1 year ago today, on June 14th, Hadi Abdullah &Khaled Al Essa were wounded in #Aleppo, #Syria

One year ago today, on June 14th, media men Hadi Abdullah and Khaled Al Essa were wounded after pro-Assad forces dropped barrel bombs on the location they were reporting from in Aleppo, Syria. Both men had been publicly covering the country’s war together in Idlib and Aleppo for years.

Activists and media men are often targeted by the regime via what’s called a “double tap” — whereby one area is bombed, then the aggressing plane circles back to bomb the location again after media personelle and rescue workers have arrived. The goal is to maximize fatalities and ensure those seeking to spread the truth will be silenced.

Hadi and Khaled survived this attack with mild head injuries. But only 2 days later, on the 16th of June 2016, both faced death again when an IED was placed behind the door to the home they shared together.

The explosion shot shrapnel into Khaled’s brain which sent him immediately into a coma. Hadi was crushed beneath the rubble of his ruined home and electrocuted by severed wires before being rescued. He suffered grave injuries to his eyes, abdomen, and legs. Though both men were medically evacuated to Turkey right away, 24 year old Khaled died before being able to secure a medical visa from Germany to remove the shrapnel in his brain.

Hadi, heartbroken and severely wounded, recovered enough from his injuries in the months that followed and actually returned to the Syrian war zone. Hadi could have easily remained safely in Turkey to start his life over — away from the genocidal Assad regime. Hadi also could have sunken into despair at the loss of his beloved Khaled and disappeared from the spotlight.

But Hadi refused to give up.

Hadi had made a promise — to his soulmate Khaled, to the Syrian people, to the revolution — that he would live more days to seek freedom, peace, dignity, justice, and truth through his revealing media activism.

This kind of bravery cannot be ignored. This kind of dedication transcends tyrants, money, greed, power, and war.

This kind of spirit — the spirit of the revolution — cannot be killed.

Free Syria. Long live the revolution. 
سوريا حرة، تحيا الثورة

(art called “Soulmates — توأما الروح “ drawn by Julie Larah 2017)