Human Rights Activist and Author
Kassem Eid, also known by his nom de guerre Qusai Zakarya, is a Palestinian Syrian human rights activist and author.
Mr. Eid joined the Syrian Revolution in 2011, serving as a spokesman for a local opposition council in Mouadamiya, south of Damascus. He is a media and human rights activist, and a survivor of the Ghouta sarin nerve gas massacre in August 2013 and two years of brutal siege by government forces.
At the end of 2013, Mr. Eid launched a hunger strike to protest the Assad regime’s starve-or-surrender strategy. Lasting more than 30 days, his peaceful protest was joined by thousands of people across the world in solidarity, including Congressman Keith Ellison and Noam Chomsky. In March 2014 he embarked on a speaking tour across the United States and testified before the United Nations Security Council. He also briefed the White House, the State Department, Congress, the Senate and other U.S. government bodies.
Mr. Eid has published articles in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Foreign Policy. He has been profiled by The New York Times, and interviewed on “60 Minutes.” His book, “My Country: A Syrian Memoir,” was published in 2018 by Bloomsbury.
Mr. Eid left the United States in April 2016 after applying for asylum, and is currently a refugee living in Europe.