they brought
my daughter's body,
there was something extra.
She came with a different foot
from another girl's body.
[boy in Arabic]
We burn the tires
to create a no-fly zone,
because the planes target us.
We want to help the grownups
and all work together.
It's coming closer!
[siren blaring]
[woman] I got up
in the morning and
opened my phone,
and I was shocked.
Missiles landed over
Eastern Ghouta.
But this time,
these missiles were
not normal ones.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic] Injuries
started to flow to all the
hospitals in Eastern Ghouta.
I remember at 4:00 a.m.
the rescuers got a woman.
Once the woman entered,
the chemical smell was
all over the place.
And there is no other
explanation for what happened
on that day, August 21st.
It is sarin gas,
that is the answer.
Thousands of people
had symptoms such as
loss of consciousness,
constriction of pupils,
heavy sweating.
Some of them were
having convulsions,
and some of them died
as a result of these symptoms.
[crying hysterically]
I will never forget that scene.
Never ever.
I can't forget the mother
dying while looking at
her daughter next to her.
The look in her eyes
can never be forgotten.
The woman is dying
looking at her daughter
to see if she's alive
beside her.
[somber piano music playing]
[woman] How come somebody
kills people using chemical
weapons, suffocating them?
Kids, this sized kids...
all blue.
The fathers, the mothers,
the kids...
At that time,
I was pretty sure
that the universe is
going to stop Assad,
even if anything,
even the heavens will stop
Assad from committing all these
types of atrocities against us.
[people wailing]
[man in Arabic]
I believe the number
is between 900 to 1,000 deaths,
and 8,000 injuries.
Out of this number,
women and children
were 67 percent.
[woman] After the Syrian
attack on Eastern Ghouta,
the international community
got involved.
They asked the Assad regime
to hand over
all his chemical weapons.
[man in Arabic]
The Organization for
Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
went to 12 locations
out of 25 that were
admitted by the regime.
We told them the regime
has more than 25 locations.
Finally Al-Assad confessed
to having 1,300 tons.
As specialists,
we know the number
was much larger, we have
more than 3,000 tons.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
After August 21st, 2013,
the chlorine appeared.
[man in Arabic] Here in this
place a barrel of
poisonous chlorine fell,
tens of civilian injuries
resulted from this explosion.
And as you can see,
it caused a hole in the ground.
Thirty to forty injuries,
almost all children.
In front of me, a child,
one month old,
choked immediately and died.
And the ambulance
took him away, dead.
[somber music playing]
[babies crying]
[breathing heavily]
[man in Arabic] In the
agreement to ban chemical
weapons the regime signed,
they did not include chlorine.
It was documented that chlorine
was used more than 179 times.
[Assad] As germs multiply
everywhere, it can be very
difficult to exterminate them.
But these germs can
strengthen the immunity
in our bodies.
The solution is to take care
of the problem ourselves,
and avoid outside
influences that weaken
our patriotic immunity.
[woman] The head
of the regime,
he started to call us,
the Syrian people,
as germs and bacteria.
And he wants
to dispose us.
Ironically enough,
he started using
chemical weapons
to eradicate us.
-[guns firing]
-[distant explosion]
[man in Arabic] As you
can see here, a rocket hit
a seven-story building in Homs
and destroyed it completely.
[man in Arabic] My brother
Abdul Baset, Homs has been
trapped for a long time.
And it's almost
the anniversary of
the third year of revolution.
What do you think about
reconciliation with the regime?
Sure, we have no problem
reconciling with the regime
as long as they give back
these heroes to us.
As long as they give back
these martyrs to us.
As long as they
return them to us.
We will continue fighting
and struggling
until the end,
when the corrupted
regime falls.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
Five of my uncles were killed.
Now we have massacres
all over Syria from Idlib,
Aleppo, Daraa, Homs to Hama.
There is no area in Syria
that has not been affected
by massacres.
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
Can you imagine this nation
ever being subdued?
These people
are willing to
sacrifice themselves
for their religion
and their country.
Those who don't go
to battle, cry,
"Have you ever seen
such legends?"
[gun firing]
It's a nation that deserves
the support of everyone.
[speaks Arabic] On this street,
there is a sniper.
On the second street
there is one. On every
street there is one.
