Rima Assaf: How One Broadcaster Liberated Her Emotions with the Written Word

Rima Assaf

While preparing my report on the Holocaust of Aleppo, I felt the customary format of broadcast news did not allow me to express my feelings. Thus, I have resorted to these written words in order to release my unbearable pain after watching a father breaking and clawing at stones with his bare hands in search of his children, entombed under mountains of rubbles.

Through these words I repeat those of a wounded child in Al Sukari suburb hospital as she cried out: “Mother, help me! May God support and comfort you. My heart hurts me.”

Also, through these written words, I can release my unshed tears, repressed while watching and reporting on two children weeping over the corpse of their mother as she lay on a stretcher, a baby removed by unfamiliar hands to an unknown destination, the crumbs of bread scattered over meals of blood, and a woman, whose white hair I could not confidently attribute to old age or to the dust powdering her features.

In this space of free expression, we excuse field reporters in Aleppo who abandoned the conventions of their profession when they cried, yelled, experienced the pain and personally interacted with what they witnessed.

In this space of free expression, a legitimate anger exists because the killer shamelessly marches in the victim’s funeral and feels no remorse while reasoning about the war on terror over the lifeless limbs of his victims.

In this space of free expression, I want to offer a tribute to those enduring under fire, and disgrace to the indifferent nations of shame.

The Arabic text is from Ms. Rima Assaf’s Facebook. This is an edited translation by Elie Chalala.

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