By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Murad stopped working at the warehouse and now has a job helping a Palestinian merchant with online sales. The businessman who rescued him from homelessness never followed up on his promise to help Murad gain access to a PC workstation so he could put the final touches on his study and deliver it to the FSA. While respectful of the efforts of the businessman and other exiles in Southern Californa to send humanitarian relief to Syria, he's frustrated nobody will help him to help the rebels win the war against al-Assad.
"They are just sending underarmed soldiers to get killed," he fumes. "This is what drives me crazy. You talk to people here, and they say, 'The one who dies goes to heaven'—the martyrdom concept, jihad, all that. But you can't face tanks with conventional RPGs or guns, and when someone dies in Syria, he's not going to heaven. He's not going anywhere. And now his children are orphans."
Murad adds that he's no longer certain the FSA are the heroes he once thought them to be. Their lack of will in opposing al-Qaeda-aligned militias troubles him. Ironically, he realizes, he tried to help those who, if in power, would likely oppress him. "At this point, I don't support any side," he says.
"I am an atheist and bisexual, and I am unstable, but I tried to help the rebels."