Fridays 9am PST / Noon EST on 90.7 FM KPFK.
Izabela Świerczek has lived in Poland her whole life, and experienced communism from birth until 1989 when the transition to democratic system came about in Eastern Europe. On one day she only knew what the Soviets had told her, her whole life; by the next day, her history teachers were suddenly revealing a different history – the same history you and I were probably taught. Could Any of that be true? How could propaganda have been so effective? Izabela Świerczek Then witnessed years of political and social transformation in Poland and Germany while travelling to Eastern, then West Germany as exchange student. She now works as a German and English teacher, leading European school projects with schools across Europe, East and West, including countries from former Soviet block: Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Slowakia, and Czech Republic. And is here with us in the Radio M studios at the international school, Institut Montana above Zug, Switzerland.
A former Syrian military officer defies Assad and defects from the Syrian military - just at the moment that Assad orders him to kill thousands of women and children. He can't do it for personal sanity and decides to risk his life by fleeing Syria forever. But how he was able to escape the military and enter Turkey took some complicated steps. Once in Turkey, he was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda, and then tortured when they found nude (gay) photos on his iPhone. There was a death sentence next for him but it was delayed if he could bribe them with cash and guns. A rich brother-in-law came to the rescue, but not after "Rashid" was nearly raped by an Al-Qaeda General (married with two wives) who wanted to have sex with this former Syrian officer. Had the sex happened, the officer would've been executed immediately to cover the hypocrisy of the Al-Qaeda general.
This seems like a Hollywood script, but it is a true story and you will hear for yourself in this exclusive Rethinking Heroes interview from neutral Switzerland where Rashid has been granted permanent asylum.