Life as a Syrian

You wake up in the morning and the first thing you do is check your Facebook. You just want to make sure that there are no bad news. Of course you’re going to read about some but what you really care about is your family and friends. After that, you go back to your daily routine. You act like you are a normal person and that you are strong but inside you are just trying to avoid thinking about Syria.

One day you get a phone call from Syria; your grandpa has passed away and you can’t do anything about it. Another day you wake up to see your sister crying; two of your friends were shot dead along with another guy and girl. You feel numb and helpless. How could a country that was so beautiful and filled with warm and loving people become so cruel and cold. You remember the faces of your friends. One of them you grew up with and used to see everyday.

You try to do anything that distracts you from thinking. You are always afraid that there will be a moment when you will give up and say that nothing matters now after I have lost my country but then you go back to reality and say if the people inside can stand it then that’s the least I should do.

Of course the worst part of the day is at night when you lay in your bed and start remembering all the old memories. You never know how you are here now or why.  You once lived their and those people who are dying everyday were the same ones that you grew up with.

You go back to Facebook and you see that there were not many martyrs today; just 30. You feel thankful then you pause for a while. You feel ashamed that death is such a normal thing to you. You ask yourself how could you be a normal person when you don’t value the life of every human. You compare your way of thinking and priorities in your life before the war and after it and you figure out that the last 3 years have changed you. Something died in you; something that could never be retrieved again. You go back to hope; hope that one day you will go back, one day your children will know Syria, one day you will replace all the destruction with beautiful buildings and one day the Syrian people will stand back together to help Syria stand again. After all, hope is all you have left.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Najla Drooby says:

    Hang in there Zeina.! You and your fellow students are doing what is best for you, your families and country now under the circumstances. I, too went through this when the war broke out in Lebanon in 1975 but luckily for me, I was with my immediate family. I went back to Lebanon the day I graduated to rebuild it with my friends but quickly found out that it was too early and had to leave again. My friends who had stayed behind through the first 3 years of war just wanted to get out and study. Eventually many of us went back home and some like me decided to stay in the States for good. In 2010, I got the chance to go to Damascus and share my knowledge and expertise with Syrians. I reconnected with my family from Homs and while I had to leave the area because of yet another war, I was glad I spent 3 years in my country of origin and helped young Syrians grow professionally. Hopefully, your turn will come soon to rebuild Syria and in the meantime, make the best of every day you spend here in the US at this great university. Feel free to write back and come by to DC to visit. You and your friends are welcome any time.

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