DAY 951 - OCTOBER 15, 2013


In response to threats of Western intervention, the Syrian Electronic Army, a group of pro-regime hackers, breaks into the websites of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Twitter, CNN, TIME Magazine, Global Post, and the US Marine Corps. Russia denies that the Syrian government was behind the chemical attacks, attesting that it was a false flag planted by jihadist rebels. After much deliberation, the United States and the Syrian government reach an agreement that allows international inspectors to start destroying Assad's chemical weapons by way of a deal brokered by the Russian Federation. Two more journalists are kidnapped near Al Raqqa and the Turkish border, dissuading more journalists from entering the country and consequently bringing the international coverage of the conflict to a halt. Thirteen rebel factions in Syria, break off from the FSA-backed Syrian National Council and form the Islamic Coalition, which further fractures the aims of the already disjointed Syrian opposition.

You have been underground, in Tadmor prison, for close to nine months now. Your fingernails are turning yellow because of the lack of sunlight your body is receiving. But more importantly, you have a urinary tract infection that you fear, if not treated within the next day or two, may kill you. You've tried getting the guards' attention but it's no use. You are curled up on the dank stone of the cell, unable to move because you are in so much pain. The only thing you look forward to is seeing your husband and your children in the afterlife. That until a man you have never seen before comes into the cell, lifts you to your feet, and walks you down the hall. You are so weak you can hardly put one foot in front of the other. When you reach the room at the end of the hallway, a doctor is waiting. He gives your infection a cursory glance and feeds you thick white pills, the necessary antibiotics. After that he brings in your children. You are so dehydrated and ill that you think you are hallucinating. But when you feel Emad's arms around your neck, the recognizable touch of your son, you are immediately a different person. You knew there was reason to hang on. You knew it.