As the Arab Spring continues to progress and, in some cases, descend into violence, activists around the world have looked for ways to participate. Matthew VanDyke is one of the few U.S. citizens who participated directly in combat, as the filmmaker and activist joined in the anti-Gaddafi fight in Libya, at one point detained as a P.O.W. for six months by Gaddafi's forces. On HuffPost Live, he talked to host Ahmed Shihab-Eldin about his work now.
"After we succeeded in Libya and I saw the effects of our success, I realized that we had to export the revolution to the next country," said VanDyke. "And I believe strongly in the cause, so I went to Syria next."
Joining the conversation to give a first-hand view from Syria were activists Nour Kelzi, joining directly from Aleppo, and Layth Al Midani, a college student who traveled to Syria over his winter break to donate aid. Al Midani described being in Aleppo, and "we heard a sniper fire ... at first I did flinch, I was neverous, but then I was really upset. Like, how is this person shooting at us? This concept is still hard for me to understand."
Kelzi reiterated the risk, but stressed that it hasn't intimidated her, saying "this is a war zone. Just having others who just feel your pain and understand what you're going through... brings people together."
Watch the Full Segment On HuffPost Live.