It was the rain of shells. The shelling by Assad regime on Moadamiya yesterday brought down the minaret of Rawda Mosque, where we all used to gather before getting into the street to shout “Freedom!” and “the people want the fall of the regime!”
Seeing that minaret cut down on the ground was like a wound for all of us Have you ever seen a landmark of your land crushed by the bombs of an enemy?
The shelling did not only bring down the minaret. The shelling brought down the regime’s negotiations for a ceasefire. It changed something inside my town, my Moadamiya. Seeing that minaret down yesterday made us all start remembering the early days of peaceful protests, and the friends we have lost to regime bullets since those days.
My buddy and near neighbor is one of them, a young man in his prime. We called him Abu’l Khayr, and he was killed about a year ago. Then there was a town elder everyone used to call “the Mufti.” His name is Said Douba; he was killed by the regime. There are others, so many to mourn. So many recent widows, so many recent orphans. So much grief.
Suddenly the idea of handing over fifty of our own townspeople into the arms of the regime started to taste sour to most of the people in Moadamiya. It tasted like betrayal. Those Council members amongst us who still argued today for meeting all the regime’s demands and pre-conditions were talking in the wind. Because even for starving people, betrayal can make you more nauseous than hunger.