Since 2007 I’ve been writing from and on issues in the Middle East, mainly occupied Palestine and in recent years Syria, fighting for its existence under a foreign war of aggression.
I am an independent writer and rights activist with extensive experience in Syria and in the Gaza Strip, where I lived a cumulative three years (from late 2008 to early 2013). I documented the 2008/9 and 2012 Israeli war crimes and attacks on Gaza while riding in ambulances and reporting from hospitals.
From Nov 2008 to June 2010 I stayed continuously in the Gaza Strip, doing solidarity work (volunteer) with fishers and farmers, coming under fire from the Zionists on the sea and along the border, writing about the criminal siege on Gaza. I finally exited through the Egyptian-controlled border, Rafah in June 2010, returning via Egypt to Gaza in mid-2011 and staying there, on and off, for another year and a half till March 2013.
In, my years in Gaza from 2011 until March 2013, I lived in a home with a Palestinian family near the refugee camp of Deir al-Balah, taking local public transport and enduring the same extreme power outages, lack of water and Zionist warplane flyovers and bombings.
Since April 2014, I’ve visited Syria 7 times, including two months in summer 2016 and one month in Oct/Nov 2016 and my latest visit in June 2017 (to Aleppo, Homs, al-Waer, Madaya, al-Tall, Damascus).
My early visits to Syria included interviewing residents of the Old City of Homs, which had just been secured from militants, and visiting historic Maaloula after the Aramaic village had been liberated of militants. In December 2015, I returned to old Homs to find life returning, small shops opened, some of the damaged historic churches holding worship anew, and citizens preparing to celebrate Christmas once again.
On my 5th visit in June-August 2016, she went twice to Aleppo, also visiting Palmyra, Masyaf, Jableh, Tartous, and Barzeh district of Damascus, as well as returning again to Maaloula and Latakia.
On my sixth visit to Syria, in October and November, she visited Aleppo twice more, as well as areas around Damascus. The testimonies Eva gathered in Aleppo starkly contrasted narratives corporate media had been asserting.
My published Syria writings, videos, photos can be found at this link.
More on me:
Some highlights of my activism and writing include:
-Documenting the crimes of illegal Jewish colonists and the Israeli army against Palestinian civilians in Hebron (Khalil), Susiya, Bil’in, Nablus, and towns surrounding Nablus, including attacks on Palestinian farmers during the olive harvest (in 2007).
-Documenting Israeli war crimes during the December 2008/ January 2009 Israeli bombardment, including: Israel’s widespread use of White Phosphorous (see here, here and here for example) while volunteering with and riding in the ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent in northern areas of Gaza, as well as post-attack documentation and taking of testimonies in February 2009. See videos here.
-Documenting Israeli war crimes, from a central Gaza hospital, during their November 2012 bombardment of Gaza.
-Documenting (often under heavy Israeli fire at close proximity) examples of the Israeli army and navy’s near-daily armed assaults against unarmed Palestinian fishers and farmers (including elderly, children, women, families, young men working to support their families).
-Writing about the devastating effects of the full siege Israel has imposed on all aspects of life in Gaza.
-Giving no-entrance-fee lectures on Palestine throughout the US, Canada, and also in Ireland and the UK.
-Visiting Syria 7 times in the past few years, including prolonged stays of 2 months in summer 2016 and one month in late 2016, going to Aleppo 4 times before liberation and one time 6 months after, seeing areas the corporate media fabricated lies over (al-Quds hospital, for example) and areas where the media obfuscated the activities of terrorists (the underground prisons in the terrorist-militarized Eye Hospital complex). In prior visits to Syria I went: to Old Homs (June 2014) just a month after it was secured from terrorists, and subsequently returned in later years; to Maaloula (June 2014) just 2 months after it was liberated from terrorists and on a subsquent visit in 2016; Latakia, Jableh and Tartous sites of terrorists’ suicide/car bombings; al-Zahra’a Homs site of terrorists’ suicide/car bombings; Masyaf villages, Sweida, Palmyra, Madaya, al-Waer, Homs, and more.
*For a longer summary, including many photos, look here.
This interview further outlines some of my experiences. Excerpts include:
“…being in dangerous areas became normal after my experiences in West Bank areas of occupied Palestine, on the ground for eight months in 2007 where I saw invasions and lockdowns of villages by the heavily-armed Israeli army, excessive brutality against truly unarmed protesters, and the unchecked violence of illegal Jewish colonists against Palestinian civilians, among other crimes.
Twice arrested there due to solidarity work, ultimately deported by the Zionists and banned from Palestine, in November 2008, I entered Gaza, by boat, traversing Palestinian waters, part of a volunteer movement to bring focus to the dire siege on Gaza. As it happened, I stayed for a cumulative three years, witnessing and documenting two major Zionist massacres of the people of Gaza, and the Zionists’ daily wars on farmers, fishers, industry and all aspects of life in Gaza.
Going to Syria was something I felt the need to do—as should any person capable of doing so—in order to see and hear directly for myself what Syrians actually have to say about the fake ‘revolution’ and the hell they have been living since its inception in 2011. As with being in Palestine under Zionist bombs and attacks, being in Syria under attacks of the NATO and allied terrorists, one doesn’t think of fear and one takes strength from the people defying these attacks and somehow continuing their beautiful traditions, living, marrying, resisting the Saudi death cultists by celebrating life even amidst war.
GLOBAL CIR: During 2012 you reported and documented the stories from Central Hospital in Gaza. What did you witness there and can a person and in what way continue to function normally, to go to work, to laugh…? How this what you do influence your life?