Now we are digging tunnels
to avoid being sniped
because we already have
a lot injured.
[somber music playing]
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
These people are kind.
These are good people.
These are passionate people.
This is a civilized,
educated nation.
These are good people
who love everybody.
A nation defending itself,
loves and stands for
what's right.
With such a regime,
and such brutality
and barbarism,
it's not enough to just sing.
I have to protect myself,
my family.
[man in Arabic]
Bashar Al-Assad thinks
he is the right one
and we are the wrong ones.
He feels he owns Syria,
and we are the ones killing
people and bombing people.
Now we are in the third year.
We all want to break the siege.
But we didn't
come here to eat,
we came here to
die with honor.
If they keep up the siege,
it won't stop us.
We fight and die
standing on our feet.
The war is worth fighting for
and worth dying for.
Let them do what they want.
We're not scared.
We are the people of the land
and the decision is ours.
-[distant explosion]
-[gun firing]
[man in Arabic]
After that the battle
of Al-Qusayr happened,
and this was a turning point
for the Syrian revolution,
because many of the cities
in Syria were liberated.
Al-Assad's regime collapsed
to an extent that he couldn't
protect any region.
Then he asked for support
from a sectarian militia
across the border.
[distant explosion]
[man in Arabic] There is
bombing of the civilian houses
by Lebanese Hezbollah.
We were surprised by
the regime intervention
of the Lebanese Hezbollah.
Followed by sectarian militias
from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan,
from all over the world.
[speaks Arabic]
We are currently fighting
with the Lebanese Hezbollah.
[man in Arabic] In order to
further destabilize
the security situation,
Bashar Al-Assad released
criminals from prisons,
and released radical Islamists.
Now, half of them are
leaders of ISIS.
[somber music playing]
[woman in Arabic]
We lived in the province
of Al-Raqqah in Syria
when ISIS invaded this place.
In the beginning
they were not so violent.
They started to teach us
what is Islam,
what God said,
and what the Prophet said.
[boy in Arabic]
They came to the village,
and there was no problem.
I myself walked with ISIS
and held their flag.
[woman in Arabic]
Once they completely invaded
and controlled everything,
that's when their
true face was revealed.
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
Before ISIS came,
the Free Army was here.
When ISIS entered,
they started killing
the captains of the Free Army.
[woman in Arabic] A woman
wasn't allowed to go from
her house to the next house
without full coverage
of her body and face.
[dramatic music playing]
[woman yelps in pain]
[boy in Arabic]
Any woman who did not
wear a veil,
would be beaten in the street,
even if she's young.
[man in Arabic]
I was 16 years old
when ISIS entered Al-Raqqah.
My friends belonged to them.
The leader said that joining
the holy war is your duty.
[woman in Arabic]
When ISIS started
to teach them,
they started to see
everything as wrong.
He told me, "Mother,
it is unlawful to appear
in front of men.
What you are wearing
is unlawful."
But I am at home,
with my daughters.
[man in Arabic]
Gradually, I began
to hate my family.
I spent all my time with ISIS
and I didn't visit my family.
[woman in Arabic] If you enter,
you can't leave.
They will cut your throat
They won't let you go
because you will tell others.
No way.
[boy in Arabic]
They came to our house
and said,
"Come with us
or we'll kill you
and your family."
We went to those who smoked
and caught them.
Anyone who smokes
or blasphemes,
they cut off their heads.
[boy in Arabic]
I saw the punishment
when we went to the market.
[woman in Arabic] The worst
experience was when
I saw them slaughtering a man.
His hands were tied
on his back,
he was on his knees.
Blood splashed instantly,
it was horrible and shocking.
My daughter started to scream.
To this day I can't delete
that scene from my memory.
That was the worst experience
of my entire life.
[boy in Arabic]
When I was watching this,
I was very scared and afraid.
I'm afraid that they will
cut my head off, too,
just like they did
to other people
who did nothing wrong.
[speaks Arabic]
We are coming to you
with men who love death
the same as you love life.
[man in Arabic]
I hate them because
I saw them kill many people.
There even are a group of
my friends from our region.
They sent them
to the Kobani war.
None of them returned.
They all died there.
[speaks Arabic] This girl
is a "heretic," and this
is her "heretic" father?
