Samar Yazbeck, Ibrahim Qashoush, Rasha Omran, Ali Farzat, Mai Skaf, Khaled Khalifa, Samih Shqair—there’s an impressive list of Syrian writers, musicians and artists who have bravely and unambiguously supported the people’s aspirations for dignity. And now the actress Fadwa Sulaiman. Here she is in besieged Homs leading chants of “no Salafis, no Brotherhood, the Syrians want freedom” and “One, One, the Syrian People are One.” Here she is on Jazeera (Arabic) interviewed via Skype. And, below, here she is announcing her hunger strike until the prisoners are released and the siege of the besieged cities is lifted. Translation of her words are below.

The Thursday of the general strike in Homs.

Districts are being raided since last night, searching for me. People are being beaten to reveal my hiding place. In case I get arrested by the security or army forces, who might force me to appear on Al-Dunia channel to make me to admit that I am part of the conspiracy against Syria the way they did with the honorable Sheik Al-Sayasneh and the brave officier Hussein Harmoush. If they hurt me or any members of my family in any way, then I hold the government and its security apparatus and thugs fully responsible.

And I declare that I will continue to take part in the protests and keep the hunger strike that I started the day before yesterday to break the siege on the districts of Homs, and to prove to all our partners in the homeland the lies of this government when it claims that there are armed gangs, Salafis and Islamic extremists who want to overthrow the regime and exterminate the minorities.

I urge the great Syrian people to continue their peaceful struggle until they topple the regime and achieve the democratic civic state that all Syrians dream of. And I invite you to unite and stand together to overthrow the regime which lost its legitimacy the moment the constitution was changed to accommodate the appointment of Bashar Al-Assad as president of Syria, for no reason other than being the son of the late president.

I urge you to come out to the streets and squares today and every day to declare civil disobedience and hunger strike until the withdrawal of the security and military forces from the streets and the release of all the political and opinion prisoners which are currently in the oppressive jails and to spare the blood of all Syrians.

I urge all the Syrians around the world, and all people to support us and stand in front of our embassies around the world declaring hunger strike to express the right of people to express their opinion about their regimes without being killed by these regimes.

Free people of Damascus! Free people of Qaboon, Barzeh and Meedan! Free people of Duma, Qadam, Darayyah, Mu’addamiyyah, Harastah, Zamalkah and ’Irbeen! Free people of Mleha, Rukn el deen and Zabadany! Free people of Dar’a, Banyas, lattakia and Tartous! Free people of Hama, Aleppo, Idleb and Deir el-Zor, Raqqah, Qamushli and Hasakeh! I urge you to declare civil disobedience and hunger strikes in all the squares and streets in support of the prisoners of the central prison in Homs who are on a hunger strike, and to lift the siege on Baba Amr, which has been under siege for over a week now, and is under continuous bombardment and is now isolated from the world, and no one knows what is happening in Baba Amr. Baba Amr is living a real humanitarian disaster. Stand by Baba Amr, because no district or road in Syria is exempt from a fate similar to that of Bab Amr, as long as the Arab league is providing the regime with one extension after another so that it continues repressing the Syrian people, and depriving them from their freedom, dignity and life, and peace be upon Syria and its people.

Peace be upon Syria and its people.

Peace be upon Syria and its people.


This post originally appeared at


Robin Yassin Kassab

Robin Yassin-Kassab was born in west London in 1969. Except for six months in Beirut, he grew up in England and Scotland. He has lived and worked in London, France, Pakistan, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Oman. He is the author of The Road from Damascus, a novel published by Hamish Hamilton and Penguin, and by il Saggiatore in Italy. He is currently working on a second novel. Robin co-edits (with Ziauddin Sardar) the Critical Muslim, a quarterly magazine that looks like a book. He is also a co-editor and regular contributor to PULSE, recently listed by Le Monde Diplomatique as one of its five favorite websites.

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