On October 26, 2016, the New York Institute for the Humanities had the pleasure of hosting Abdel-Aziz al-Hamza, the co-founder of the Syrian activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently.
Living under the constant threat from ISIS, Hamza and his friends and colleagues risk their lives to uncover human rights abuses in the besieged city of Raqqa, and fight against the occupiers of their homeland through an ingenious blend of gallows humor, social media campaigns, and daring reportage.
Hamza was joined by the American poet and journalist Eliza Griswold, and together with the audience they discussed the power of social media in activist campaigns, redirecting the perception of Raqqa as an ISIS stronghold to that of a city and a people under siege, and Hamza's hope for the future of his city and his country.
Last year, the New Yorker editor and NYIH fellow David Remnick wrote a fantastic profile of the group, which explains their mission and the dangers they face:
And you can find more information on Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently here: