The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
The death of Khaled al-Essa: Another hopeful voice, stifled Open in fullscreen

Christina Abraham

The death of Khaled al-Essa: Another hopeful voice, stifled

Kahlid al-Essa was injured in a bomb attack on June 16 [Twitter]

Date of publication: 27 June, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Blog: Khaled al-Essa was a dear friend who fought against the ugliest and most hypocritical parts of humanity. His comrades will continue the fight for liberty, writes Christina Abraham.

His death will probably go unnoticed for the most part. He is now one amongst many. Another Syrian youth, lost to war. Another hopeful voice, stifled. He now joins his 470,000 brothers and sisters who lost their lives because one family would not relinquish power in Syria. And because world powers were content to watch them die, all so that they could move pieces around like they were on a Chessboard. And because the rest of us looked away while it was all happening. 

I'm proud to say that Khaled al-Essa was a dear friend. He worked with Raed Fares, another dear friend, and the leader of civil society activists in Kafranbel. Khaled worked so hard that at times Raed had to force him to take days off and rest. Go to any photograph of the now-famous revolutionary banners and cartoons from Kafranbel, and Khaled will likely be there, holding the banner. And if he's not in the picture, then he was most likely the one that made the banner or took the photograph. 

From street art to weekly demonstrations, radio, film and community services, the activists in Kafranbel show the world the heart behind the revolution. Raed and his team's work in Kafranbel got them notoriety throughout the world as an example of creative, intelligent, nonviolent resistance and citizen journalism.

Their work represents the ideals and sacrifices of an entire population in revolution, fighting for liberty and against corruption. They had no idea that the world would be against them. Why would they?  They were fighting for the same principles and ideals the UN and every democracy in the world says it stands for.

The Syrian conflict exposed the ugliest, most unjust, most hypocritical parts of humanity today

They started because they believed that if they reported what was happening in Syria, the world would support them and actually do something to help. Every banner or cartoon, film or photograph any activist has ever put out there has been for this purpose.

But they also aren't stupid. They know when they've been ignored. They continue their work because they cannot give up or give in. Because they understand that the cause they so diligently pursue is not only a contribution for themselves or even for their families, but a cause for their countrymen and for humanity itself.  And because they've already lost so much, it can't have been for nothing.  And because by relentlessly forcing the world to watch the horror that has been inflicted upon them, they still hope that the world will, at some point, deal with it. And if not, then let future generations look upon what happened in Syria as yet another scar upon humanity that could have been prevented.

Even now, as the rest of the world wishes the Syrian problem would just go away, those who Khaled left back here on Earth will continue the fight

Khaled, like everyone he worked with, like everyone working for the same cause throughout Syria, persisted in the face of the world's silence. The Syrian conflict exposed the ugliest, most unjust, most hypocritical parts of humanity today. It exposed the fact that the international community is not yet willing to take human rights seriously, but is always ready to just keep talking about it. It exposed the UN Security Council for the interest-based political tool for select world powers that it is. It exposed those in the international community who pretended to be friends of the revolutionaries, but turned their back on them when they were most needed.  It even exposed some within the revolution's ranks those who were, themselves, corrupt.

But Khaled, and everyone like him, would not give up.  They would not sell out their revolution. They would not forget what drove them in the first place:The fight for liberty, the fight against corruption.

Even now, as the rest of the world wishes the Syrian problem would just go away, those who Khaled left back here on Earth will continue the fight, only now with the memory of one more fallen comrade. If only he'd be the last.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More