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June 21, 2011

Undercover journalist joins Syrian protesters on the run in Damascus

June 21, 2011

June 21, 2011

An undercover journalist joins protestors in the Syrian revolution. I was just discussing with a colleague that Syria is the full-bodied revolution in this Arab spring. Very interesting

"Hungry, I opened the fridge. There was nothing in it. "Welcome to the Syrian Revolution", I told myself and settled down on the lumpy mattress to try to sleep.
I soon found I was not alone in my predicament. During the next few days I was transported between the sprawling suburbs of the Syrian capital to meet activists and opposition politicians, and discovered that most of them are in hiding.
Mustafa, a 40-year-old "revolutionary advocate", as he calls himself, is living in similar conditions to mine, in a borrowed room well away from his home address where the country's ubiquitous security police, the Mukhabarat, would be looking for him.
He too has a mattress on the floor, but also a table for his laptop from where he sends the latest news of atrocities, how many had been killed at the Friday protests, how many arrested and so on, to human rights organisations outside the country.
Identity hidden
He also does not eat but, like everyone I met in Syria, chain smokes. With his hands shaking as he lights the next cigarette from the stub of the last, he says, "Welcome to the land of neurotics!"
When I started to interview him, he turned his back to the camera. "I can't show my face", he explained.
What do you political activists want for Syria, I asked? "I want to be able to talk to you, and to the world without hiding like this. We want to be able to criticise our government. We want freedom of speech, we want democracy, we want the things that you regard as normal," he said.


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