To: Bassel From: Bilal CC: Black Dog

I was confused, for the past four days.
Bassel is killed, actually, he was killed back in 2015, but we only heard the news lately

I was confused. I felt lost, tired, helpless and i needed to cry. I cried. I slept. I took the train. I mingled with the Sein, frequented centre Pompidou terrace, and rode my bike. Altering the peddling pace between anger and sadness, shuffling the memories. Crying out and then laughing hesterically. I was not a scene in a movie, nor a chapter in a book, or i was?

The news about Bassel rewinded my memory reel to Damascus 2012 when everything was going just. We were risking our lives, some fellow citizens had already died, and freedom was foreseeable and i can confess we almost touched hands, kissed and spent good time.

But then it became just too manipulative and emotionally draining and we simply very bitterly simply we did not have the capacity to contain the pain and the art to embrace challenges.

Friends were killed, kidnapped, arrested and beaten or put in starvation to death. Bassel was arrested too. We were working on a media platform when bassel disappeared. I never saw him again after that day. We were supposed to meet as usual at pages cafe- Rawda area branch that day but he never arrived and then things started to change.

For many, the brave act of waiting for detainees has always been like an evolutionary hopeful open palm morphing gradually into a tight fist. Grasping time. But then time leaks.
The news about Bassel’s death broke me and my fist was let free and i could realize it was empty. Time had slipped somewhere and i could not see the future for a while. It was too tranquille to be contained. Just like many ordinary Syrians I was totally devastated by the fact of his assassination.

I did not know what to do. I could not even send my condolsencrs to his best friend, love and wife Noura. I was ashamed when i knew i am so empty.

The very basic thing i could thought of was to read Bassel’s again. Sort of connecting with the sole immortal construct: words.

I did. And it started to become a smooth relief.

I also went back to a letter he sent me from his detention with his love-Noura- and i cried more. I kept crying for days like a child. Until i woke up and realized i was not a child so i stopped.

During the hard moments, from day one, I started to think how can we be more helpful to bassel in an innovative way. If only i had plenty of money to announce huge prize to those who can crackdown the syrian government files. I thought. Not only syrian government but any brutal shit in this world. How can we spray the stencils of #freebassel on monuments with another hashtag #novandalismplease? Or maybe how to create a mass player video game for hunting for denocrcy treasure in palmyra! But then i became more disappointed. First, because non of these thoughts were innovative and second because i was spending time trying to cope through production. More wastage of peace.

I then discovered, with a deep sincere conversation with myself when i was onboard train that my real big pain was not Bassel, and it was not Nora. It was me. I felt a deep sorrow and i felt so pity on myself. I lost another big dream! Like many, Bassel, beside being a friend, was a symbol star to me, guiding my dreams in the dark desserts of conflicted ideologies.

Soon, after this self-consciousness moment i felt less selfish and less weak and more liberated and freed than ever.

The rest is the best. Few hours latter i will find myself doing the best thing i could ever thought about to say goodbye to Bassel: hugging a dog.

ps, i still feel for no reason that Bassel is still alive.


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