Day 10: Something Smells Rotten Here in Moadamiya
Food cooked by the Fourth Division of Assad’s army, world-famous for their skill in carving human limbs: would you eat it?
It’s not a joke: Besides expelling me from town for having Palestinian origin, the regime is actually saying in its underhanded negotiations here in my hometown that “food must be cooked by the Fourth Division.” That is the regime’s pre-condition for anything people in the town of Moadamiya eat. Our Local Council is carefully studying it….
You know when you have this uneasy feeling that the waiter might spit in your food? That, multiplied by a capacity for evil beyond the imagination of most people reading this blog, is making a lot of stomachs in Moadamiya more nauseous than usual right now.
Palestinians under Occupation are being denied access to water. Syrians—and this Palestinian Syrian—are being denied access to wholesome food. I want to hear the world’s outrage.
Food justice is a basic human right. Without pre-conditions. Food—not poison.
What else could they be up to besides poisoning us? The answer is: Degradation.
They’re not lifting the siege and letting humanitarian convoys bring bags of rice and flour, oh no. The very capable women of Moadamiya would love to get their hands on some staples to cook. No. The regime wants to dole it out bite by bite, like prison rations, to control us on a daily basis.
You know what? This regime takes the prize for trickery. I’m not sure if most people outside Syria understand how amazingly deceitful this regime is with its media spin. I mean who would have thought you could take a straightforward demand, “Food, now,” and twist it by basically saying: “You will take only these scrapings of food, directly from our bloodstained hands that have been murdering you, and you will do it now, on our degrading terms.” Then, they will boast in front of the world that they’re giving us “food,” and try to destroy the momentum we are gaining for serious international humanitarian aid to more than one and a half million starving people in Syria’s besieged cities.
When you think about it, actually, starvation has been used for decades by the regime to keep us on a leash, like a dog led to his feed dish to be submissive. What else does it mean to have a country where most people cannot earn a wage to put food on their tables from month to month, where the ruling family and its buddies skim off every working person’s life by extortion and bribery? Where people driven by the need to eat a bit of bread are willing to accept humiliation, as if it was normal for humans to live without freedom, without dignity, without justice?
We demand that international chefs come in to watch Maher and his Fourth Division cook our food.
Help us support media activists in Moadamyeh, donate for the civil uprising in Syria!
This blogpost was originally published on Qusai Zakarya’s blog “Hunger strike under siege: Moadamiya, Syria” on the 5th of December. The Palestinian-Syrian activist Qusai Zakarya lives in the Damascene suburb of Moadamyeh that has been besieged for months. Due to the siege, there is an alarming shortage of food and medicine that has already lead to cases of death among inhabitants of several Damascene suburbs. The Assad regime is using the effects of food deprivation and starvation in order to recapture those opposition-held suburbs. Several NGOs have already condemned this inhumane starvation campaign, so far to no avail. Zakarya has voluntarily gone on a hunger strike so to make the world aware of living conditions around Damascus.
Qusai Zakarya is the spokesperson for the civilian Local Council of Moadamyeh and a member of the local media office. Adopt a revolution is now cooperating with the Moadamyeh media office. Further blogposts can be found on Qusai Zakarya’s diary which is updated daily.