Friday, November 18, 2011

The saga of Ousama Nassar and his family continues:

I posted an old blog again before this entry because it is relevant to what happened today and to this entry.    Shortly before eight o’clock this evening (Damascus time) Maimouna answered her door bell quickly hoping that the bell will not wake up her 6 month old daughter, Iymar.  At the door there was a platoon of al-mukhabarat (the Syrian political police) with her brother, Suhaib, shackled.   Suhaib Ammar was walking to his sister’s apartment when he was stopped by al-mukhabarat.   They asked him where about his brother in law,  Ousama.  He did not know where he was.  They invaded the house searching for Ousama. 
"Your husband is prisoner of conscious is he not?" asked the officer. 
"Yes."  She answered.  
"You know that he became a bomb maker and he killed several security officers."  
"That is not true."  She replied with confidence.   
"Where is he?"  The officer asked.
"I do not know.  Since he was released from jail he has been absent."   She answered.
"It looks like you are not going to speak."  T"ake the baby with you until her father turns himself in," shouted the officer. 
Scared to death Maimouna held on to her 6 month old fighting them off.  Finally they left and took her brother Suhaib instead  with them.  She ran after them.  "Why you are taking my brother?  He has nothing to do with this!" 
"Don’t worry. We will return him dead in couple days."   
They left with Suhaib.  One can only imagine how the night passed for the 26 year old young mother.  
If her 6 month old daughter got arrested today it would not be the first time.  The young mother got arrested when she was 6 months pregnant with her.  When she was born early this summer her father was in jail for the fourth time in his life.  After he got released, she never slept in the same house with her father.  He is always on the run. 
The six month old baby Iymar was born into troubled Syria to a family totally committed to non-violent struggle against dictatorship.  Her parents are well known nonviolent activists who worked against the dictatorship for more than 10 years.  Her grandfather, Dr. Mohammad al-Ammar, M.D. is also a well known non-violant activist who has been in jail for several months as of today.  
Tonight she went to bed with her father on the run, her grandfather and uncle in jail, and her mother listening closely to each move she hears behind the door. But hope remains because her parents and millions of Syrians are working today to give her a more free future. 

Written on May 11: Syria: the oppression of nonviolence activists continue

Detention of Osama Nassar, by the Syrian Regime, 5:30 AM, Damascus, at dawn in Syria on Sunday 01/05/2011 (Saturday 11:30 PM USA EST) Reported by his wife.

We were sleeping .... I woke up. I wanted to go to the bathroom. I thought I heard the doorbell ring... I sat up... Opening the door of my room, I heard a voice more clearly ... I found my mother-sitting in the dark in the living room and standing beside my sister-in-law - who happened to be visiting today -… they did not know what to do... I realized that they came ... and then I heard a knock on the door by hand … Banged hard ... I entered the room again and I told him “they came” … he got up to put on his clothes.... In the meantime, they increased hammering on the door I went to his sister's side, she was looking through the peephole in the door. We heard them talking about breaking the door and then we heard someone say, "Break down the door" ... We hurried to the room and I told Osama that they are going to break down the door.   He ran to open it but they had done their duty and already broken it.  He met with them and five or six of them came in...They argued with him about not opening the door immediately.  His mother told them she was asleep and did not hear.  They asked him to bring his mobile phone and identity ... I searched for the cell phone and pulled out a piece of identity from the drawer.  I thought –wrongly- it was his.  They were asking him to hurry up and bring his piece of identity.   I gave the ID and the mobile phone to his mother.  She said they were hers.   His mother asked them to allow him to enter to his room and get his own identity... He entered the room and tried to finish putting on his clothes.  I found the identity... One of them followed him inside the room. I heard him coming ... I went near the door.  I reacted when I saw him and shouted, "Where are you entering!! Where are you entering!! Get out! Get Out! Criminals!!”  He was wearing full military uniform, carrying a weapon and ammunition around his waist.   Osama asked me to calm down and the military backed out.   I took the ID out of the wallet and threw it in front of him.  Osama's mother picked it up and gave it to them.  I gave him a hug. I saw him holding his socks in his hand I told him to put them in his pocket.  Then I said after some hesitation, “Put them on!”  He bowed down to put them on and said, "These good people are not in hurry!"  He, the soldier, said to him, "You put them on in the car." ... Osama said, "You and I know what is going to happen in the car" and he finished putting them on.  I was standing in the corridor in front of him ... I looked at the soldier and said aloud, "Because we are a terrorist cell!! You are coming fully armed!!  May God be our protector!"  We escorted him to the door and outside there was about ten or more soldiers similar to the other ones.  Some of them had their weapons down and others were pointing them.  All of them were dressed in military clothing and all of them were carrying guns.  One of them was wearing a black leather jacket seemed it was their leader.  We saw some of them coming down from the top of the stairs.  They were besieging the place is what it seemed.  They took him.  I raised my voice which accompanied them down the stairs, "Be careful, you have a terrorist!"  Our neighbor was standing outside.  He said he was returning from morning prayers.  He said he saw a large security presence at the entrance and around the building.  When he came out to pray, they stopped him and asked him for his identity.
By: Maimouna Alammar

Osama Nassar: 33 years old, born in Damascus, Syria, August 11, 1978.  He is an activist with a deep belief in nonviolence.  He served 3 months in Syrian prisons in the early 2000s, just for trying to organize students to clean the street of their village during summer break.  He got arrested this morning again by Asad’s Security forces.  His last post on his Facebook page was “Peaceful! Peaceful! Even if they kill a hundred every day.” (It rhymes in Arabic)

The narrator, Maimouna Alammar (25 years old), is Osama’s wife, was born on December 6, 1986. She is preparing her master’s degree in Information Science. She is 9 months pregnant with their first child.  She got arrested on March 25, 2011, in a demonstration supporting the families of prisoners of conscience and she was released due to her pregnancy.