The demonstrators inside the Arab countries are not alone in their fight against dictators and suppressive regimes, they are supported by people who have been forced to flee the countries and among these are several ICORN Guest writers.
Being forced to flee from a country does not mean that one stops caring about your home country and the people. The main idea behind the international cities of refuge network (ICORN) is to offer persecuted writers a safe haven where they can write and express themselves freely, without fear of being censored or silenced. Today, while witnessing the ongoing uprising in several Arab countries, we see several examples of guest writers that take advantage of their safe situation in an ICORN city to support the fight inside their home countries. One of the guest writers active in the fight against dictators in his homeland is poet and journalist Faraj Bayrakdar, guest writer in Stockholm City of Refuge.
Bayrakdar came from Syria to Stockholm City of Refuge six years ago; he is among those who have survived the longest inside the Syrian government’s torture chambers. Today Bayrakdar is actively spreading pictures and information from Syria to media all over the world. In an interview with the Swedish paper Dagens Nyheter Faraj Bayrakdar says he cries with his people but that he also feels proud when seeing their courage in the streets.
I’m grateful for being offered a city of refuge in Sweden. Here I can do so much more than writing poems inside a prison cell in Syria, says Bayrakdar.
Bayrakdar’s contacts inside Syria use small cameras and mobile phones to record what happens, the activists then send this information to European servers and phonenumbers. When Bayrakdar receives videos or documents from Syria he controls the facts and then forwards the information the world press. The tv channel Al Jazeera is among those who has published his videos, and this is of major importance for the moral among the demonstrators; the true face of their dictators is revealed to the world and the world cares.