Syria: One Woman's Story

25/09/2012 08:21 BST | Updated 24/11/2012 10:12 GMT

I'm crouched next to Reem, a beautiful young Syrian woman living in the Za'atari refugee camp in Jordan. A head scarf covers her hair and her family hover nearby. She is telling me about her life in Dera'a, Syria, and why they left. She is also crying.

"I remember when we decided to leave. The shells and bombs began at 8am and rained down for three hours, continuously. It did not seem that they were aiming for anything, the bombs just came down - a barrage of bombs. But if these bombs fall on houses they take out the complete neighbourhood, like a small genocide.

"After three hours there was quiet. We came out, and saw that bombs had hit another shelter. We realised then that they had targeted it - they meant to hit the shelter. They had killed 10 people - they were all children, and their mother. It was a massacre."

The tears start to fall faster, but she insists she wants to continue talking.

"We thought they had left. But then they came back. They came back after an hour had passed. This time they targeted the mosques. Everyone was there. They knew this. People went to pray, and instead air strikes received them. Three floors - right in front of my eyes - three floors fell in that moment. The streets were full of horror and blood. The scene was indescribable. It was terrible, gruesome. The noises on the streets were of terror. Everyone was looking for shelter, for safety, but there was none. I know now that the schools, the field hospitals, the shelters - they are the most targeted things. But there is no media there, no photos. So no-one outside knows."

On her face is such a look of hopeless sadness that I want to cry. Instead I explain again that I am here to help tell the world what is happening, to tell these stories, to make people understand. She nods and in English says "thank you, thank you" over and over. Then she resumes.

"They carried on shelling and bombing in the afternoon. Then they stopped. And this time they came back again with tanks and missiles. The electricity was cut - no communications, no internet, no light. That night we said "that's it. Enough. Tomorrow morning we leave, whatever happens". We felt that at any moment we would be killed. Death was around us. Death was everywhere. There is no house in my town, not one house that hasn't lost someone to this - either from the fighting, or a field execution, or a death from a bomb or a shell or a prison cell."

I'm unable to speak, what can I possibly say? There is no solution I can offer, no end in sight. Instead I ask her what she wants world leaders, those with power, to do.

"What do I want world leaders to do? I want them to act. Enough silence. Enough. People of the world - aren't you afraid for your own children? It is the same. Children are dying. They are dying from the shelling in Syria.

I ask everyone to let their conscience be the judge. Because right now I feel your consciences have died."

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