In 2011, Marwan Hisham and his friends Nael and Tareq joined the first protests of the Arab Spring in Syria. They marched through the streets, shouting anti-government slogans, jubilant. They ran from soldiers and clouds of tear gas. They dreamed of what their country could be, what they wanted it to be. Five years later, one was a rebel, one had been killed by government forces and one, Marwan, was a journalist living in exile.


Marwan first worked with American artist and journalist Molly Crabapple in 2015 when she drew illustrations of furtive photos he took in his hometown of Raqqa while it was under the control of ISIL. The success of that project and the easy rapport they built working together were the seeds for Brothers of the Gun, an intimate memoir of Hisham's life in Syria, intensifed by Crabapple's evocative ink drawings.


What resulted was something rarely seen in reporting of Syria's war - a story told through the eyes of, not the power brokers or military leaders, but of those caught up in it, those who it began to happen around as they went about their lives. The paths they took after the war broke out, and the struggles they faced, help explain how an idealistic protest movement became an international catastrophe.


We talk to Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple about their intriguing collaboration, hear the stories of Marwan and others who watched their country crumble, and consider what might be next for this ruinous conflict at 19:30 GMT.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Marwan Hisham @marwanhishampen
Co-author, “Brothers of the Gun”
Molly Crabapple @mollycrabapple
Co-author, “Brothers of the Gun”


Read more:

Scenes from Inside Aleppo: How Life Has Been Transformed by Rebel Rule - Vanity Fair

Full Al Jazeera English coverage of Syria's civil war - 


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