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Run Or Die

IMAGINE THAT ONE MORNING you get up and tell your family you’re going across the border into another country because you’ve been offered a job there. A taxi comes to collect you. You don’t say goodbye to your father, and you don’t tell your mother or sister the real reason you’re leaving, or that you’re never coming back. Before you reach your destination, you must pass through multiple military checkpoints, any one of which could see you arrested, tortured or executed.

A soldier with the Syrian National Army holds a AK-74 assault rifle.

That’s how 28-year-old Syrian Subhi Nahas left his home, his family and his country, and with good reason. Subhi lived in Idlib in northwestern Syria, a town currently controlled by Jabhat Al-Nusra, a Sunni jihadist militia, regarded as the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda. Subhi is gay, and in that part of the world right now, that’s a death sentence. Subhi learned early on that whatever it was that made him feel different, he needed to keep secret until he had the means to escape.

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