By: Zana Alattar
77,777. Since the revolution has entered its third year, the number of recorded deaths in Syria has skyrocketed. At this point, life in Syria comes down to one thing – SURVIVAL.
But the Syrian people have not wavered.
“Freedom Until the Grave.” These words, spoken by the Syrian people, are not to be taken easily. The Syrian people have lived through generations in which the word freedom was left undefined.
Freedom was a virtue, not a right. Under the rule of an oppressive regime, freedom is what the government tells you it is. But now, through the Syrian revolution, they have defined the word ‘Freedom’.
The Syrian people have defined freedom in their struggle:
77,777 Stories: The numbers take form, but do the faces behind those numbers ever form? These 77,777, each have a story, whether it’s a love story, a childhood memory, or of a family member that they held dear. Yet 77,777 is merely a number in an article, on Facebook status, as part of a statistics. 77,777 does not show the strength within the struggle.
The strength of the Syrian people lies with the mother whose son left the house to protest peacefully and returned with a bullet through his heart.
The strength of the Syrian people lies with the college student at the University whose blood flowed over the pages of his final exams.
The strength of the Syrian people lies with the father who was killed while waiting in line for bread to take home to his starving family.
The strength of the Syrian people lies with the orphaned infant whose cries cannot be heard over the government bombs that are hitting his home.
The strength of the Syrian people cannot be embodied in a number.
77,777 Revolutionists: As the numbers form, the word freedom is defined. As the numbers form, the Syrian people begin to truly understand what it means to be free. As the numbers form, people all around the world question why. Why is there such turmoil in Syria? But as the numbers form, the Syrian people stop questioning. As the numbers form, they realize why.
The 77,777. That’s why. They continue this fight for freedom in honor of those who saw freedom, believed in it, and died trying to grasp it.
Don’t ask why, ask how? Ask how people all around the world can help Syrians define the word freedom. Ask how a revolutionist gave up his life, what we think is so dear, for the one thing we all should know is most dear, freedom. Ask how the world has let the number rise to 77,777.