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Voices from Syria − What We Want is Freedom: A Member of White Helmets from Aleppo

On 23rd of December 2016, an event “Syria, The Lives living in-between War and Love: Film Screening of Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait and Panel Talks with Experts” was held in Tokyo.
A member of White Helmets, Mr. Ismail Alabdullah, expressed his feeling, thoughts, and hopes via Skype from Aleppo which was JUST fallen by the government forces. The message explains how the military mission carried by the troops in Eastern Aleppo was inhumane and innocent civilians were killed. And still, numerous civilians are facing terrible suffering today.
The message was towards people in Japan. However, I believe his words will be a wake-up call for every one of us in today’s world somehow.

Here is the whole description of the message delivered by Mr. Alabdullah


I am now on the western side of Aleppo. We were forcibly displaced to the western side of Aleppo from the eastern side after being bombed intensively and the 15-days of siege that followed. The situation was indescribable. Because people were suffering from hunger and lack of medicines, hospitals and humanitarian organizations: nothing was there to help wounded people. The siege of Aleppo started three months ago. There are still people staying in the blockade who cannot move, such as elder adults, orphans, disabled persons, and few soldiers of Free Syrian Army (FSA).
Besides this desperate situation, the government side forces have used chemical weapons which are internationally prohibited. These bombardments had been destroying all types of buildings to make it impossible for people to live. All sorts of buildings were targeted including buildings that offered basic-needs for people under the siege; nothing left at the end. The eastern side of Aleppo became an absolute place where nobody can live, an absolute place where even animals cannot live because of explosive sounds.
I myself had been locked in the buildings more than 24 hours; I had to move from premises to premises through holes we made on the walls to avoid the airstrikes. I witnessed the snipers of the regime shooting and killing civilians and numerous people under the mountain of rubble. It was so very intensive bombings. I also work as a journalist, but even those journalists could not take any photos or record any videos because of the intense situation. We left more than 20 dead people under the rubble including elder people because the airstrike had not stopped at all.

I warned the media from the first day of the siege that this situation, which I explained now, would inevitably happen; however, nobody listened and reacted.


Next, I would like to explain the food situation in Aleppo. Currently (Dec. 2016), only 5 pieces of bread (Markook: flat type of bread) for 5 people in 2 days (only half a piece of bread per person a day) are delivered. Distribution is not organized well. The accurate number of family members would not be considered, for example. Thus, no matter a family has 7 or 10 or 15, it is out of concern in this horrifying situation.
Also, the unsanitary water-conditions is a severe issue. We drink well water without any purification, because, there is no proper gas to boil and electricity available for six months. We cannot boil the well water or use electric filter devices. Under this condition, the number of diseases has risen due to dirking unhygienic water.
Furthermore, with a shortage of medical facilities added to the severe food-condition, it has strengthened the level of catastrophe in Aleppo. All seven hospitals including children’s hospitals were wholly destroyed. Therefore, such inhumane time has continued where we cannot help wounds at all.

What is going on Syria, the catastrophe, is a result of the decision we made, and the reaction of the regime, and indifference of international community. The revolution demanded freedom and dignity to be human in 2011. Every person in the world and the United Nations know this frightful situation, and though they also know the fact that numerous people are killed every single day, they just count numbers. Each government is sitting and surrounding Russia and China in conference rooms and both of which continuously exercise the power of veto on the Security Council. The function of the international society has completely suspended. Their hands are in the blood of killed people and children of Syria.

I would like to ask you all, how long this massacre will be going on? I would like to call for people in Japan, and especially the Japanese government to take responsibilities on this issue more than any other states. Particularly, prosecutions of war criminals such as the Assad regime and Russian side. Indeed, the Assad regime which killed tens of hundreds of civilians who were participating in peaceful demonstrations must be prosecuted.


Lastly, I would like to insist that we are not demanding food or money, but we are just requesting freedom. Freedom: talking what we think without fear, like what I and also you do here. We want freedom.
We want to see Syria where we can enjoy the right of freedom of expression like in Japan. As Japan did in the past, we want to end this war, and we want to rebuild Syria one day not so far in the future.


