Story of Baha The “Child Who was Martyred” Among Lines of The Free Syrian Army

Translated by ; Aishah Barazi

Baha would’t settle for less than an article to mourn him not only because he was the “salt of our revolution” as well as a beloved figure to all revolutionists in his hometown Daraya; for his smile, great sense of humor, courage and enthusiasm; but also because he always wanted to be a hero. He wanted to be talked of and told about and he wanted his pictures on the profiles of friends in all social networks. On his Facebook page, Baha wrote in his biography that he “works on lightening up this world.”

Baha was a young man, even a child who is rushing his adulthood before its time. He used to be called Abo Tariq and when the revolution started he was 16 years old only. He joined the early peaceful demonstrations that lasted for long in Daraya; the city of love and peace. For that, he was detained and tortured and his young age did not spare him that misery.

“Once we arrived to the prison, they pulled me on the floor and every security member that saw me then, hurried to beat me up! I was bleeding and all my clothes were covered with blood. I was deprived of food and water until a very late time that evening. I was hungry and my body was shivering and weakened due to being beaten with batons and electric-shocking devices (tasers). They asked me about hallucination pills and which TV programs I had usually watched.” This is what Baha said in a testimony about children’s detention and torture that was published on a revolutionary newspaper.

During a virtual chat between us, Baha asked me why do I like Yahya and Nabeel Shurbaji this much, put their pictures on “my profile” and talk about them. I did not get his question in the beginning till he said that he wants to be like Yahya and Nabeel and asked me how could he become like them.

After Baha was martyred, a friend notified me about a “Facebook” page that mourns Baha and gives him credit. We found out that Baha himself created that page late in 2011.

What could be peculiar in that for a sixteen years old kid? Nothing at all. The thing that I found unusual is how a kid like Baha ended up in the lines of FSA. That he was injured, treated and then went back to the frontiers with the other fighters until he died a hero a few days ago. The thing that I cannot comprehend is whether the battalion’s commander checked Baha’s birthdate when he joined forces (January 1995)? Did the commander ever talked to him before handing in that rifle? Does anyone care for not recruiting kids in FSA?

I know all what people can possibly say.. Baha could have been martyred while sleeping in his bed due to an “arbitrary” missile or by a sniper’s gunfire while crossing the street even worse he could have been kidnapped or executed by Assad’s thugs. More than 5300 children of both genders were killed as a result of execution, shelling, burning, sniping and abduction since the beginning of the revolution and they were not in the lines of FSA.

In spite of all, this cannot make our children’s death a trivial matter; for us to allow them to go there by a personal decision? When women started joining FSA, many voices arose saying “Has the country run out of men?!” whereas for children to join FSA, they say “God bless them. They are ahead of their time!!”

There are no statistics on the number of children among the lines of FSA simply because most of the death cases among FSA are not being announced for security purposes concerning the families of those martyrs who were never declared as members in the free army. However, we all know that Baha is not the only kid.

Glory and mercy upon your soul Baha.. you did not find enough time to become like those idols that you liked. Nevertheless, you were yourself and everyone liked you and respected you just the way you were.