June 13, 2013
Hassan al-Sheikh, 42, is a schoolteacher from al-Qusayr. He tells Ahmed Kwider by phone from the nearby village of Ersal about his journey last week out of the besieged city.
We departed al-Qusayr on foot. There were young people, old people, women and children among us. Some of them were wounded. We were targeted by Assad’s army during our trip into the unknown. We were not able to rescue the wounded and the martyrs who were shot along the way.
The trip started in al-Qusayr. We headed for al-Kalamoon. There were about 6,000 displaced people spread out in villages in Outer Damascus and near al-Qusayr. I left my wife and children in al-Nabek before al-Qusayr was invaded. Al-Qusayr was not a safe place for them. I headed for the bordering village of Ersal, which can no longer stand the number of the displaced people fleeing from killing. I’ve heard a lot about assistance the Lebanese army and Red Cross intended to provide, but none of that has happened yet, even though we’re desperate for aid.
I feel tired and exhausted after the long walk for five days. I didn’t take anything from al-Qusayr but the clothes I’m wearing. I’m in very bad condition, but yet better than many people who are sleeping on the streets, with no shelter or safe place.