Hiding but not scared: a Syrian activist’s story of peaceful resistance

December 13, 2011

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(AP/Hussein Malla)
A Syrian woman sits next to her son after he was wounded in violence between Syrian security forces and armed opposition groups.

Yesterday, the United Nations announced that the official death toll in Syria has exceeded 5,000 people, including 300 children. Syria’s U.N. ambassador reacted quickly, saying the alleged death toll is part of a “huge conspiracy concocted against Syria.” Meanwhile, President Bashar al-Assad is urging Syrians to head to the polls for local elections, in an attempt to show his willingness to reform.

But multiple reports say that most people are abstaining. Those who have voted, reports say, either support the regime or have been forced to the polls. On the opposition front, a massive general strike across Syria is now entering its third day; organizers hope it will further cripple the president's hold on the country.

Osama Nassar is one of the strike’s organizers. Currently hiding somewhere in Syria, he has led non-violent protests against Assad since they began last March. The protests he and his friends have organized in the Damascus suburb of Daraya are recognizable by the roses they hand out to everyone, including the soldiers who are there to stop them. Osama tells Worldview why he’s continuing to risk his life to speak out against President Assad.