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City of Ghosts is a remarkable film that is likely to win many awards (Photo: PR)

Heroes fighting ISIS with mobile phones

The film “City of Ghosts” reveals the brutality of ISIS in the Syrian city Raqqa. And shows us the heroic civil journalists who risk their lives revealing the truth.

By: Robin Ahrenkiel El-Tanany

I have never cried in the cinema before. Now I have. And the reason was the tremendous struggle that some of the world’s real heroes are facing right now in one of the most terrible places on earth: The city Raqqa in Syria, controlled by psychopaths with machine guns under the black flag of ISIS.

A group of civil journalists bring pictures and stories from inside the besieged city. They show the brutality and poverty inflicted on the population. Risking their lives in the proces.

Many of the journalists have been killed. Many relatives to the journalists have been executed. Some group members have managed to get out of Syria. Some are still inside. “We will win or they will kill all of us”, one of them, Aziz, says in the film. He works from Germany – in a secret safe house as he keeps receiving death threats.

I was fortunate enough to meet Aziz after the film. He is secretly in Denmark for a few days to help create awareness of the rape of his home city. One of the real heroes in this world.

I did not know what to say, apart from thanking him for doing such an important work. Sharing the truth may not change much here and now. But as one of Aziz’s colleagues says in the film: “Maybe we cannot change anything. But we can put pressure on the people in power”.

I wish that pressure will soon have an effect, so the slaughter of the civilians in Raqqa will be put to an end.

I wish I had kissed Aziz’s feet for his and his colleagues’ bravery.

The documentary film City of Ghosts, by director Matthew Heineman, is a film about a brave group of Syrian civil journalists fighting the brutality of the terrorist group Islamic State in Raqqa in Syria. They are fighting to tell the world that “Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently”. The group was awarded the International Press Freedom Award in 2015, from the Committee to Protect Journalists. Follow and support the work of the group of journalists on their website: www.raqqa-sl.com. The film was shown under the international documentary film festival CPH:DOX

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