This is ISIS, they pretend
they are Muslims,
and they kill whole families!
Aren't you afraid of God?
[somber music playing]
[woman in Arabic] I've thanked
God a thousand times that
my son didn't join ISIS.
I agreed with my brother
and son-in-law to
send him to Turkey.
We thank God that we were able
to make him travel to here.
[boy in Arabic] When we
arrived at the border,
we saw the Free Army.
And they removed my mother's
veil, and said this is freedom.
[intense music playing]
[woman] ISIS continued
committing all types of
atrocities against the people.
Most of them,
they decided to flee,
and escape these territories.
[gun firing]
We Syrians are the people
who are suffering the most
from ISIS.
At the same time,
everybody else is accusing us
of being terrorists.
ISIS is the one that
took over our own place
and we have to
confront them and
we have to fight them.
[man in Arabic]
But if we want
to make a comparison
between the brutal Assad regime
and the terrorist ISIS,
what is the crime ratio
between them?
ISIS crimes in Syria
are equal to two percent
of Assad's crimes.
98 percent are by
the Bashar Al-Assad regime.
The primary terrorist
is the regime.
[woman] With every new
crisis that we're faced,
we think that it's the end,
that nothing worse can
happen, ever.
[somber music playing]
But when the Russians
got involved,
things are getting
worse everyday.
[jet engine revving]
[siren wailing]
The Russian attacks
are more concentrated
more devastating,
and they kill a larger
number of people than
the Assad attacks.
[man in Arabic] The Syrian
people are being killed
with Russian air strikes.
Why did Russia come to Syria?
To support the gang
of Bashar Al-Assad
against the people.
All of the prohibited weapons,
the Russian air force
uses them.
They use cluster bombs.
They use phosphorus bombs.
[boy in Arabic]
When the plane passes
above our house,
you hear...
[imitating jet engine]
Whenever you hear it,
a house gets destroyed.
In Syria, you can't go
ten minutes without hearing
rockets being shot
from the planes.
[man in Arabic] People started
shouting that there
was an incoming plane,
so my friends and I
took refuge in a building,
and the bomb hit
that same building.
[people screaming]
The building collapsed
and buried us.
[people yelling]
It took more than
four hours to save us
from under the ruins.
My shoulder was torn
and broken,
and my leg was broken, too.
I remained laying on
my back for a month,
I couldn't stand or walk.
A lot of other people
got injured on that
same day as me.
[siren wailing]
[crying hysterically]
[man in Arabic]
The Russian bombings
hit our home.
My father, my niece,
and my cousin were killed.
That was the hardest day
I have ever experienced.
[somber music playing]
[speaks Arabic]
Oh, my son! I've lost my son.
[man in Arabic] One of
my friends was killed
and a lot of my friends
were injured today by
the Russian bombardment.
[boy in Arabic]
They killed my brother,
he was 22 years old.
They killed my brother.
[jet engine revving]
[siren wailing]
[man] In all these problems
that is happening in Syria
in this bad situation,
there's a group of people
that give us hope.
We call them the White Helmets.
The White Helmets is
a group who are trying
to save lives.
[woman] The White Helmets,
whenever there is
a bombardment,
they are the first ones
to go there.
[siren blaring]
They are ordinary people,
teachers, doctors,
after all they've witnessed
of the atrocities
committed by the regime
and now the Russians,
they decided to join forces
and to establish
the Civil Defense.
[man in Arabic] The Civil
Defense was formed in 2013, it
was completely voluntary work.
The Syrian Civil Defense
declared to the people
their intention,
"From civilian to civilian,"
and we don't belong
to any military group
or political party,
we are neutral to all people.
[woman] I mean,
most of my friends
are in the Civil Defense.
Amazing, amazing people.
They have the sweetest,
sweetest hearts ever,
and they work under
the most dangerous
circumstances ever.
Now they concentrate
all their efforts in Aleppo
because it's
the largest city now
under siege,
under Russian attacks.
[man in Arabic] What keeps us
going is saving a child
from under the rubble.
Because when we save
a child alive from the rubble,
this gives us hope,
and all of Syria hope.
[speaks Arabic] She stayed two
hours beneath the rubble and
eventually she got out alive.
She is one month old.
