Photo: Norway UN/Mariken Bruusgaard Harbitz .Photo: Norway UN/Mariken Bruusgaard Harbitz

Eye witnesses of the Syrian crisis shared their stories

Last updated: 1/17/2014 // “We only had CPR and vinegar to help treat the children suffocating from the chemical attacks. Children were dying in my arms.” Ameenah Sawan and two other young Syrians surviving massacres in the suburbs of Damascus told their dramatic and tragic stories to UN diplomats.

Anas al-Dabad, Ameenah Sawan and Heba Sawan were all sharing their stories to shed light on the human right violations committed since the start of the Syrian democratic uprising. The massacre in Darayya, and the chemical weapons attack in Moadamiyah were described from a personal point of view by the two cousins Sawan and the pharmacist al-Dabad, who all experienced the violations on close hold in 2012 and 2013. 

“Babies were killed at gunpoint,” told pharmacist Anas al-Dabad who personally witnessed the invasion of the government forces in Darayya on August 22, 2012. Dabad explained how the regime entered every house during the attack, took out the men, interrogated them for fifteen seconds, and then decided who would be shot or spared. 

Ameenah Sawan, who during the chemical weapons attack in Moadamiyah helped out at the hospital during the day of the attack was deeply affected by the Syrian crisis. “We would put cotton and vinegar in peoples noses and rub their stomachs, trying to decide whether they would wake up or not,” she said.  The cousins Sawan had a clear message to  the audience on how the international community should act to end the crisis. “We don’t need sympathy or tears. Tears are not in short supply. We need action now,” urged Ameenah. She criticized the international community for not doing more to end the terrible suffering of the Syrian people.

The event was organized by the Permanent Mission of Norway to the UN, with an  audience consisting of Dignitaries from UN member states, NGO representatives and members of the press. The audience had trouble keeping their tears back as descriptions of starvation, deaths and humiliation were laid out in detail.


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