Syrian moviemaker Muhammad Bayazid is in stable condition after surviving what his friends and family are calling an “assassination attempt.”
Bayazid was working on his latest film, “The Tunnel,” when he was stabbed in the chest. The film is about a Syrian-American man who spent 20 years in Palmyra prison.
Palmyra is a well-known torture/execution site where thousands of Islamists and Assad opponents anguished. The Islamic State destroyed the prison in 2015 after conquering the city.
A friend who was with Bayazid during the attack said that they were attempting to meet with a businessman when the stabbing took place. The businessman reached out to Bayazid online, stating that he also suffered in Palmyra and wanted to help raise funds for the film. But when Bayazid and his friend arrived at the meeting location, they could not find a residential building.
That’s when an unknown male approached the duo while they were still in the car. The man asked to speak to Bayazid. After inquiring about his identity, the man then stabbed Bayazid in the chest. The friend then rushed Bayazid to the infirmary.
“Along the way he lost a lot of blood and fainted a few times, but we arrived at the emergency room in time,” the friend stated. “He has started his recovery, and we have contacted the police and authorities and informed them about all the details of the incident.”
Bayazid’s wife and film-making partner, Samah Safi Bayazid, told the Guardian that she believes it was an assassination attempt.
“When we chose this life we knew what it meant, because we aren’t from places like America where we can express our opinions,” Samah Safi Bayazid explained. “It’s very hard if you’re an Arab to fight against oppression, your life is always in danger. He was stabbed and I nearly had a stroke just because we wanted to do a film on human rights.”