We were working for two hours
to get her out of the rubble.
When I took her into
my arms, I felt as if
she was my own daughter.
[man in Arabic]
Heavy air raids on Aleppo
on the 5th day of Ramadan,
since morning till now.
[man in Arabic]
We went to Aleppo to
cover what was happening.
Russia and Al-Assad regime
were doing massive bombing
of civilian houses in Aleppo.
[jet engine revving]
The barrel bomb that we were
watching in the sky
just fell down here
on the civilians' houses.
[fire crackling]
At this moment the helicopter
is still flying in the sky
above Aleppo.
It seems like it's going to
bomb the same trajectory.
Hadi is injured, guys!
[siren blaring]
[in Arabic] I felt something
on my head, shrapnel had
entered this part of my skull.
Then they took us to
the hospital and wrapped
our heads with bandages.
We entered our houses
in Aleppo.
[jet engine revving]
Suddenly, I was covered with
sand, iron, and stones.
I didn't know
what was going on,
but I knew this was the end.
I was about to die.
After a while I heard
voices saying, "Yes,
we will help you!"
I realized the Civil Defense
had come to save me.
[speaks Arabic]
Every day I'm getting better
and better.
I can't move myself now
or get up from the bed.
The doctors said I will be able
to walk in six months, but
I'm sure, with your prayers,
I will leave the bed sooner
and get back to work.
To my people in Aleppo.
You are my people.
While I was living among you
documenting the crimes of
Russia and the Al-Assad regime,
when I arrived at the place
where the attack occurred,
because I was watching
the civilians, women,
children, old men
pulling themselves from
the rubble of their homes,
covered with dust
of destruction,
I was sure that Aleppo
will never fail.
These massacres committed by
Russia's and Al-Assad's planes,
they said they were
fighting ISIS,
but that was the biggest lie
in human history.
There wasn't a single member
of ISIS in Aleppo.
The city was completely
controlled by
the Free Syrian Army.
It was completely
genocide against
the civilians in Aleppo.
[man in Arabic] When the
Russian forces entered under
the pretext of fighting ISIS,
they bombarded 22 hospitals.
This was documented
by the organization
Doctors Without Borders.
[jet engine revving]
[somber music playing]
[man in Arabic]
All of the hospitals
were bombed. Why?
Why focus on hospitals
Because they want to kill
as many Syrians as they can.
What have the children done?
What have the civilians done?
You bastard, may God
take revenge on you!
Why would you bomb a bakery?
The bakery has
bread for us to eat.
Why would you bomb it?
So I die of hunger.
The Russian participation,
or what they announced as
the front against terrorism.
This is the practical thing
against terrorism.
The Russian support
and participation is
going to be stronger.
The Russians are very serious
on fighting terrorism,
and there's cooperation
between them and
the Syrian army.
[man in Arabic]
Look at these children,
you Russian pigs!
Is she a terrorist?
Is this little girl
a terrorist?
And that little boy,
is he a terrorist?
Look at these little kids.
Look! Look!
Was she carrying a gun,
and fighting on the fronts?
You Russian pigs,
you are traitors, all of you.
[man in Arabic]
They're targeting civilians.
They're not targeting
extremists as they claim, no.
[muffled voices]
I am not a terrorist,
I am in the right,
I have a cause.
I have human rights.
If you care for human rights,
then you understand
what we need.
[boy in Arabic] This is Syria.
This is the regime army,
and this is the Free Army.
And this tank shoots here
and kills these people.
And that one,
he shot this one dead.
This is the building,
this is a plane.
And this plane shoots here
and destroys the building.
This is the Syria
that I've seen.
[screaming and crying]
I am in the middle.
Both sides are
shooting each other.
[gun firing]
[boy in Arabic] My mother
woke us up and told us that,
"Your father died."
She told us that we needed
to go to the bus stop.
No one is staying in Syria,
so we left.
[girl in Arabic] At that time,
a plane had shot
missiles at our school.
The missiles had
poisonous chemicals
that burned.
That was one of the reasons
that made us travel to Turkey.
[boy in Arabic] I have
thalassemia, which means I need
a blood bag every 20 days.
If I stayed there, I would die
without blood transfusion.
[boy in Arabic] We kept
resting and walking.
We slept for around
two to three hours.