Based on a speech delivered by Mr. Alabdullah on 23rd December 2016
Translated by  Yasser Jamal Al Deen and Icchiku Yamada
Edited by Icchiku Yamada and Hiroaki Matsushita


The Actual Speech is on Youtube: Click Here

Voices from Syria −「ホワイトヘルメット」隊員によるアレッポからの現地中継


























An Event for Syria was Held in Tokyo. Over 450 People were Standing with Syria. 【English:العربية】


Our event for Syria on Dec. 23rd, 2016 finished with a great success in Tokyo, Japan.  We faced the Syria crisis in all sincerity.
We took this opportunity to consider (and reconsider) about the crisis in Syria from many different aspects; screening a documentary film called Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait (2014 by Ossama Mohammed), a commentary from a scholar of Arabic literature; Prof. Kaoru Yamamoto,

IMG_5475 a talk from the photographer; Mr. Shin Yahiro who served with the Free Syrian Army

IMG_5476and a talk from a Syrian who became a refugee about his dear homeland Syria and his very difficult experiences in Japan.

Also, we relayed with a member of White Helmets  (One of the bravest civil organizations of our time); Mr. Ismail Alabdullah via Skype during the event. He told the audience about the frightful situation in Aleppo.

%e3%82%a4%e3%82%b9%e3%83%9e%e3%82%a4%e3%83%ab%e3%82%a2%e3%83%83%e3%83%97 However, he also expressed that “What we want is not money or food. We want freedom, the same freedom as Japanese people have“… This is the most important message from the front line of the revolution and we should never forget.
On the day, a great number of people, 420  people gathered for Syria.

IMG_5472Although Japan is quite far away from Syria, we always keep thinking of Syria. We are feeling your pain. Please keep your hopes up. Please stay alive. We are here standing with all of you.
Again, I thank you so much for each one of you who came out to my event on the day.
I strongly hope this year 2017 will be a peaceful year for all Syrian people who are suffering right now… and I also hope they will be able to gain the freedom, which they have been seeking for a long time…

With all my respect for those who went before us to gain the dignity to be human, Rest in Peace.

الحدث الذي أقيم في الثالث و العشرين من ديسمبر من أجل سوريا لاقى نجاحا كبيراً و واجهنا الأزمة السورية بكل صدق .
وقد ناقشنا الأزمة السورية بطرق مختلفة منها:
١-عرض فيلم وثائقي عن سوريا
٢- شرح للأحداث عن طريق مختص في أدب اللغة العربية
٣-محادثة مع أحد المصورين التابعين للجيش السوري الحر
٤-محادثة مع أحد اللاجئين السوريين في اليابان التي تناولت قصة مغادرته لوطنه سوريا و الصعوبات العديدة التي وجهها في اليابان.
تحدثنا أيضاً خلال الحدث مع أحد أعضاء White Helmets (القبعات_البيضاء )
عبر سكايب فوصف للجمهور الوضع المأساوي و المرعب الحاصل في مدينة حلب. و تحدث أيضا عن تفاصيل الحصار التي واجهتها حلب الشرقية.

وقد أعرب عن مطالبه كما قال” نحن لا نريد طعام أو شراب. نحن نريد حرية كالشعب الياباني”
و أريد أن أتوجه له شخصياً بشكر جزيل لمشاركته معنا لهذه المعلومات القيمة.
وقد حضر الحدث أكثر من أربعمئة شخص من أجل سوريا. على الرغم من أن اليابان بعيدة عن سوريا ولكن نحن دائما نفكر و نهتم بالقضية السورية.
و أريد القول للشعب السوري أننا الشعب الياباني نشعر بآلامكم و نرجو أن لا تستسلمو و لاتتخلوا عن الأمل أبداً. إبقوا على قيد الحياة و سنفعل المستحيل لأجلكم.
و أخيراً أشكر جميع الذين حضروا هذا الحدث و كل من ساعدني للوقوف من أجل سوريا.
أتمنى من كل قلبي أن تكون سنة ٢٠١٧ سنة سلام لكل السوريين اللذين يعانون الآن، وأتمنى أيضاً أن يحصلوا على الحرية التي لازالوا يطالبون بها منذ وقت طويل و حتى الآن.

رحمة الله على شهداء سوريا
إرقدوا بسلام

Arabic Translation by Yasser Jamal Al Deen.
This event is now uploaded on YouTube : 【 https://youtu.be/7hYT1mpB09c











Our prayers and thoughts are with all Syrians who sacrificed their precious lives to gain the dignity.

2017年1月3日 主催者代表 山田一竹



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【Held on 23 Dec 2016】Syria, The Lives living in-between War and Love: Film Screening of “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait” and Panel Talks with Experts


Dear all,

It has been a year since the last event“Stand with Syria Now: Film Screening of Return To Homs and Open-Discussion”.
A year passed… very, unfortunately, to mention that the Crisis of Syria has escalated even more with over 47 thousand deaths and 4.8 million Syrian-refugees. Precious lives are dying at this very moment in Syria.


I have been working on this new event-project when I finished organizing the last one. There have always questioned: “Where Syria is heading…?” and “How the lives living in Syria where became a war-zone?”. I have always faced Syria where is only and dearest home for Syrians. Sometimes, I could not sleep well due to the horrifying situation going on Syria. I felt hopeless and powerless to see the fact that no single effective solution has promoted over five years but people are certainly losing their homes, foods, opportunities, and lives. However, I cannot just stand still; I have to keep going ahead to make changes for Syria. Those thoughts brought the upcoming event, “Syria, The Lives living in-between War and Love: Film Screening of “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait” and Panel Talks with Experts” on 23rd December 2016.
We will be screening a film Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait by Ossama Mohammed on the event. We will also invite professional Arab Literature, Photo-journalist who served with Free Syrian Army and a young Syrian man who became a refugee in Japan. The aim is always the same; to light the actual people who are living under horrific the Crisis of Syria.
Let’s show our solidarity for Syria, let’s prove to the world that we are not abandoning people of Syria.
No reservation required, please come to the venue directly!

***Details of Events
◇ Syria, The Lives living in-between War and Love: Film Screening of “Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait” and Panel Talks with Experts
【Date】23rd (FRI) December 2016
【Venue】Auditorium of Building 9, Rikkyo University (Ikebukuro Campus)
⇨Campus Map
14:00 Opening Remarks: Masako Ishii, Professor of Department of Intercultural Communication of Rikkyo University

《Session 1: Film Screening》
14:10 Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait(96min)
15:50 Break

《Session 2: Expert-Talks》
16:00 Kaoru Yamamoto (Arab Literature) “Commentary of the film: Syria through literature”
16:30 Shin Yahiro (Photojournalist) “Syria: Actual Side of the Revolution”
17:00 Break
17:30 Yasser Jamal Al-Deen (“Syrian Refugee in Japan) “Myself and Syria, and Japan”
18:00 Icchiku Yamada “Thinking of Syria Now: Interviews with Journalist Takeshi Sakuragi and with Syrians”
18:20 Q&A Session

18:50 Closing Remarks: Icchiku Yamada

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/677349789091147/
Rikkyo University Website: http://www.rikkyo.ac.jp/events/2016/12/18477/

【Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait Details】
Director: Ossama Mohammed, Wiam Simav Bedirxan
Videos and Photos: Wiam Simav Bedirxan, 1001 people of Syria, Ossama Mohammed
Country: Syria | France
Language: Arabic
Filming Locations: Homs, Syria
Runtime: 96 min
Production Co: Les Films d’Ici, Proaction Film
Distribution Company in Japan: Tereza and Sunny (テレザとサニー)
Known asةضفلا ماء , シリア・モナムール, Eau argentée, Syrie autoportrait
The astonishing collaboration between exiled Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed and young Kurdish activist Wiam Simav Bedirxan distills footage from thousands of clandestine videos to create a shattering, on-the-ground documentary chronicle of the ordeal being undergone by ordinary Syrians in the ongoing civil war.
In Syria, every day, activists and people film then die; others kill then film. In Paris, Syrian filmmaker Ossama Mohammed, driven by his inexhaustible love for Syria, he finds that he can only film the sky and edit the footage posted. From within the tension between his estrangement in France and the revolution, an encounter happened. Simav from Homs began to chat with me, asking: ‘If your camera were here, in Homs, what would you be filming?’.
At once tragic and miraculous, Silvered Water, Syria Self-Portrait is a shattering portrait of the ordeal being endured by ordinary Syrians, even as its very existence attests to the spirit of possibility that even the most brutal repression cannot crush.
(Via Production and TIFF)
The Special Screenings section of the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Winner of Grierson Award, London Film Festival, 2014.
Winner of Gandhi’s Glasses Award – Special Mention, Torino Film Festival, 2014.
Winner of Prize of Excellence, Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, 2015.

モナムール DVD

YouTube: https://youtu.be/a9Mo6OUF_Hg

◇ Photo Exhibition by Shin Yahiro | Syria: Lives in-between the Revolution and Love
21st (WED) December 2016 – 25th (SUN) December 2016: 5days
【Venue】Room 9202, building 9, Rikkyo University (Ikebukuro Campus)
⇨Access Map
【Photos】21 photographs taken in Syria. Mr. Yahiro has spent time with Free Syrian Army and in revels’ town.



