September 21, 2015
Interview with the Berliner Zeitung: Yazbek “Syria as we knew it no longer exists”

Interview with the Berliner Zeitung: Yazbek “Syria as we knew it no longer exists”

This interview was conducted by Susanne Lenz, for the Berliner Zeitung, and published on September 14th, 2015.

A few excerpts of the interview below (approximate translation!)

In your book you describe how you got controlled at checkpoints by Iraqis, Yemenis, Chechens, etc.. It sounds as if Syria is not the Syrians’ anymore.

That is perfectly true: Assad has sold the country. Because of him, foreign fighters dominate. And also because of Iran and Russia. Assad is responsible, but so is the world and the regional states…  The Syrian people wanted a democratic state. The rule of law. We wanted to live in dignity. It may well be that the peaceful revolution evolved into a civil conflict, but it was in everybody’s interest to turn this uprising into a religious conflict, for Assad to remain in power. Assad tells the world that if he goes away, extremism will prevail… Why else then, did the world stand by watching when Assad used chemical weapons on his own people, killing hundreds of civilians, children and women? The incredible brutality of these past four and a half years of massacre have led the population to also use. violence…

Your book is like a nightmare. In it, there is so much violence. How can people find their way out and back to a normal life again?

The violence in the population is a result of the violence of Assad’s regime. As we sit here, Syrians are being shelled. Civilians are bombarded 24 hours a day. Assad must be overthrown, and ISIS must be bought. Only then can the people find a way back to life, to itself… Half of the Syrian people are displaced. Where are the international community, the United Nations, and our moral values? If they wanted, they could depose Assad…

The mass exodus from Syria, which we feel well here, does it it means that people have lost hope?

Yes, that is a sign that people have no more hope. The Syrians leave their country because they fell they have no choice, they are not happy about it. Syria totally changed, it is dismembered. We can no longer speak about Syria; the Syria we knew no longer exists.