We were sleeping in
ISIS ground.
[jet engine revving]
[boy in Arabic] We suffered
a lot on the way.
The roads were filled with
bombs and explosions.
[boy in Arabic] I was carrying
my stuff on my back,
I was also carrying a baby.
We struggled till we arrived.
[girl in Arabic] At the border,
the soldier made us wait in
the cold weather on the ground.
We begged them,
and they told us
to identify ourselves.
Our life in Syria is miserable,
full of bombing.
We want to go to Turkey
to start a new life.
[gun firing]
[speaks Arabic]
The Turkish army
started shooting at us.
We thought we were
going to die.
[somber music playing]
[crying hysterically]
[boy in Arabic] There was a guy
who threatened to shoot us,
but then we were able
to pass the border,
and then we arrived.
[girl in Arabic] A Turkish
smuggler led us.
We passed through a tunnel
to cross the border.
[boy in Arabic] As soon as we
crossed the border,
it started snowing.
[boy in Arabic] We did not have
enough blankets.
We slept and it was so cold.
[girl in Arabic] There was
almost no electricity
and we suffered,
and we stayed in Turkey
for a long time.
My father told us
to try to go over
the sea to Greece.
[boy in Arabic] We sold
everything we had...
and we gave it
to the smuggler.
It was scary,
and the sea was dangerous.
[people yelling]
[boy in Arabic] At that time,
it was snowing in Turkey
and the waves were very high,
and it felt like
it was going to capsize.
The rubber boat was punctured
on the bottom.
It was filled with water.
We were going to drown.
There was an inflatable boat
behind us, it was safe.
But the next one sunk.
[girl in Arabic]
I saw a boy in the sea,
[speaks Arabic]
The sea killed many children.
[girl in Arabic] I was also
praying to God,
deep in my heart.
I did so because, I know
He loves me.
God loves all children.
[boy 1] We stayed at sea
for four hours, then we arrived
on an island called Samos.
[boy 2 in Arabic]
When we finally arrived,
everyone was so relieved.
The sea...
It's not nice, at all.
[indistinct chatter]
[man] Syria, Syria!
[somber music playing]
[boy in Arabic] I was ill for
two days in Greece. A nerve
in my legs has problems.
It hurt so much that
I couldn't move my legs
for two days.
[man] Where are you from?
How long did you travel
from there to here?
Twenty days.
[girl in Arabic]
The police caught us
and took us to the center.
My brother, Mahmoud,
was very sick,
and they took him
to the hospital.
But they were lying to us,
and they took us to the prison,
and when they gave us food
it was a small piece of bread
they threw at us
as if we were dogs.
[boy in Arabic]
With difficulty,
we were able to overcome.
Then we arrived in Hungary.
Hungary, they were
not good to people.
They imprisoned us.
I needed a blood transfusion.
I asked for water,
there was dirty water
on the ground.
He said, "You want water?
This is water."
Then we went from
Hungary to Austria.
And from Austria to Germany.
From Germany, we came to
Belgium, where we've stayed.
My mother couldn't come
because she didn't have
the proper papers.
My brother died here,
and my mother
didn't get to see him.
I don't know,
where is the humanity?
For someone not to be able
to see his mother.
We asked for my mother,
and no one helped us.
[thunder rumbling]
[Al-Sarout in Arabic]
Why did these people
leave for Europe?
Did they leave
to look for work?
Did they leave to look for
a beautiful landscape?
Did they go on a vacation?
Why did these people
leave for Europe?
[somber music playing]
Some people claim that
they are terrorists.
No. These people seek safety
from Bashar Al-Assad.
Their country is not safe
because of Bashar Al-Assad's
and the Russian air-force
bombings that kill our women
and children.
They crossed the seas,
their children drowned
in the seas,
some of them died
fighting the waves.
They sleep in the streets
and in the parks.
They eat out of the garbage.
They went to seek safety,
to provide a good life
for their children.
[man in Arabic]
This is the school of Daraa
where the spark of
the Syrian revolution started.
The Assad regime will fall
because of this school.
[chanting in Arabic]
With flowers, with flowers!
We shake the throne of Assad!
[man] When they
painted graffiti on
the walls of their schools,
and I saw how they beat them
and how they killed them,
I couldn't imagine that
a person can do this
to another person.
It's become like...
for Syrians, I think
it's become normal.
This will never be normal,
but it's become like
a daily thing you see.
[somber music continues]
[man in Arabic] The war began
five years ago, and now
we're starting the sixth year.
People can't stand it anymore.
Our dream is to end this war.
I've been married
for two years.
I don't have children,
but we are expecting a child.
If I had the opportunity
to leave, I wouldn't leave
my home country.
I'd like Syria to return back
to what it was before.
[boy in Arabic] I remember
the Syria at night,
when there were lights,
lots of cars, and many
beautiful things.
Syria was beautiful,
but when war happened,
it was leveled to the ground.
[man in Arabic] We want to see
a more beautiful Syria. So we
are working on rebuilding it.
Our big dream is,
to see our country
more beautiful.
[boy in Arabic]
We were forced to leave Syria.
I saw things that
the human mind
can't even imagine.
Till this moment,
I still have a dream
to return back to Syria.
[chanting in Arabic]
United, united, united.
The Syrian people are united.
[man in Arabic] In Syria,
there is a revolution
of the people.
Like when France
became independent.
Like in America,
the people revolted
and became independent.
When countries around the world
are oppressed, they revolt so
they can have
a civilized society,
an advanced society.
A society
that protects its people.
[boy in Arabic] I wish that
every Syrian would fight
until Syria is free.
[man in Arabic] No one has
stood by our side.
We are only trying
to be free like you.
We are your brothers
in humanity.
How can you see this genocide
the Syrians are exposed to
and still keep silent?
[boy in Arabic]
If anyone can hear me now,
please help us get back
to our beloved country.
[Al-Sarout in Arabic] More than
20 people in our extended
family have been killed.
I have nothing left
in this life to love.
I dream of this
revolution's victory.
And if I don't witness
this victory, then I would
hope to die fighting for it.
[girl in Arabic] I beg you to
put an end to this war,
and if you do this,
I'll thank you from
the bottom of my heart.
[woman] We are not terrorists.
We are not asylum seekers.
We are people like
everyone in this world,
with kids, with lovers,
with husbands, wives,
and we still have dreams,
like anyone else in the world.
In five years, my dream was
to bring the change that
we all aspire to my country,
but now, actually,
I don't know what my dream is.
For all the bloodshed to stop?
To see my brother?
To go back home?
I don't know.
I don't know.
[somber music continues]
[both speak Arabic]
Would you like to say anything
in English to the world?
I speak in English to make
the voices of the children
of Aleppo reach the world,
to help them,
because they're dying.
Why do they have to die?
These are hard times
In these times
Feels like this world's
About to capsize
Feels like it might take
A miracle
To make it out alive
The clock is ticking
What do we do?
Is someone listening?
Help us through
Prayers for this world
Bring peace to its doors
Bring hope to its shores
We got to change it
Prayers for this world
Bring wind to its sails
It's gone off the rails
And we got to save it
Raise up our hands
And rise together
It's got to be now
It's now or never
Prayers for this world
We've got to save us
I'm so sad, because they
want to take our land away
and expel us from Aleppo.
Aleppo is my land, my school,
my home, my garden.
Feels like we're trapped
In a landslide
Can't even look
At the headlights
'Cause when you look at
What's going on
You just wanna
Run and hide
Only love can
Fight the darkness
Only love could
End the hate
We've got to get us
Some love tonight
So love can light the way
The clock is ticking
Time's running out
Is someone listening?
Help us out
Prayers for this world
Bring peace to its doors
Bring hope to its shores
We've got to change it
Prayers for this world
Bring wind to its sails
It's gone off the rails
And we've got to save it
Raise up our hands
And rise together
It's got to be now
It's now or never
Prayers for this world
We've got to save us
[speaks Arabic]
I deeply hope to return
to Aleppo one day.
[speaks English]
We shall overcome someday.
[speaks Arabic]
My dear, God willing,
you will come back.
Prayers for this world
Bring peace to its doors
Bring hope to its shores
We've got to change it
Prayers for this world
Bring wind to its sails
It's gone off the rails
We've got to save it
Raise up our hands
And rise together
It's got to be now
It's now or never
Prayers for this world
We've got to save us