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She admired his desire to express solidarity with the Syrian opposition but didn’t want him to risk his life. When his ex-girlfriend Teresa Richard, a Spanish yoga instructor he’d met in Beirut, told him that he would be “crazy” to fight in Syria, Harroun replied, “You have to break an egg to make an omelette.”The U. director of national intelligence, James Clapper, has called Syria “an apocalyptic disaster.” The U. estimates that nearly two hundred thousand Syrians have died since 2011.
“Can’t you help these people more from the outside, trying to get food and water to them? The mayhem has forced virtually all foreign diplomats and intelligence officers to flee; very few journalists continue to report inside Syria, and those who dare to enter become kidnapping targets.
December, 2012, an itinerant American named Eric Harroun checked into a youth hostel in Istanbul. He was living out of a green duffelbag and a tan camouflage backpack, navigating the world one Lonely Planet guidebook at a time.
Harroun and the activist planned to fly to the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep and then cross the border into Syria, where the activist would arrange to leave Harroun with another Free Syrian Army commander.Doctors prescribed antidepressants, and narcotics to manage residual pain from the accident. He cycled through jobs: brokering mortgages, waiting tables, selling cars.He dated a student at Arizona State University named Melissa Hutton.Subsequently, he was arrested twice for driving under the influence.While Harroun awaited various court hearings, he began following the news, and developed a fascination with the Middle East.