At one time, life in Syria was relatively normal. The government wasn’t dropping barrels full of petrol and nails on its people and there weren’t al-Qaeda-sponsored insurgents making life miserable for everyone else. This is just the kind of place that Vice would visit.
“I didn’t believe it at first,” said Anas, a 25-year-old Syrian songwriter and former vocalist for Ana. “Rabia’s death broke our spirits.”
With the band parting due to the incident, after being together for four years, Anas took a break from music to focus on his work at a radio station. But strict state control on media content pushed him to resign three months after Rabia’s death. Confining himself to his basement in Damascus, Anas began producing music again.
With more than 145,000 people dead and 2.7 million Syrians displaced since the beginning of the crisis, music has, like many aspects of life, become an instrument of resistance and war. But while artists from all circles propagate support for the regime or opposition, Anas has endorsed a more constructive message.