In November 2012, Israel heavily bombarded all over Gaza for over one week. At that time, I was living in central Gaza and as my instinct was to document the Zionists’ war crimes, I went to the main hospital there, to document the victims and the martyrs.
By this point I had experienced the December 2008/January 2009 massacre, my first such experience. Then, I was one of around eight international solidarity activists based in Gaza, and throughout the weeks of savage bombings I was on the ground in some of the most hard-hit areas, particularly northern Gaza districts, riding in the ambulances of Palestinian medics. One ambulance I was in came under intense sniper fire while retrieving the corpse of a Palestinian civilian. Riding in the ambulances was an attempt to discourage the Israeli army from targeting medics as is their standard practise. It also enabled me to document first-hand some of the victims of Israel’s war crimes, including their using White Phosphorous on residential districts and close range point-blank shootings.
After the massacre, I followed up by taking testimonies of families whose loved ones, including infants and toddlers, were point-blank shot dead by Israeli soldiers, others who were murdered or mutilated by White Phosphorous, and others whose loved ones were murdered by flechette (dart) bombs, as was a medic friend of mine.
By the time of the November 2012 massacre, I had also experienced the routine Israeli army firing on farmers, while accompanying them on their land, with bullets flying past within inches of my head and body on a routine basis. So the concept of ‘danger’ was long gone, and sadly I had become accustomed to the sight of injured and dead. However, on the last day of the bombings in 2012, two children were brought to the hospital; their stories broke my heart: within two hours before a full cease-fire was to be implemented, a 4 year old girl was brought in and died on the emergency room table. Shortly after, a 14 year old boy was brought in, also dead on arrival. The boy’s body was so mutilated by the drone strike which killed him that I sobbed as I hadn’t since 2009. Sometimes a tragedy breaks the defensive emotional wall one builds to cope with such crimes.
I believe that Palestinians continue on in spite of such horrific losses because they have no other choice. A number of them find comfort in religion. And during the hardest times, many I know were even able to find something to laugh at in their absurd, tragic situation. For myself, it is the bravery and resilience of Palestinians, or Yemenis, Syrians, anyone in such unjust circumstances, which keeps me grounded and inspired to do whatever possible to contribute to bringing an end to their suffering…
…GLOBAL CIR: During your visits to Syria where you witnessed the suffering and destruction caused by the war, can you explain us how the Syrians view the whole war, what is their stance regarding President Bashar al-Assad and Syrian Army, and for them, what is the main cause of Syrian crisis?
-In general, I have found Syrians to be acutely-aware that what Western media describes as a “revolution” or “rebels” or even “moderates” is a farce, a creation of the West and allies. I would wager that not a single family has been untouched by the war on Syria, whether losing one or more family member due to terrorist acts, or in fighting against terrorism, and also by the Western sanctions which few in media discuss but which have crippled the war shattered economy.
In Homs, I met Syrians who had endured the occupation by militants of the Free Syrian army and al-Nusra, who stole food from civilians remaining in the Old City, assassinated the Dutch priest Father Frans van der Lugt because he wouldn’t go along with terrorists’ demands, and booby-trapped homes when finally leaving the Old City. The civilians I met rejected the notion of ‘revolution’ and praised the Syrian army for resecuring the city. The same goes for Maaloula, which I visited immediately after libearation and a year and a half later, taking testimonies of those who had suffered brutally at the hands of the West’s supposed ‘moderates’.
In Aleppo, a woman stopped me outside the residences of Aleppo University to tell me that she would not be driven out of her city and country, that foreigners are trying to do exactly that, that she resists by staying and supports her army. These sentiments I’ve heard all over Syria.
Yes, there are many that supported the idea of ‘non-violent’ protests for political change in 2011, but many of those I spoke with who initially supported them assured me that they very quickly realized that what was occurring in early 2011 was not a ‘revolution’, and was killing their people and destroying their infrastructure. We cannot forget Israel’s role in supporting terrorists—providing them care in Israeli hospitals, even—and in bombing Syria on numerous occasions.
The overwhelming majority of Syrians support President Assad. Western polls even recognize this, and I’ve seen mass displays of support, respect and affection for him, for example during the elections while in Lebanon May 2014, in Homs a week later where citizens were still celebrating election results, and in encounters throughout the country.
Syrian people realize that the war on Syria is not about Assad, it is about outside forces taking control of the country and its resources, breaking up the Axis of Resistance, and imposing a puppet government that would be amenable to Western interests—but which would certainly not guarantee a modicum of the freedom and rights Syrians enjoyed prior to 2011. On that note, almost every single Syrian I have met in travels in the country and also in neighbouring Lebanon has told me that they wish Syria could return to how it was before 2011, when it was safe, developing, and free of the terrorists the West continues to dub ‘rebels’ and ‘moderates’.
GLOBAL CIR: In the end, how do you comment what is to us inexplicable willingness of Palestinians and Syrians to survive on their land in their home, to fight, to never give up despite all the misfortunes they face?
This kind of stoic resilience reflects the strength of people who are defending their land and fighting for their existence. The ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the overt and dirty war against Syria, and the savage Saudi ongoing massacre of Yemenis may have inflicted innumerable needless deaths and destruction, but the criminals—the Zionist, Imperialists, Sauds, Turks and allies—have not broken the spirit and will of the people to resist. Their causes are just, and they have no choice but to fight for their existence. Their attackers lack the courage and moral ground, and will eventually fail.”
*In Bil’in, Palestine, 2007, at a demonstration against the wall Israel has built on false premises of “security”, stealing 60% of the residents’ land. The Israeli army routinely abducts Bil’in residents in hopes that they will cease to protest the theft of their land. Prior to the tear gassing, soldiers surrounded us kicking at our bodies and heads. Full account here. Video here.