Hiba Rif, Damascus
Source: League for Citizenship, “Syrian Mother” 2017

I hope to see Syria [after the victory of
the revolution] as a state of law and
justice, a civil state where we achieve our


One day in 2012, I drove my car carrying medical supplies, blood bags, blankets and child medicine towards Douma.  I approached the checkpoint without fear because I was from that area and belonged to the “minorities” which means the military would not search my car. When I reached the checkpoint, my car door was opened and strong hands pulled me from my hair. My head was thrusted in a black bag and my hands were cuffed. They pushed me into another car. The whole process took less than a 90 seconds, during which all the military kept insulting me.

They drove me to a nearby area, took away my things and searched me in an inappropriate manner. I spent two hours, during which they went to my house, stole my things and my computer and threatened my 13-year-old son. Then, they took me to a military detention center and then to another.

The bag on my head was pierced so I started to learn the place. I was in a room with a bed used for torture. I saw my laptop open in front of an investigator; they raided my house. All I thought about at the time was my son. Was he at home? Did they detain him? Did they hurt him? I just wanted to make sure he was safe.

Sometimes, days went by without questioning. They used to call for me and keep me for hours without a word and before returning me to my cell. I stayed 9 months in prison, where I learned how to lie to protect myself and others and how to adapt with hunger, lice and lack of hygiene (once I stayed 40 days without a shower).

After I got out of prison, I knew the informer who reported on me but I have never thought about revenge. I’m sure that one day he will receive punishment.

I hope to see Syria after the victory of the revolution, a state of law and justice, a civil state where we achieve our aspirations. We started with a dream and began a revolution hoping to get what we wanted, but our dreams have stolen.

I hope the bloodshed will stop and that we live and raise our kids properly. If it had been for the Syrian population, we would not have reached this point.