Feature

A female fighter on Syria’s front line

Hanadi, age 19, married a rebel commander so she could fight against Bashar al-Assad.

Hanadi is a revolutionary bride, said the Los Angeles Times. In August, the 19-year-old Damascus law student married a 34-year-old rebel commander, Abu Majid, so she could join a militia fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “It was to prevent people from talking—‘Why is she sitting among all those men?’” says Hanadi, who refused to give her last name to protect her family. “This is just a marriage for the revolution. Either I may die or we both may die, or at the end of the revolution we will say bye-bye but remain friends.” Her father disapproved of the marriage, but she ignored his objections. “We were raised in a conservative society where a girl has to heed her mother and father, but I no longer recognize their authority.” She also refuses to follow some of her husband’s orders, such as a recent command to remotely set off bombs with a detonator. “I don’t consider that work. Grab a Kalashnikov and go to the front lines, that’s work. Being far away and not being able to see anything? That doesn’t fly with me.” Hanadi has fought in several gun battles, and sounds disappointed that she hasn’t been shot yet. “I’ve come out wanting to be a martyr. I’ve been living for 19 years. That’s enough, don’t you think?”

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