In pictures: Syrian artists and activists gather in Idlib to commemorate anniversary of revolution
Protesters and artists in the city of Idlib came together to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Syrian uprising on Monday, even as the territory controlled by rebel forces in the country has largely disappeared. Murals depicting the continuing struggle for freedom from the government of Bashar al-Assad were daubed on walls, while large crowds gathered in the city square carrying banners bearing the three-starred opposition flag. Although Idlib is now one of the last remaining opposition territories, activists still cling to the hope that they will one day be able to shape the kind of country they want to see. (All photographs: MEE/Ali Haj Suleiman)
"On the anniversary of the Syrian revolution, we painted a panoramic mural on the walls of a school in Idlib, and it contains 10 art paintings framed with a map of Syria depicting the most important events and issues that she [Syria] lived," said Abu Malik al-Shami, one of the painters.
Speaking of their mural, the artists said they believed that "a cry for freedom from a person is the cry of freedom for which the revolution was launched".
"We are here at Freedom Square in the city of Idlib, assuring the whole world that the revolution will continue until its goals are achieved, and we also affirm the right of this people to live in freedom and dignity and hold criminals accountable," said Radwan al-Atrash.
"[We will] continue our revolution until we achieve our goals to break the domination of tyranny that has been prevailing over Syrians for half a century and work to expel the Russian and Iranian occupiers from Syrian lands in order to pave the way for building a civil, democratic, political system that achieves justice and equality and does justice to the victims," said Ibrahim al-Aboud, a displaced person from the city of Maarat al-Numan, south of Idlib.
"After the completion of a full decade since the start of the Syrian revolution, we are still continuing this revolution until our demands are fulfilled. So we drew a mural in the city of Idlib in which we presented the stages of the revolution, starting with the peaceful demonstrations and camps for the displaced and the bombing of cities and the detainees in the prisons of the Syrian regime," said Aziz al-Asmar.
One painting portrays Syrian government forces who faced the demonstrators' arrival with bullets.
Another painting portrays the detainees who are still in the prisons of the Syrian government.
"We came to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Syrian revolution and send a message that we are continuing our revolution, the Dignity Revolution, the Revolution of the Detainees. We demand the right to a safe return without the Bashar al-Assad regime and the release of the detainees from prisons," said Ghazala al-Saeed, who was displaced from the southern countryside of Idlib.