A Syrian expat in Berlin has teamed up with Germans to launch a donation drive similar to long-distance "adoption" programs for children in poor countries. Though they fear the wrath of Syrian intelligence agents and for the safety of aid recipients in the country, they are determined to foster peaceful revolution on the home front.
Aktham Abazid and two German friends lead the way into an office that looks more like a storage room off a courtyard in Berlin. The men would like to keep this location secret because they are fighting against Syrian leader Bashir Assad from here. Even in Berlin, they believe that one can't feel completely safe.
Darkness falls as the men flip open their laptops. The seats are plastic, but they have Internet access -- and that's all they need. Abazid, 38, writes three names on a scrap of paper: Hama, Aleppo and Derik. In these three Syrian cities, people are sitting in clandestine offices waiting for their help. The men in Berlin plan to add these locations to the aid program they have devised for Syrian opposition activists.