Sep 30, 2012

Syria: A tribute to Maya Naser a Syrian journalist [by Hala Jaber]

RIP Dear Maya Naser

I felt devastated when I read the news on twitter earlier today. 
You had just called me a short while earlier, I was on the other line to London and when I tried calling you back very shortly after that, your line was constatntly enagaged, killed, by a cowardly sniper's bullet shot into your neck.

To think I was on the terace of my hotel watching and listening to the firefight ensuing and that you were there, just below me, on the other side of the square -- a few hundred meters away -- getting killed... is just too much to fathom. 

Only last night we were discussing at lenghth a trip to Homs together, Homs your city and hometown as you shared your insight and unselfishly offered your help.

I shook, raged, cried and felt immensely empty, sad and depressed for the rest of the day, mostly in denial, unable to believe you went so quicky and at such a young age. 

We had a late phone chat last night this could not be happening! Pick up your phone again dear friend.

It is true you and I only met recently, yet amazignly bonded immediately and became friends as we covered Aleppo, discussed Syria and politics, exchanged ideas, and giggled over the anecdotes we encountered during our day's work.

So many people judged you blindly today, accusing you of being a blinded pro regime reporter, an Iranian stooge for working with Press TV, and belittling your work and bravery over the course of the last 18 months.
Others like me who knew you for what you really were grieved your gentle soul and spirit, your friendliness and generosity, your sense of humor and modesty and your immense love for your country.

You jumped and went everywhere in the country, saddened by the collapse of your country, lamenting the deaths of your people on both sides of the crisis and worrying about the future of Syria. 

Those who did not know you, did not know that you had spent time in prison here, in your earlier years, for your political believes and that you had lived in exile for years before returning at the start of the "revolution."

Those who did not know you and judge you at random, did not know, for exmaple, that you were one of the first to join the protestors and demand change in your country, but that you then took a different course not for lack of wanting these changes, but for refusing to be part of the side that was more intent on Syria's destruction and Assad downfall, than the freedom, reforms and democracy you sought, dreamt and protested for.

They did not know of the personal threats you were receiving every night as a result of your reporting and change of course or that you had to move your family away to safety when those threats turned against them too.

You shared all this with me over the months and weeks and if anything, tonight I am so glad we had that dinner together last week, when we ordered more food than we could eat as we were both starving eatng away and downing a bottle of winse as we watched the mosque and church standing side by side in front of us an epitomy o you.

No one knew that the church and mosque in front of us that night epitomised you, the son of Syria born to a mixed marriage of Christian father and Moslm

I reveal this of you, not to take away your sense of Syrian nationalism or love for your country irrespective of sect, but merely to highlight the mix, and non sectarian blend that was and is Syria.

It was an honour to know you and be your friend, my heart and deepest condolensces go to your family.



Maya Naser will be remembered as a martyr who selflessly engaged in an uphill struggle to debunk the Israelocentric, anti-Syrian propaganda which was disseminated by media outlets including, CNN, Fox News, The National Post, The Guardian, CBC, BBC, Al Jazeera, to name a few, in 2011-2012 period. I joined Press TV during this period as their Canadian correspondent and thus had the good fortune of calling myself Maya's colleague.
Joshua Blakeney a colleague of Maya Naser
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