In Memory of Amjad al-Sioufi
Who was martyred as the result of the Syrian regime’s shelling on 18/1/2013.
Today, I paid my condolences at Amjad’s home. Many people were there, some I knew and some I did not. I did not stay for long, unfortunately, as I had a prior commitment and planned on staying for no more than an hour. His friends started talking about Amjad and what he did for the revolution. I will tell you some of what he did, and you can judge for yourselves. I will start from the beginning of the revolution.
Back in the initial revolution phase of non-violent protests, Amjad was among the first to organize and film demonstrations. He was the one who shot the demonstration in Shaalan, if you remember it. The one where a girl was beaten up [by security forces] and a man tried to help.
He was the one who filmed the famous demonstration in Salhieh, and he planned for it not to have any veiled women on purpose, so that the regime would have no pretense whatsoever to call the protestors “Salafists.” He was also the one who filmed most of the videos of Bashar’s dummies being hanged [in different areas in Damascus].
Amjad was among the ones who founded the group Nofos Keram (Dignified Souls)
Not only that, but Amjad made a special shirt for filming. He sewed a hidden pocket to his shirt where he could put his cell phone and film without being noticed. When he was at the protest in Hassan mosque in Abu Romaneh, Damascus, he was searched. They found his regular cell phone and went through its contents, but never got to the hidden phone he was using to film. When the opposition conference took place in Semiramis hotel -remember that conference- he was standing outside wearing that same shirt with the hidden phone. An official Syrian TV reporter approached him and asked for an interview, but just before the interview she started coaching him on what to say on camera. All the while, Amjad was recording this whole charade.
Amjad’s videos were very unique. He made a point of always mentioning the date and the place, and doing so in both Arabic and English.
When nonviolent activities became less fruitful and less feasible, Amjad turned to humanitarian efforts. He was also thinking on how to support the revolution militarily. Amjad traveled frequently between Syria, Jordan and Turkey. He had blueprints for available arms and experimented with the remains of shell cartridges and mortars the regime had used.
For example, he was once experimenting on a type of mortars and trying to improve its range. He mixed acetone with the explosive material to improve its strength, and it exploded while he was working on it! Thanks God, he did not sustain any injuries at the time.
Last time Amjad was in Jordan, everyone had the feeling he was going to his death when he said he was returning to Syria to help out on the ground. He was a “martyr in the making.”
The day before he passed away, he was talking to his friends in Jordan and said his dream in life had come true. That was for him to walk outside his home in Jobar while wearing the independence flag, with no worries and no fear. He did just that after Jobar was liberated.
On the day of his death, he had planned to go out with the guys for dinner. Right before he left, MiG jet fighters bombed the place where he was staying. His friends were all in a state of shock.
Everyone spoke very highly of Amjad and described how honorable and charitable he was. He exemplified the activist who worked behind the scenes anonymously and did not care about getting any credit for his work. He was extremely dedicated and concerned himself first and foremost with the quality rather than quantity of this work and ensuring the success of his missions more so than his own safety. His excellent films exemplify his attitude. For these attributes its important to shed light on some of his work.
Post by the University of Revolution Facebook page.
22 January 2013