A Cardboard from Deir ez-Zor

13 February 2014

In order to break the media blackout that's been imposed on the city of Deir ez-Zor, a group of activists launched a grassroots group entitled “A Cardboard from Deir ez-Zor” on June 22, 2012, to serve as an echo of their marginalized voices to the whole world. After the second invasion of the city by the regime's army, the youth of Deir ez-Zor were looking for ways to break the seige and deliver thier thoughts and daily struggles to the world and “after a month of the invasion the idea of this group materialized itself in the form of a cardboard, as an open area of hope, despite its black color,” as recounted by one of the group's members in an interview with Syria Untold.

The cardboards deliver commentary on the daily events and reflect the day-to-day struggles of the city. The messages are debated and discussed among all team members, according to the group: “the phraes are inspired by the daily lives of the people in Deir ez-Zor or any Syrian city.” 

The team running the page had at one point more than 31 activists, only three of which have remained in Deir ez-Zor at the moment. The team also coordinates their campaigns and work with other pages and activist groups including: “Amarji Gathering”, “Coordination Committee for the Revolutionary Youth in Deir ez-Zor” and the “Tuesday for Syrian Freedom Fighters”. This cooperation has resulted in many campaigns including a week dedicated to detainees and one in solidarity with besieged Homs among others.

Despite the group's enthusiasm, there were many obstacles hindering their work from “the suffocating siege imposed on the city," to the "daily shelling and bombardment, which prevents us from documenting events.”

Nevertheless, and despite their many successes, the group still believes that they have not yet achieved their first aim: to break the barrier of silence surrounding their city. However, the group’s experiment remains as evidence to the innovative power of Syria’s revolutionaries. In the face of overwhelming odds and hostile media, they were able to deliver their voice in the most eloquent way, and with the simplicity of a cardboard and a pen.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad