As the fighting intensifies in Syria, MM sat down with Syrian activist Tasneem Albarazi, who is a student in Manchester.
Most of Mr Albarazi’s extended family live in Syria. The majority of his friends and family reside in the most hard-hit areas of the uprising. In particular, Mr Albarazi has relatives in Hama and Homs, the city that has felt the wrath of Bashar Assad’s forces most.
The 19-year-old explained that his extended family’s house in Homs was hit by two government missiles. The fighting was so ferocious that his relatives had to live in their basement and Mr Albazari was unable to contact them – the internet and telephone lines were down because of the government’s communication blackout.
After enduring a week of attacks, his family managed to escape Homs for the safe-haven of Damascus, which has recently experienced fighting of its own.
Mr Albarazi also explained that Hama has been under agonizing assaults. Some of his family tried to smuggle food and medical supplies into the city. Commenting on their fate, Mr Albarazi said: “Many were caught by the government forces and were tortured and killed.”
He added: “I also have family members in Hama who have been imprisoned, we don’t know where they are, or if they are still alive.
“These people were not protesting or aiding the revolution in anyway, they were taken from their houses for no reason.”
Another family member of Mr Albarazi living in a city between Hama and Halab died as government missiles obliterated her house. She was 18.
He said: “Every single family member in either Hama or Homs has had their houses partly destroyed.
“None of my family in Syria work anymore – they have all lost their jobs.
“Some family members have fled Syria due to fear for their children and to look for work to support their family, they have relocated in the Gulf, Egypt and Turkey.
“As schools have been shut, I have cousins who were unable to sit their exams this year.”
Since the start of the uprising, Mr Albarazi has organised protests, charity events, flash mobs, sponsored runs, walks and climbs.
The most successful project the student created was ‘Syria Crisis Week’ where Mr Albarazi and his friends raised almost £50,000. The money raised from the event went to provide emergency medical aid in Syria.
Mr Albarazi has also made informative videos which highlight the situation in Syria.
After asking Mr Albarazi if he wanted western powers to intervene in Syria like Libya, he said: “I am not the mother who has sleepless nights not knowing where her son is.
“I am not the hungry orphaned child and I am not the father who had his daughters raped in front of him.
“I will only support what the Syrian people want.”
He added: “The Syrian people have been in this alone for a year now. They are the most inspiring, bravest people I have ever seen.
“Syria is a blessed land, and victory is near.”
Syria's government agreed to accept a peace plan tabled by the United Nations’ Kofi Annan, yesterday.
It is estimated that more than 9,000 people have been killed in the uprising.
Russia and China, two members of the UN’s Security Council, continue to back Bashar Assad’s government preventing other members of the Security Council to pass a resolution condemning the violence in Syria.