Mark MacKinnon tells the story of Naief Abazid — who, at the urging of some older boys, graffitied a school wall on a lark in Daraa, Syria, at age 14. The “writing on the wall” enraged Syria’s Baathist dictatorship, and became the source of ignition in the Syrian war — a conflict now nearly six years old — which has claimed over 400,000 lives, displaced nearly 5 million refugees, and has had lasting repercussions the world over.
Get the Longreads Weekly Email
Success! You're on the list.
Whoops! There was an error and we couldn't process your subscription. Please reload the page and try again.