The following is a transcript of Carla Ortiz’s speech.
Good Morning to all the official members and attendees of this conference. My name is Carla Ortiz and I am a film maker. It is an honor to be in your presence and have few minutes to share my testimony.
We all know of the horrific stories and war in Syria, But YET we have THE CHOICE TO TURN THE NEWS OFF OR PUT THE PAPER DOWN to get on with our lives.
I went to Syria because after I turned off the TV I could not turn those images off my head thinking that Syrians don’t have that luxury. I needed to do something so I decided to go there and document myself!
Once in Syria I walked 75% of the country with my team! I saw with my eyes dozens of neighborhoods transformed into ghost cities. I experienced the deadly silence of its empty streets. I dined with a family without knowing it will be their last meal. I drank coffee in homes that no longer had a roof, but their hearts were still full of hope and generosity! Thanking the presence of a westerner in their land. They would even give me their last loaf of bread they had as a meal for their week.
YOU NEED TO know that they are still waiting for us to do the right thing!! From the child in Palmyra that was forced by a terrorist to kill his own people in order to save what was left of his family. To the 14 years old girl that saw her mom being rape several times after her younger sister was taken by these groups for sacred Jihad. They still hope THAT WE WILL for once decide to help them as human beings.
I SAW THE FACE OF TERROR AND WHAT IT DOES TO A CHILD AND A WOMEN before she even becomes one. Do you know what sounds like THE cry of a little boy that HAS JUST testified the murder of his parents? Well, I know what it sounds like and every Syrian knows THIS as well. I have held in my arms mothers crying the death of hundreds of children after a terrorist attack! I had to walk on top of their body pieces left on the ground and leave that child crying that wont let go of my hand.
So? Why are we deaf? How many more conferences do we need to have to understand that our policies and actions have been ineffective. Why is still more important to topple a government than to put an end to terrorism?
Let me tell you that there is a real opposition inside and outside of Syria, but they don’t carry weapons. They don’t want more blood. I spoke with some rebels who told me that they have been absorbed by the strongest forces. Terrorists groups like Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and ISIS. We should already know that every time we allow to send weapons to the rebels most of the time they end up in hands of these forces.
So my question is DO WE REALLY CARE FOR THE SYRIANS OR IS THAT WE ARE only LOOKING TO OUR POLITICAL and diplomatic INTERESTS? The UNITED NATIONS is the government of the people regardless of its size or importance in the economic world of powers. So why we have been so ineffective? Why are we not listening to THE VOICES OF SYRIANS?
I was on the front lines on the last days in the BATTLE OF ALEPPO. I spoke to the people that saw the end of a 4-year endless war. I was there during the evacuation and most of the news you heard were inaccurate and sometimes false. The passage for civilians was guarded by the Syrian Army. The ones sniping against civilians were the armed rebels.
Later they were put in green buses and transported to built shelters. Others search to be reunited with their families. The confrontation and bombing was between the army and those armed militants who decided to stay to fight the battle. I don’t doubt that among them there were many freedom fighters, but many of the jihadists hold their own families as human shields in the east side of Aleppo where their own children resulted in casualties. Being these children also deprive to have a choice?
So, WHY ARE WE NOT LISTENING TO THEIR TESTIMONIES instead of NGO’s and media with no presence on the ground reporting based on the testimony of activists that today appear friendly with terrorist groups. We keep talking about the so call “White Helmets” in the west as heroes, when the people of Aleppo didn’t even know them by this name. They told me those people in the pictures I showed them were “DAESH.”
Confirming in a later report of Vanessa Beeley who was also on the ground at the same time, that they were the civil defense of Al-Nusra. Today plenty of this evidence is available to us from civilians.
This 10th of march the SWEDISH DOCTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS provided evidence (swedhr) confirming “FAKE LIVE SAVING AND MALPRACTIZES ON CHILDREN after analyzing the White Helmet video facilitated to the UN Security Consul deciding later on a No Flight zone in Syria.
There are thousands of Civilians that are aiding daily the injured and fallen regardless of political or religious views whether they are in a rebel or government area. In fact, every single Syrian feels responsible for the life of their fellow brother and sister.
About the Women in Syria, you must know that as they are freed from rebel held areas are grateful that they will not be forced onto the sharia law. Grateful that they can decide now if they cover or not themselves because they feel they have their rights back and know that their daughters will have also the right for education.
Maybe to our eyes their government is not a perfect one. But who are we to leave the destiny of these country in the hands of terror as we did in Iraq and Libya. This morning at breakfast I was served by 3 Syrians, I asked them if they were happy in Beirut and they told me: NO one is happy away from home!
I have spoken to Syrian Refugees in different parts of the world and believe me when I tell you that they can’t wait to be back in their country. The refugee crisis is one of the largest and most eminent crisis of our times and it can be solved by ending these war! Not tomorrow but now!
That face of that Syrian child that you have seen in the news or the internet THAT CHILD holds the story of a broken soul abandoned by you and me and in their eyes you can see thousands of little eyes that our mistakes have deprive them of living their dream in a country that through thousands of years has only given us immense an irreplaceable heritage to humanity, our culture, spirit, science and history.
You MUST KNOW that that these people refer to THEIR Syria as their MOTHER and they have a clear understanding that she is being hurt and destroyed. They will keep defending her while she “Her Mother” is breathing. They will never kneel to terrorism nor to any kind of religious extremism because it is inclusion what makes this country great!
So I stand here today as an American citizen, born in Bolivia with an adopted Syrian soul to help them defeat this terror that is slowly coming to our countries. We must review the sanctions we have imposed on the country because it is only hurting its people. They still have faith on us doing the right thing. I beg you to consider the changes we must make to secure peace in Syria, the preservation of their youngest generation and the safe return of its people.
Carla Ortiz is a Bolivian actress, producer, documentary maker, philanthropist and activist.
The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Al-Masdar News.