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I hold on...

I hold on…

It’s the second day of my hunger strike. The pain of hunger is with me all day but I’ve gotten used to hunger. Food supplies ran out about four months ago, after being under siege for over a year, and there’s been very little to eat ever since. I wake up to hunger. I sleep with hunger. Hunger is with me all day long. The hunger strike only intensifies the pain and adds exhaustion to the mix.

I talked to many journalists today. I’m so glad the story is getting out there. I hope that I will be able to make a difference. After a dozen calls with bad Internet connection and my stomach rumbling in constant reminder of my mission, I feel depleted.

There are moments when I feel weak. During those times, I remember the children I watched starve to death. I remember little Rana… and I hold on.

Video: Rana Obeid, 18 months, died 9/2013 of malnutrition in Moadamiya.

Today the hunger strike begins

Today the hunger strike begins

I am a 28-year-old Palestinian Syrian who serves the civilian Local Council of Moadamiya, Syria, protecting my family by using the pseudonym Qusai Zakarya. 

Moadamiya, where I grew up and live, has been under siege for over 365 days. There are still 8,000 civilians living here, and our food supplies have run out. As a citizen journalist, I am now documenting my townspeople dying of hunger. Seven children and four women have already died of malnutrition. 

Numerous humanitarian organizations have pleaded to no avail with the Assad regime to break the savage siege against civilians in cities throughout Syria, including Daraya, Yarmouk Camp, eastern Gouta, and Homs. Assad continues to use food and medicine as weapons of war.

I declare a hunger strike beginning on Tuesday, November 26, until the siege against the townsfolk of Moadamiya is lifted. 

I call on people of conscience everywhere to pressure their governments to act to break Assad’s siege and let humanitarian agencies bring food and medicine into besieged areas.

Your support is my only weapon.

My Video Announcement in Arabic, subtitled:  

My Video Announcement in English: