A Flood in Ba’ath Country is Omar Amiralay’s final film — he was hired by the regime to film state propaganda in the 1970’s in a documentary called “Film Essay on the Euphrates Dam.” It was supposed to be a tribute to the “greatest development project” of the Syrian regime. The process of making the film politicized him as he spoke to rural Syrian families on the outskirts of Deir Ezzour who described the realities of the regime’s Euphrates Dam Modernization Project. As a result, Amiralay created “Everyday Life in a Syrian Village,” one of the most haunting Syrian archival…

Movement and dance therapy for children with disabilities in the countryside of Aleppo at the Golden Bridges School in Syria. Source: Idlib Plus, Orient News, Al Jazeera, Syr-24.

I had a terrifying dream last night. In the dream, a therapist was injecting me with syringes in order to make me be more productive. In the dream, other people with disabilities were being rounded up and made to take drugs with huge side effects in order to work faster. I woke up with an urgent feeling inside me. The therapist was my own healer within and I often push myself to work harder when I am tired. It was a message for me to stop expecting the tired, worn out parts of me to produce on demand without mercy…

[This article has taken me three years to finish. It has been three years to this day since Halla and her mom were murdered. I believe that we still haven’t heard the whole story. This is only one small piece, and only represents how I knew her. There are still so many more parts for others to tell.]

When I was 17, I met a girl who would change the course of my life. Her name was Halla Barakat. She was a hazel-eyed, Emirates-educated, American-born Syrian girl who intimidated everybody from the second she stepped into the room. The year…

Image of a Syrian protest Banner from KafrNabel, 11/28/2015. It pictures people on a boat floating in space after fleeing earth, they are labelled “refugees.” The Alien floating in the vast expanse of space is telling them “Go Back.”

I had a vivid dream, a vision a few years ago, one of many “parables” I have seen about my people. I recently found it again in my journal from November 21, 2015. In Syria, a revolutionary struggle against Assad’s authoritarianism was at a peak, which still continues today. The Paris attacks had just happened. I had been desperately trying to share about the conditions in Syria, hearing from family and friends, when the world was consumed by the news of Paris. …

Saraqib, northern Idlib, Syria. March 2019
Walid Abu Rashed and a fellow actor entertain children using puppets among the rubble of collapsed buildings in the town of Saraqib.
Photograph by Amer Alhamwe. Source: AFP/Getty Images.

Since April 28, 2019, nearly one million people have fled the region of Idlib, Syria and northern Hama. This is one of the worst humanitarian impasses in the Syrian crisis. Almost four million people are now trapped at the Syrian-Turkish border. The people of Idlib have been enduring a collapse of infrastructure, while gathering skillsets and community resilience that can teach us a few things.

The Syrian “crisis” began as a nonviolent revolution exactly nine years ago on this day, in a town called Dera’a when parents and thousands of community members flooded the streets on March 18, 2011 to…

Banah alGhadbanah

Syrian PhD Candidate at the University of California, San Diego in Ethnic Studies. Poet, dreamer, jewelry maker, mermaid. https://bit.ly/2xRfCk3

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