One of our Syrian partners and colleagues sent us this description of his today’s life in Damascus.
Syria is called “The Cradle of Civilizations”; or as one French scholar put it: “Everyone has two nationalities: one of his own motherland and that of Syria”.
This speaks of itself about Syria, the impact of which made a lot of people from all over the globe to come and visit this beautiful and charming country. They wanted to learn from the Syrians, to see the alphabet they’ve presented to the world in Mari, to enjoy the charms of Palmyra, Crac des Chevaliers, Apamea, Busra among many others. Syria of today suffers, and it makes your heart bleed seeing massive of people coming to Syria now, not to enjoy Syria but to destroy it. I wonder Why? Instead of leading tourist groups around this beautiful country to enjoy the deeply rooted culture, ruins, places of attractions and wonders, you see groups of fighters killing each other nonstop and each one believes that he is on the right side and the other one is not, so he should be killed. Where is coexistence and tolerance which prevailed in this country for thousands of years? Or has this become strange words? They totally disappeared from the Syrian dictionary. Damascus is famous for the white jasmine, serenity and love. This had turned 180 degrees into red blood, unrest and hatred. Alas, my home town to be the nest for ethnical fighting.
The Syrians deserve better live. They do not like the sight of blood, feeling unsafe and fearing to be arrested for nothing but being a Syrian wishing to be free and to live in dignity and to enjoy self respect. This is the “abc” of living for all people -.so why the Syrians are not allowed to have it? Every morning leaving home coming into town, I look out for the dark smoke coming from all around the city and almost weep for this sight. As if chimneys coming out of lovely Damascus polluting its air and darkening its sky. Every time I leave home I wonder if I will come back to my family or not. Over two years passed now with no solution in the horizon. On the contrary, it gets complicated day by day and the whole world seems to enjoy it saying f— them all. Excuse my French but that’s really how it is.
When the Syrians started calling for freedom and the right to live the lives they deserve, they did this in peaceful means for over nine months before turning it into an armed movement. This switch was only to defend themselves, homes and families. The answer was a very brutal and bloody way calling the Syrians gangsters, intruders, opium takers and demonstrating for money. Who pays more will be our boss. This kind of people does not present to the world the rich culture and be called the watchers of the cradle of civilizations do they? Wake up and read the history.
Almost 100.000,– documented killed, 120.000, went missing, 200.000,– are arrested and almost half of the Syrian population of 23 million are either refugees or asylum seekers. The infrastructure is totally destroyed, the Syrian pound is now over 150 for the dollar when it was around 45 before the crisis had started. At every traffic light little children, men and women are begging for a loaf of bread. According the last statistic of the UN every third Syrian is now in urgent need for a humanitarian aid. You start your day by a queue at the checkpoint. These checkpoints are another history which I do not need to tell. They are selected rude, junkies and heartless lot. I have personally calculated a check point every 200 meter. Another queue at the petrol station, another one for bread, gas, sugar…..etc and the count does not stop. Damascus used to be called “The city that never sleeps” now at almost 17h00 you find the streets almost deserted apart from cap drivers who are mostly informers.
All the walls of Damascus are filled by pro Assad slogans which hurts your feeling such as Alla is in Heaven for worship and Bashar is in earth for leadership. Take this one: Assad or we burn the country, we are the men of God. Does not this provoke you? Comparing Bashar to God especially at the checkpoints and you are forced to smile at them and bend your head. What is missing the Syrians now is the Hezbolla Militia and the Iraqi ones who want to avenge the assassination of Hussein on the hands on the Syrians during the Umayyad dynasty. They consider all the Sunnis as their enemies and by SLAUGHTERING of a Sunni will expedite the release of their so called “Imam Mahdi”.
Traffic transports ceases at ca. 15h00. You do not stop hearing shelling and bombing 24/7 wondering when is your turn for a one to fall on you and your family. But I assure you that this will not prevent the Syrians to call for freedom and justice. Our patience came to an end. Not for our sake but for the sake of our children, grandchildren and the beloved ones.
I am sure that Syria will always be the cradle of civilizations and the candle which burns to light the path to the others.
By the way, I’m not an activist or anything but just a regular Syrian opening his heart and wants his voice to be heard.
N.B.: A joke on the face book, an old lady took the bus home which was over crowded and non of the young people gave their seat to her. She shouted: you paid only 10 pound for this chair so how do you expect Bashar to give his away easily. They all burst laughing and this is a true story.