“This is very personal

I look back now and remember the protests; the voices that screamed freedom while i gazed at tears stampeding through the faces of grown women and men.

I look back now and remember the armed men who ran towards us with orders to shoot but could not find the hate inside them to do so and threw down their weapons and joined our lines and chanted ‘we are one’

I look back now and remember those that managed to hate us, and made martyrs of us, only we would carry our martyrs on our shoulders with pride, all of us now, standing in the very front row

I look back now and remember a mother who said to me, “it is our duty to sacrifice my son” i believed her words were genuine, for the blood on her hands and her son laid still on her lap were pure witness to this

I look back now and remember the solidarity of humans from around the world who stood by us and offered what they could and said, “we love you and support you” we are forever in debt to them.

I look back now and remember my friends, the only people i trusted all died because they believed, because they were beautiful human beings, far braver than I.

I look back now and remember my father as he stood on Syrian soil for the very first time in 30 years and screamed into the crowd in Binnish “we poets write with pens but you the people, you have written poetry with your blood”

I look back now and remember Bara al Bouhsi stripping his ranks of his shoulders and throwing his weapon to the ground swearing that he would never kill to gain justice only to die with his camera in his hand.

I look back now and remember the brother of a tortured revolutionary, he could not cope to imagine what his brother was going through, his brother died, as did he on a mission to relieve him of his pain.

I look back now and remember Syrians of all colors open their doors to freedom only to welcome murderers in, who would attempt destroy their lives.

I look back now and remember fleeing Syria and looking back at my country across the border with shame, I took picture that day to remind me of that feeling, that shame.

I look back and now and remember the look of my brothers face as he watches the pain of our people wreck their insanity, His words sink in me, his heart breaks my very essence. ارحمني يا ضياء

I look back now and remember who I was before all this, sure that thats still not what I want now, i could never give in to that, I love the people i met in this revolution.

I look back now and remind myself that even if there is no road forward there is no turning back, even if we must build our paths each individually and meet each other somewhere sooner or later, there is no turning back.

From now on if I am asked to rest I will say ‘I look back now and remember; there is no reason to rest for there is no reason to forget’.”

— Rami Jarrah