April 5, 2017

After Idlib

There’s been a chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun in northern Syria. My friend Abed is at the scene and updating me on Whatsapp. He and others have counted more than 60 people dead: suffocated by a poisonous gas from a bombing this morning. Most of the photos that are being sent are of vulnerable people, little babies and the elderly. Chemical attacks affect their lungs the most and they are the first to die.

We thought we were done with chemical weapons, and especially with sarin gas. But the pictures I’m scrolling through look exactly like the ones I took four years ago in Eastern Ghouta. I survived the Syrian regime’s sarin gas attack there in 2013 where I was living and working as a war photographer.

I uploaded the photos and they were picked up around the world. Promises were made that it wouldn’t happen again. Red lines were drawn. World leaders guaranteed it.

Today I’m in Brussels where some leading European politicians are talking about pouring billions of dollars of reconstruction money into the regime responsible both for the chemical attack in 2013, the one today, and countless other war crimes in my country.

We have decided to mock these people and their unbelievable positions.

Please watch this 60 second video of the brand new device called PEG which shows how politicians are ignoring war crimes. Sometimes humour is the best way to make powerful people take action.

As a Syrian I am used to dark humour. It is how we survive the worst times. Humour is what makes us human. It will never be taken away from me.

I am furious that politicians from Europe and the US are considering cutting deals with Bashar al-Assad, while he continues to gas his own people. I’ll be out on the streets of Brussels with friends, launching this new satirical campaign that will shame those politicians who think it’s ok to cut deals with war criminals.

You can play a critical part by watching, signing and sharing the campaign. These politicians are obsessed with their media profiles, so if we can shame them online as well as in the real world, we can make them listen. When we reach 25,000 signatures we’ll deliver actual PEGs to those politicians looking to ignore war crimes in Syria.