Saint Louis University

Hearing Voices: Tales from Daraya

Syrian citizens share their experiences

In August 2012 Syrian government forces invaded the city of Daraya and brought about the worst single massacre the country had ever seen. The body count exceeded 400 in the town alone and Syria has since then accumulated a death toll of an estimated 130,000. Bringing stories of these horrors to Saint Louis University, survivors of the massacre shared their experiences on Feb. 5 during their North American tour "Voices from Syria."

The cosponsored event consisted of three panel speakers, each with a different story to tell about the Syrian tragedies and crimes of the Assad regime. An Arabic translator helped the men to account their experiences while photos from the massacre were displayed.

"In Syria, we got used to death," the first speaker, Mohamad Khir Alwazir, summarized of the terrors he saw in Syria. Alwazir was imprisoned for his involvement in the revolution against the Assad regime. He reported experiencing beatings, electric shock and whippings while in prison, and he commented that international pressure ultimately led to his release. Afterwards, however, Alwazir lost his wife when his city was bombed in March of 2012.

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