DAY 60 - MAY 19, 2011


The success of the NATO campaign in Libya has emboldened protesters in Syria to accelerate their own search for liberation. In reaction, Syrian President Bashar Al Assad opens fire on opposition activists in the city of Daraa, using heavy artillery and killing civilians. Following the Siege of Daraa, the Syrian Army continues to stifle opposition forces by laying siege to other cities with popular uprising. In the past two weeks the cities of Homs, Baniyas, Tafas, Talkalakh, and the suburbs of Damascus have been raided with government tanks and soldiers. Government forces cut supply lines to Daraa in an attempt to prevent food from reaching the embattled city, causing the population to starve. Today US President Barack Obama has announced that economic sanctions will be imposed on Syria in reaction to the human rights violations committed by President Bashar Al Assad.

You write one final report about the heavy bombardment by NATO forces across Libya then contact your newspaper in the United States, shoot them the article, and inform them that you have safely made it out of the country. You tell them that you are in Cyprus and you have an inkling that Syria will descend into violence the same way that Libya did. On the other end your newspaper says that they cannot endorse you going into Syria if you think it will be a great risk to your life. However, at the same time, they are not saying "don't go". You know the dangers of reporting as a freelancer in these areas. No one will pay for your ransom if you are kidnapped. No one will pay for your evacuation if you are pinned down. No one will collect your body if you are killed. There is still a small part of you that thinks you shouldn't have left Libya and you want to make up for that, in a big way. It's hard to explain, really, why you do what you do...