Saturday, March 09, 2013

There is an emptiness inside me that has grown over the past two years. At first I didn't notice it, or ignored it, but now there is no denying it. I was speaking to a friend of mine about Syria. We'd both met briefly about a year and a half ago, just when the revolution was starting. At the time we were filled with hope and optimism. He told me about joining protests in Damascus and about how those friends of his who were arrested would come out of prison even more determined to keep the demonstrations going. I was telling him about how amazing it was to finally be able to speak my mind and attend protests against the regime in front of the embassy without feeling afraid.

Today we spoke mainly about our fears for the future, and about how families in Damascus are living in denial, and refusing to contemplate leaving the country and going elsewhere. When I told him about how strange and empty I felt, he knew exactly what I meant. We all try to lead normal lives amongst people who couldn't imagine what it is like to come from Syria. I told him about how I spoke with somebody on the phone, and could hear gunfire and explosions over the phone, and then sat down in a normal office with people chatting away and stressed about mundane day to day affairs. We live parallel lives, and this is a source of constant tension. Nobody wants to keep hearing about Syria and what's happening, and yet that is the only thing that is on our minds. So we pretend to be interested in trivial chit-chat, and talk about such and such a movie or about things we hear about in the local news.

This works, but only for a little bit. The tension in side us grows each day, and with it the discord that we live our lives. Syrians abroad might not be in danger, but we're facing our own battles each day.

1 comment:

Safiya Outlines said...

It is very hard to know that as I sit and write this in comfort, my family are living in deprivation. Very hard.

I wish with all my heart we had made our relatives leave much, much earlier. Some of our family has managed to settle in Jordan, but the rest remain in Damascus. I guess I never thought that the Syrian people would be allowed to suffer for such a prolonged length of time.

I cannot get over a recent video I saw of Harasta. I remember it being a vibrant area, full of shops, now it is utterly destroyed.

It is just so sad and horrible. I can't think of anything else to say aside from that.