Ammar Mohammed Alajrab, 30, from the Bab Amur suburb of Homs, Syria, pictured with his family outside the building in which they rent a basement apartment, in Al Mafraq, Jordan, which they moved into after fleeing from Syria.
The governor of Homs would collect money for the regime, they limit everything the people need, there are no generators, no water tanks, there is no electricity, but the Alawite community has everything. We were oppressed, we couldn't even mention then name of Bashar [Assad], then we saw the revolution in Tunis and Egypt and we were inspired by them. Everyday we used to protest against the regime and the corruption, 300 people or more! When the regime saw this they sent soldiers and tanks to stop the gathering of people. They started to break into houses and interrogate the people and look for weapons. We were protesting in Homs at the same time as those in Deraa.
People used to protest around the main clock in the center of Homs, then one night, at 1:30am, the army fired on the crowd, to this day no-one knows how many were killed. They [Syrian Army] entered my house one night at 4am, they broke the door down and ordered us to stand and face the wall. They had a list and they compared all the names with ours, they asked us, "who are the protestors?" They said I must co-operate and then hit me with a gun, they told us to get out of our own home. They stole from the abandoned houses: TVs, washing machines, food, money, jewellery. In the morning we found that everyone on the list had been taken away.
After this we didn't feel secure. We didn't leave the house for twenty days, we were scared because there were checkpoints everywhere. My brother was detained and there was no sign of him for fifteen days, then we found him wandering. He had been tortured, for 1 month he didn't speak, he is here with me now but he has a disorder and cannot speak properly. After twenty days we left Homs because it was becoming like a ghost city. There was arbitra