Syria Update 2015

The situation in Syria is getting worse and worse. Here are the latest:

  • More cousins are fleeing Syria. We stopped asking for details, we just ask whether they reached their destination safely
  • Yesterday, my aunt told us that three distant relatives of ours are missing
  • Kidnapping for ransom is common now
  • A shrapnel hit my cousin and her friend last week. Both are safe, but my cousin’s arm was injured badly and needed an operation
  • A cousin’s commercial truck with the goods in it was hijacked for ransom

It has never been easier to decide what I wish to happen in 2016.

Pray for the end of war in Syria!

Here is how a neighborhood in Damascus looks now.

Journal · Syria

For some life is not that beautiful

Two days after I wrote about my cousin finally settling down in Germany with her three children, her husband passed away in Syria. They were supposed to be reunited when she gets the proper documents. In that post, I added a picture of my 10-year-old cousin’s daughter having fun while flying a kite in Germany. She looked so happy at the time. Their happiness was short it seems.

The Syrian refugees’ crisis and the situation in Syria makes me both sad and angry. Sad because of the Syrians’ misery and angry because the five most powerful countries (China, Russia, France, England and the USA) are more concerned in making money from selling weapons than ending the suffering of people. The arm industry is the most lucrative industry. Greed is what motivates these governments not empathy. With all the reports and analysis about Da’esh we never see any condemnation for the role of these countries in benefiting from its destructive arms industry.

Although my grandmother is only 100 km away in Damascus but we cannot see her. I used to read about how South Koreans have relatives in North Korea they cannot visit and how Germans were divided by a wall. I thought sort of things happen only to other people. I miss my grandmother, uncles, aunts and cousins in Syria. I miss the places I used to visit every summer. And with such apathy from the world leaders it seems the hardship of the Syrians may not end any soon.  

I know I need to move forward but moving on while your loved ones are suffering feels surreal. When your cousins become one of the refugees you see in the news, it becomes difficult to move on. You cannot but feel a sense of shame and guilt for not being able to help your relatives in Syria. We live in a world were the victims became the suspects. Some people are looking at the Syrian refugees as terrorists now. In such world, life loses its meaning and living becomes a burden.

Middle East · Politics · Syria

Why do Syrians leave Syria?

cousin once removedWith every picture or video clip of the Syrian refugees, there is always one common comment underneath the reported story, “Why do they risk their children’s lives?”

The obvious answer is because it is not safe anymore in Syria. The second reason, because of the war most Syrians are not able to provide for their families anymore.  

In the picture: My 10 years old Syrian cousin once removed plays with her kite somewhere in Germany. She traveled with her mother from Damascus to Germany crossing Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and Austria. She endured a terrible journey similar to the ones you see and read about on the media.

Here is another reason many people are not aware of, because of war, Syrian men in their twenties have to join the Syrian Armed Forces. Refusing to fight for the regime is punishable by execution. Others chose to fight against the regime by joining other groups. Some of these young men wanted out for different reasons. They maybe got tired, or were injured, or even forced to do things against their well. 

Sadly, some people including some Syrians who live in abundance outside Syria do not find the aforementioned reasons enough to leave Syria. Their excuse is these boats are too dangerous. Yes, they are. However, they have to make this decision not us. 

All my cousins-except three- and my cousins once removed and an uncle lost their homes in Syria. Before leaving Syria, they either moved to their parents’ houses or rented apartments in quasi-safer areas. There are four millions internally displaced and even those who left Syria were as well displaced in their own country before leaving. Most of my cousins are now in Germany, France, Libya, Egypt, UAE and England far away from their beloved ones. In addition, my sister who used to live in Syria before the war had to move to Jordan.

Unless the world puts an end to the Syrian war, the refugees will keep coming. Building walls will deter some but will not stop them. Unfortunately, these walls will make it more difficult on them. When you are in a war zone, you do not plan for tomorrow you plan for now and now for them is to escape war.