Ahmad al Hamdan ( Martyrs Day )

Ahmad al Hamdan was martyred on 14-3-2018, when the Regime broke into Hamoriyah, a city located in the middle of Eastern Ghouta. It took its share of the Regime brutal indiscriminate shelling throughout al Ghouta siege. It was one of the areas with intense shelling and numerous massacres.
On the first day, the regime conducted a chlorine attack. On the second day, a missile hit their house and his father was injured. He stayed in the house with his father and sent his wife, daughter and mother away. A day after, he was martyred by a missile that hit his garden, the garden that he loved and used to water, then he was martyred there and watered the trees and roses with his pure blood.

Ahmad was a calm, kind and polite young man. He was also a media activist whom I knew through Facebook when he sent me a friendship request and we had few chats and comments until I saw him in flesh in 2016 in a voluntary work with a group of Eastern Ghouta activists. The work was Eid food baskets for the poor people who are unable to buy Eid stuff. We collected the money from us, friends from all around al Ghouta and donations.

Ahmad was in this campaign and he was titled Abo Bashir, which he loved.
It was Ramadan and was the first voluntary campaign we do, away from the systematic support policy and against the localized discrimination among our towns. When the Regime attacked Aleppo, we worked on the Eastern Ghouta media sit-ins. The first spirit of the Revolution brought us together as Ghouta activists with our people there. Being an activist from Hamoriyah, he was one of the first coordinators and we arranged a women sit-in where he introduced me to his wife and I was pleased with the brotherhood feelings that we had.
One thing I regret not doing before Ahmad’s martyrdom; he invited us more than once to his ground floor house garden that is full of plants and roses like any other Syrian house garden, full of jasmine, bitter orange, basil and other plants with nice fragrances that make evenings more beautiful. However, I could not go because of my work and condition. This is what killing me the most after his martyrdom. Last time I saw him was in December 2017, at the start of the last military raid on al Ghouta. I was back from work and arrived in Hamoriyah exhausted. I was waiting for a microbus when Ahmad saw me and approached to say hi and ask about my work and urge me to do a new activity together. I did not know that was our last conversation.

When the shelling on al #Ghouta intensified and the Regime got closer to Hamoriyah, I was very worried about Ahmad and always asked about him. When the Regime conducted chlorine and Napalm attacks against Hamoriyah, we tried to reach out to him to make sure he’s safe. Our friend was able to contact him and Ahmad said to him “I will not leave Hamoriyah nor my house or garden”. The next day, we heard of his martyrdom and he was right, he did not leave his home. Every time I remember Ahmad’s martyrdom. I remember Naseem, whom every time Ahmad saw me, was saying “Naseem came to this world and you did not come to see her and congratulate us for the beautiful present God sent to us to make our life more wonderful”. Naseem is few months old. She does not know her father. She will live on his photos. She went with her mother to Idlib. She will no longer be able to walk in her house garden that her father did not leave not to let the trees and plants alone to die. She will not be able to grow in the town where her father was buried and visit his grave. She will grow away from all her father’s memories and he will be a picture in her mind and a good soul in her heart. She will get to know him through stories and anecdotes.
I feel subdued that they were able to cover his smile with soil and that he was one of the founders of I’m Alive campaign but now he’s gone.

The decent man, the son of al Ghouta, the son of the Revolution that he believed in, he had never refused any voluntary work as long as it was for the country. He was martyred in his town and could not see the Revolution victory nor the Regime’s fall. I envy Ahmad that he was martyred in his town and garden that he did not want to leave not like me; I live now in exile and do not know if I will return to Douma to be buried there or not.

The most difficult thing is what to tell him!
I envy you Ahmad. You have been buried in your house garden in Hamoriyah and I haven’t, and maybe I will not be able to visit it again or walk in its streets. I want to tell you that we are on the promise and we will defend our righteous Revolution until the last breath. We will not let you down and we will try, to the best of our ability, to change the ugly reality we live in now and come back to our home town with raised heads.

I miss you and I wish I were with you but we still have something to do in this life before we join you.
The Revolution is alive inside us; it did not finish. It is taking a new direction and is getting rid of the dirt it had. Being forcibly displaced does not mean the Regime has won. We are working in a new direction now and we will keep fighting to come back with raised heads and we will build the Free Syria that we once dreamt of, and still, because living with no dignity, with no home, is not life and it has no taste.
Bayan Rihan, 35 Years Old