Yellow Covers the Besieged Neighborhoods of Homs

21 February 2014

A group of civil activists launched the yellow Covers the Besieged Neighborhoods of Homs campaign in the besieged city of Homs, to draw attention to the tragic circumstances the city has been subsiding for more than 20 months.

Activists chose yellow, a suitable color for the grieve that fills the air in a city that used to be the “Capital of the Revolution”, and the human catastrophe undergone by the famine-stricken and besieged people of Homs for almost two years now.

On January 19, Homs awoke to the sight of yellow pamphlets everywhere: “Yellow Covers Homs”, “13 neighborhoods under siege since June 9, 2012”, “250 families on the verge of dying of hunger”, “591 days of siege”, “To die of silent starvation is just another massacre of Assad” and “To die of hunger is more painful than to die of chemical weapons”.

These pamphlets were distributed by activists in the besieged neighborhoods of Homs including al-Qarabis, Jouret al-Shayah, Bab Houd, Bustan al-Diwan, Wadi al-Sayeh, al-Hamidiyah, Bab al-Turkman, al-Safsafa, Bab Tadmor, al-Warsheh and Bab al-Dureib.

The campaign's message is purely humanitarian, a shout in the void to awaken the conscience of mankind, especially after the increase in deaths due to hunger, disease and cold. Still, the activists refused but to address the delegates meeting in Geneva, one banner, carried by one of the participating children, read: “To those meeting in Geneva: we demand the complete lifting of the siege, not just humanitarian assistance.”

The campaign faced little concerns security-wise, as it was organized in areas controlled by the opposition, and had support from the local population. Nevertheless, the activities were limited by the available resources and lack of sufficient funding, as well as the almost constant electricity blackout.

The activist group, while acknowledging a certain level of protection afforded to it by the opposition military groups in the face of regime’s threats, maintained that the interaction with the organized militias was limited to issues of security. Activists from the group considered the campaign as a part of a “complementary and parallel track to the military struggle, and in no way less important, especially at this stage.”

Homs in Yellow is the final call to rescue thousands of people of the inevitable death that awaits them, it's a cry for help that finished off every last breath in these people's lungs, “either you end the siege or the siege ends us.”



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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad