DAY 550 - SEPTEMBER 16, 2012


Human Rights Watch estimates that 20,000 people have died during the Syrian conflict. Videos start to emerge on the internet showing rebel soldiers executing four Assad loyalists. The recording leaves the international community aghast, concluding that Syrian opposition forces are also guilty of atrocity. Assad's air force counters by indiscriminately bombing bread lines in Aleppo. In reaction to the Bashar Al Assad's blatant disregard for human life, Syrian prime minister Riyad Hijab defects, calling the regime "barbaric for killing unarmed people." Meanwhile, after Russian and China block peace resolution processes among other diplomatic deadlocks, Kofi Annan steps down as head of the UN's special envoy to Syria. It is a major blow towards the solution of the crisis. With the UN proving ineffectual, Iran confirms that its revolutionary guard is assisting the Assad Regime with intelligence and financial resources. They are the first third party to openly announce an active involvement in the conflict. 

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, 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.