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By Icchiku Yamada

【12月23日開催】「シリア−戦火と愛の慟哭…その狭間を生きる命『シリア・モナムール』上映会・講演会」| 同時開催写真展


「今、等身大で彼らに向き合う『それでも僕は帰る シリア 若者たちが求め続けたふるさと』上映会・討論会」を開催してから、早くも一年が経とうとしています。あれから一年…残念ながら、シリアを巡る状況は熾烈を極め、混迷の一途を辿っています。シリア内戦に伴う死者数が30万人を超え、400万人を超える人々が難民として避難を余儀なくされました。シリアでは、今この瞬間にも尊い命が燃え尽きています。




イベントと並行して、12月21日〜25日まで写真展を開催する。フォトグラファー八尋伸 氏が2012年よりシリアで撮影した写真20点(自由シリア軍兵士や家族の日常、アレッポの戦闘など)を展示し、シリア紛争を生き抜く個々の素顔に触れる。

会場:立教大学池袋キャンパス 9号館2階 大教室
⇨立教大学池袋キャンパスへのアクセス: https://www.rikkyo.ac.jp/access/ikebukuro/direction/
⇨立教大学池袋キャンパスマップ: https://www.rikkyo.ac.jp/access/ikebukuro/campusmap/

14:00 開会挨拶:趣旨説明 石井正子(立教大学異文化コミュニケーション学部 教授)

14:10 映画上映開始(96分間)
15:46 映画上映終了・休憩

16:00 山本薫 氏「映画解説-文学から見つめるシリア」
16:30 八尋伸 氏「シリア 革命の素顔」
17:00 休憩
17:30 ジャマール 氏「私とシリア、そして、日本。」
18:00 山田一竹「今、シリアに想う:ジャーナリスト桜木武史氏とシリア人へのインタビューを通して」
18:20 登壇者との質疑応答

18:50 閉会挨拶: 山田一竹(立教大学異文化コミュニケーション学部 4年)

「シリア・モナムール」(英題:Silvered Water,Syria Self-Portrait,アラビア語:ةضفلا ماء
フランス語:Eau argentée,Syrie autoportrait)
ストーリー:亡命先のパリで、故郷シリアの置かれた凄惨な実状に苦悩し続けていたひとりの映画作家、オサーマ。苛烈を極める紛争の最前線で繰り返される殺戮の様子は、日々YouTubeにアップされ、ネット上は殺す者、殺される者双方の記録で溢れかえる。カメラを持たない映画作家が、シマヴというクルド人女性に愛の希望を見出し、1001の映像を自らの眼で選択し、ストーリーを構築した本作は、夥しい犠牲者と戦場を捉えるドキュメントにはとどまらず、その個々の死に刻まれた深い傷と愛、絶望の中でも普遍の愛を見出していく、命についての物語である。カンヌ国際映画祭2014特別招待作品、ロンドン映画祭2014ベストドキュメンタリー賞、  山形国際映画祭2015優秀賞、その他多くの国際映画祭にて正式上映。
・映画詳細: http://www.syria-movie.com/introduction
・予告編: https://youtu.be/kPdb3ljW1C8

山本 薫 氏

八尋 伸 氏
中東の社会問題、紛争、難民、災害等を関心領域とする。2010年頃より、主に、タイ騒乱、エジプト革命、ビルマ紛争、シリア内戦、東日本大震災、福島原発事故を取材し発表。シリア内戦シリーズで2012年上野彦馬賞、2013年フランスのThe 7th annual Prix de la photographie, Photography of the year受賞、ビルマ民族紛争シリーズで米国のThe 7th Annual Photography Master Cup, Photojournalism部門でノミネート等、国内外で活躍。

ジャマール 氏

桜木 武史 氏(*山田一竹よりインタビュー内容の報告)
フリーランスのジャーナリストとして、2002年よりパキスタン、アフガニスタン等を取材。その後、「アラブの春」に関心を持ち、2012年3月から2015年4月まで計5度に渡り、シリアに足を運ぶ。著書『シリア 戦場からの声-内戦2012−2015』(アルファベータブックス)において、戦火の中で必死に生きる市民の姿を記録し、複雑な背景を知らない読者と同じ目線でシリア内戦を描いているとして高く評価され、2016年「山本美香記念 国際ジャーナリスト賞」を受賞。

【八尋伸 写真展 シリア-革命と愛の狭間に生きる命】
2016年12月21日(水曜)〜25日(日曜) 12時00分〜20時00分*
会場:立教大学池袋キャンパス 9号館 9202号室
⇨立教大学池袋キャンパスへのアクセス: https://www.rikkyo.ac.jp/access/ikebukuro/direction/
⇨立教大学池袋キャンパスマップ: https://www.rikkyo.ac.jp/access/ikebukuro/campusmap/
八尋伸 公式HP: http://www.shin-yahiro.com/




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