Syrians commemorate graffiti that 'kickstarted' the Syrian revolution
On 15 February 2011, a number of school children took to the walls of a local school in the Hay al-Arbeen district in the southwestern province of Daraa writing "it's your turn next, Doctor", referring to President Bashar Al-Assad, as the Arab Spring uprisings spread across the Middle East.
Children from the school were later detained by Syrian security forces, which led to people across the city demonstrating and calling for their release.
اجاك الدور يا دكتور— Butragueño (@3body_xy) February 15, 2022
سوريا درعا ١٥ فبراير ٢٠١١ pic.twitter.com/Zw0dcS9uMI
"From here the spark of the dream of the Syrians with dignity started, from here the spark of the great Syrian revolution started," twitter user Dalida Khalil wrote.
On this day in 2011, a group of teenagers wrote anti-regime slogans on a high school wall in Daraa, inspired by the Arab Spring in Egypt, Tunisia & Libya. They were arrested and outrage over their mistreatment sparked uprising across Syria.— Fared Al Mahlool (@FARED_ALHOR) February 15, 2022
via: Creative Memory pic.twitter.com/JX1e7syxZs
Mouawiya Syasneh - who says he was 14 years old when he and his friends spray-painted the infamous graffiti - told Anadolu Agency in 2018 they were “encouraged by the anti-regime uprisings taking place at the time in Tunisia and Egypt”.
“They tortured us... but they released us after people began pouring into the streets when the anti-regime demonstrations began” Syasneh said.
Demonstrations erupted across Syria after the children's bold actions, however calls for democracy were met with a violent crackdown by Assad's forces.
Since the bloody war began over 500,000 lives have been lost, more than five million Syrians have been forced to flee to neighbouring countries and an additional six million Syrian civilians have been internally displaced.