DAY 1 - MARCH 15, 2011
Emboldened by the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 11th and then Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak one month later, political dissent starts to take hold amongst the Syrian youth. Nearly a dozen teenagers are arrested in the southern city of Daraa after spray painting: "the people want to topple the regime." A Facebook page named "Syrian Revolution 2011" has surfaced, calling for a "Day of Rage" protest similar to the one that sparked the revolution in Egypt. Meanwhile, hoping to curb the escalating violence in Libya, the United Nations Security Council flirts with the idea of imposing a no-fly-zone over the government of long-standing Libyan president Muammar Gaddafi. There is an overall sense of promise in Syria, that, like those before them in the Arab Spring, their draconian president, Bashar Al Assad, will be expelled.
A mother of two, you are in your mid-thirties. You are happily married to Ali, your husband, and your family resides in Daraa, a city that rests along the southwestern border with Jordan. You are a moderate Sunni Muslim, considered by most to be living a middle-class lifestyle on your husband's electrician salary. While you are in favor of political reform, you still fear Bashar Al Assad's secret police, the Mukhabarat. It's the Mukhabarat that arrested the teenagers that painted the anti-regime graffiti in Daraa, your city, earlier that week. You think about where those boys are being held. You think about how you would feel if they were your children.