Syria’s Unreported Bravery and Horror

Britain’s Channel 4 News’s Ramita Navai hiding in the safe place in Syria

“All hell could break loose anytime in Syria” That is one statement President Bashaar al-Assad made that I can’t undermine nor challenge.


Dr. Ashraf Ezzat


Though Syria has caught the last train to the Arab spring, and despite the ambiguity regarding who set this popular upheaval off, and how all that killing started in the first place there was something at the back of my mind that told me the Syrian uprising was going to be the ugliest and the bloodiest of all the undergoing Arabs’ historical revolutions. Historical revolutions they are, but whether they will succeed to make history that is yet to be seen.

The Syrian situation is far from simple; as a country virtually replete with all sorts of sectarian prejudices, potential military conflicts, religious denominational differences, Israeli-Arab hot friction points, and political ambitions for foreign powers Syria could very well play the catalyst role Poland played in the Second World War once the wrong move has been taken.

All hell could break loose anytime in Syria. That is one statement president Bashaar Al-Assad made that I can’t undermine nor challenge.

We have all possible scenarios and major players ready to be dragged into this Syrian drama; we’ve got the ayatollahs of Iran trying to breathe life into the Assad’s regime, the Saudis delegitimizing the Alawite/Shiite rule of the Assad’s clan, we have the Americans eyeing the reactions of the Chinese/Russian evolving alliance while keeping in mind the security of Israel, we have the Turks in their dilemma between securing the borders with Syria and anticipating a Kurdish aspiration to join the Arab spring and we have the Israelis hoping to play the wild card that will rid them of the perpetuating headache of Hezbollah and Hamas and eventually Iran with a little help of their friends at the white House.

But while political analysts, strategic think tanks as well as the regional and international powers are counting the cost of resolving this Syrian impasse, few are those who bothered to integrate the power of the Syrian people as one of the decisive factors to reckon with in these unprecedented convulsions of civil unrest.

And while all the scenarios imagined for the Syrian predicament are shrouded in ambivalence and highly unpredictable, the struggle of the Syrian people that has been irrevocably triggered by the vicious bloodshed- a non-negotiable case in an honor society like Syria- is certainly bound to go the whole way through no matter what.

And as the Assad’s regime has banned all foreign media in Syria since the uprising took off, the whole world relied on YouTube videos uploaded by anti-Assad protesters and posts published by Syrian activists- mostly reporting from neighboring countries like Lebanon and Turkey- to get updated on the news of the Assad’s brutal crackdown on protests and activists.

Scared- Britain’s Channel 4 News’s Ramita Navai hiding in the safe place in Syria

These reports are a reminder of the amazing courage of not only those who take to the streets to denounce the regime, but also those who record the videos and upload them to the Internet for the rest of the country, and the world, to see.

Lately, Britain’s Channel 4 News’s Ramita Navai and director Wael Dabbous went undercover in Syria to report on the anti-Assad uprising.

One of the few teams to avoid the ban on foreign media operating without official permission, they meet the protestors and the victims of the bloody crackdown, and visit the clandestine hospitals set up in private homes by doctors who risk torture or death for treating the injured.

Navi&Dabbous managed not only to convey the horror of one of the most ghastly episodes of a repressive regime but also the courage of the underground resistance of the unarmed and almost forsaken by the world Syrian opposition. 

In two weeks, Navi and Dabbous have recorded enough footage for a tremendously daring report, worthy of a Pulitzer Prize, that managed to display yet another chapter of human bravery in both confronting tyranny and recording it at the same time.

You can watch the report here:

[youtube NXkUeh6cGQ0&list=PLB32B68EDBF2D6C6A&index=12&feature=plpp_video Unreported World – Syria undercover -Ch 4]

For more articles by Dr. Ashraf Ezzat visit his website


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Ashraf Ezzat is an Egyptian born in Cairo and based in Alexandria. He graduated from the faculty of Medicine at Alexandria University. Keen not to be entirely consumed by the medical profession, Dr. Ezzat invests a lot of his time in research and writing. History of the ancient Near East and of Ancient Egypt has long been an area of special interest to him. In his writings, he approaches ancient history not as some tales from the remote times but as a causative factor in our existing life; and to him, it's as relevant and vibrant as the current moment. In his research and writings, Dr. Ezzat is always on a quest trying to find out why the ancient wisdom had been obstructed and ancient spirituality diminished whereas the Judeo-Christian teachings and faith took hold and prospered. Dr. Ezzat has written extensively in Arabic tackling many issues and topics in the field of Egyptology and comparative religion. He is the author of Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites. He writes regularly at many well-known online websites such as Dissident Voice and What Really Happened. Dr. Ezzat is also an independent filmmaker. His debut film was back in 2011 The Annals of Egypt Revolution and in 2012 he made Tale of Osiris a short animation for children. In 2013 his short The Pyramids: story of creation was screened at many international film festivals in Europe. And he is working now on his first documentary "Egypt knew no Pharaohs nor Israelites".