Updated 26 November
We were devastated to learn of the assassination of Raed Fares, the founder of Radio Fresh. Raed was so dear and beloved by thousands of Syrians and people across the world -- an iconic leader of the Syrian uprising and a legendary teacher in nonviolent activism.
We began this campaign three months ago with Raed after cuts in international aid threatened to force Radio Fresh off air. Over the past few days we’ve had many conversations with Raed’s kids and his colleagues at Radio Fresh and the United Revolutionary Bureaus which he ran. Their message is clear. No one is giving up. Everyone wants to continue what Raed started. They have called on us to do everything we can to fund his work and keep Raed’s dream of independent radio alive. Please donate now to keep Radio Fresh on the air, and share this link with all your friends.
Radio Fresh is an essential service to the community – its brave reporters discuss local issues, investigated cases of injustice, and held authorities to account. They even warn the community of incoming strikes.
Raed was so determined that Radio Fresh stay on the air after the aid cuts. He wrote op-eds about the need to continue funding civil society work, he lobbied decision-makers and met with dozens of organisations. Eventually, he called on people around the world to contribute money to save the station.
When he survived his first assassination attempt by an armed group in Idlib in January 2016, Raed posted this to Facebook:
"Freedom is an idea, and an idea cannot die
Fresh is an idea, and an idea cannot die
Ideas cannot die, people die, and we will stay here so the pain goes away
Oh my homeland, of sacrifices
I cannot thank enough those who stood in solidarity, and letters cannot do justice to my emotions, all I can say is: You are the Revolution, and the Revolution saved its children”
Raed knew his life was in imminent danger, especially in his last weeks. His work was always very dangerous, yet he enthusiastically accepted the risk. He knew that Al-Qaeda's thugs wanted him dead, and in the past month, he could feel that their noose was tightening around his neck.
Fearing he might be assassinated, he gave instructions to his loyal students about how to continue what he had built. Radio Fresh will continue. The United Revolutionary Bureaus will continue. The Revolution that he taught us the meaning of will continue.
We are heartbroken, but Raed left us our marching orders for us. Let’s do everything we can to keep Radio Fresh on the air. Every penny raised will be sent to Raed's team on the ground. Though we are still grieving and processing just what this loss will mean for Syria, we must get to work
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