We Are Coming Back To Raqqa

Abdalaziz Alhamza “RBSS”

In Aleppo and Idleb countryside, Urfa, Gaziantep, Mersin, Istanbul, Vienna, Berlin, Amsterdam, Paris and more than twenty other cities worldwide Raqqa people have spread looking for a safe place to live in.

This was a year and eight months ago when Raqqa people had to flee out of there city because ISIS. In early 2014, the terrorist group arrested and assassinated lots and lots of Raqqa people in the pretext of being secular revolutionary activists, these same activists had suffered for years from Regime security forces who were charging them of being Jihadists.

One year ago, SDF and some FSA troops controlled over Tel Abyad in the northern countryside, everyone by then thought that would be a positive sign but the fact was very different especially after the systematic ethnic displacement campaign held by the Kurdish forces against Arabs and Turkmen along with arresting lots and lots of people in the pretext of supporting ISIS.

This curse was not limited on Raqqa province but it exceeded the borders and reached Raqqa people in Aleppo countryside, Idleb and even in Turkey where several activists and rebels were assassinated.
Sometimes I think, do we really have double standards?

Why thousands of Raqqa young people are displaced? Why would ISIS and the Kurdish forces take over their properties and arrest their parents? Why two thirds of Raqqa people have fled their city? Isn’t it because of ISIS knives and the multinational warplanes? Who can answer these questions?

A Turkish taxi driver in Gaziantep asked me:” where are you from? Syria?” so I told him that I am from Raqqa and he said:”ISIS!!”

Here in the country that knows nothing about Syria except for ISIS, during my residency interview in one of the European countries the foreigners department officer did not ask me about my city of birth but he kept talking in French and the only word I understood was “ISIS”.

In each and every situation like these, we think about how things have changed, a few years earlier our city, Raqqa was missed even in the weather news and now people from all over the world talk about it.
Despite our belief that this tragedy will end, but we fear that we will return to be forgotten after the fighting terrorism campaign which destroy the city and the entire society.

In the end, this city is not better than the other 13 in Syria. It has a very hot and dusty weather in summers and a very cold weather in winter, poverty is very widespread and its history is missing but even though we are coming back to it.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".

1 Comment

  1. Samsonia
    September 22, 2016 - 7:58 pm

    This is very touching and also makes me very hopeful. Thank you!

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