The story began in September 2015, when waves of Syrian refugees poured into Germany and I went to collect some of the accounts of newcomers, especially those who risked their lives using the “death boats” to reach Europe.
The scenes were painful and the stories agonizing. I did not find a better title for the first episode of my investigation other than what a young man who came on the dangerous boat trip told me, as he seemed very relieved having succeeded in resigning from his homeland and its horrors.
I asked him about his condition and he replied: “Excellent. Three meals a day, sleep without fear, no Baath no ISIS.” I wrote that the Syrians, who used to believe their country was a key player in the region, are now discovering that it has become an arena for interventions and militias.
As soon as I published my article, my phone rang. The caller said: “My brother Ghassan. You don’t know the magnitude of the pain that you have caused me today, and you certainly understand the difficulty of being a Syrian these days, and at the same time, to be a journalist who has been observing for years that the policy of oppression is accumulating the factors of explosion.”
Ghassan Imam was the son of a generation that committed great dreams. Dreams for his country, his nation and his professionGhassan Charbel