DAY 33 - APRIL 21, 2011


In further efforts to deride mounting anti-government sentiment, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad announces the end of the 50-year "state of emergency" law, which bans gatherings of more than five people. In turn, Assad also abolishes the Supreme State Security Court thereby allowing peaceful demonstrations to be carried out. Protesters, seeking more concessions from the Syrian government, plan, for the following day, the biggest demonstration to date. It's dubbed, "the Great Friday."

You tone down your surge towards the front lines as word reaches you that yesterday two veteran journalists, Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros, were killed in a building in Misrata. They were two of the best photojournalists the world had ever known. You are in the town of Raslanuf, along the Mediterranean, just east of Sirte. Mostly used to refine crude oil, Raslanuf, you soon realize, is home to many Gaddafi loyalists. You know that they are unwelcoming towards foreigners, especially those from NATO countries. The oil shipments, while not ceased completely have drastically slowed and those that were once fruitfully a part of Gaddafi's National Oil Corporation, are now seeing their incomes split in half. You wonder if their anger will reach a precipice while you are in their city. Unfortunately, you already know what end you will be on when it eventually finds its tipping point. Now, however, the city is calm. As you read about the massive protests that are planned for tomorrow in Syria, you become contemplative. From the shore you watch the still water disappear infinitely into the cloudless blue sky beyond the horizon. You grab for your Thuraya satellite phone. You should probably touch base with some people in Damascus. Your fingers start to dial numbers...

  1. Next.
  2. Leave Libya.