As a 14-year-old boy, Mouawiya Syasneh’s graffiti eradicated the Syrian government negatively which sparked outrage like no other. The Syrian Boy Who Started the Syrian War, is a documentary by Emmy award-winning producer Jamie Doran.
Doran, from Al Jazeera, dives into the process of developing the documentary without actually being in Deraa, Syria, the city where the revolution all began, due to security reasons warned by the British Intelligence Agency, MI6.
His cameraman and filmmaker, Abo Bakr Al Haj Ali, assisted Doran throughout the creation of visually releasing how and why the Syrian revolution began. Bakr was the one who mentioned Mouawaiya Syasneh’s act of revolting through the use of graffiti.
“Well, I suppose there’s the boy who scrawled the anti-Assad graffiti on his school wall that started the war,” Bakr stated according to Al Jazeera.
The rebellious attack rejecting the government sparked a fiery effect that would end up with dislocating millions of Syrians and death to half a million.
Once arrested by the police, the boys were tortured in an atrocious manner.
When their parents and families arrived at the police station to ask for the freedom of Syasneh and his friends, they were told: “Forget these children. Go home to your wives and make some more. If you can’t manage, send us your wives and we’ll do it for you.”
Fury cultivated as marchers participated in demonstrations against the brutality treated to the kids, only leading to the police to kill the marchers at random.
“For me personally, this film has taken on an importance beyond many that I have made in the past. To be able to remind (and, in some cases, inform) a massive global audience of the true origins of the Syrian civil war, is an enormous privilege for a filmmaker,” Doran says.
He also stresses that the Syrian war is not Syasneh and his friend’s fault, they only committed an act of defiance which led to conflict beyond their understanding.
Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.
At least half of Syria’s refugees are children, 306,000 have been born as refugees, 200,000 children are living in besieged areas: and 2 million are currently without regular access to aid.