Our Berlin Wall in Syria:


Twenty-five years ago people from both Eastern and Western Germany gathered and hugged each other after the fall of Berlin Wall. In the international forums Germany would no longer represented as two countries; from that moment forward, there would be one country, one flag, and – most important of all – one nation.

Previously, people from Eastern Germany would regularly try to escape to the Western German where they could reunite with their families, and enjoy the democratic atmosphere. The fall of Berlin Wall is consider as one of the most dynamic events in the modern history; and this moment will always stand for the voice of the people which reunited a nation that had been separated for 28 years by a wall. This wall, physical in nature constructed of stone, also held a powerful and emotional wall – and this too had fallen with the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

After reuniting the people of German, individuals and communities started to plan for its future. A future free from wars, blood and disputes. A future full of achievements and development.

This incident will always remind me about my home country, Syria. That is, right now we do have our own “Syrian wall” which separate us. It might not be visible on the map. But its consequences are so very clear that there is almost no need for this to be mentioned.

People now in Syria are divided in two groups – maybe more. Each group has its own opinion, and believes in its own vision for the future of the country. Each group is right in so many points; and wrong in too many ways as well. No doubt, each group loves their country and some are ready to give their souls freely for it. While to many victims of this horrific violence and suffering never asked for their lives and those of their families to be so disrupted. Every citizen and resident of Syria has the right to give his or her opinion for the future of the country in which his or her child will live, but these opinions – different as they may be – should be respected. Honest, fair, transparent and respectful debate should be our strategy for working together; this should be our moral code, our law – and for centuries this has been our Syria. Today, we are experiencing a low point.

Despite the whole dark news that comes from Syria, I cannot be pessimistic.

This period might be something regular in the history of nations. As Syrians, for us, this represents something new for us, something that we had never experienced before.If the last three years has demonstrated one positive step forward, it has been that we have hoped for better for all; we have uplifted our voices. If the last three years has demonstrated a few steps backward, it is that we are using violence to resolve our differences and that we have begun to build “walls” which divide us as a nation and as a diverse people.

Still, when you find every individual in the nation that wants to give her opinion, and remains dedicated toward rebuilding the country and the dreams of its people – our people, then I am given hope that one day this will be a great nation – again.

I believe that right now we need instructors, educators, teachers and philosophers more than anything else. We need to rekindle in the lessons of our grandparents and our greatest leaders to remind us how to solve our problems; how to discuss and resolve our differences; and more important, we need daily tell each other – young and old alike – that those who have another opinions other than your own are not your enemy, and they do love their country – our country – like you do and maybe more.

We need to remind each other that before these walls were built that we were one nation of many voices and many peoples and that these walls represent hurdles to our greatness. We got to remove these walls and build parks and art so we can see each other, so that we can hug each other, so that we can tell each other how hard these last three years have been as a nation.

And we can join the journey of rebuilding and healing for the future of our nation – together – with each other. History tell us that this journey forward begins with the first step of coming together as a people and that we will need to reestablish trust, compassion, empathy and that we will need to forgive and remember so that we never walk this pathway again. I do not know how long this process will take for us as Syrians but I know this one thing for sure and it is this: I do know that none of us as separate groups divided by walls of our own or others making will be able to make it with out reaching out to everyone and building bridges and walkways from one group to another so that we can soon join the other groups – and walk forward, together, for Syria.

This is my hope. My dreams. That today, our walls begin to crumble through our positive voices and actions.

Safouh Takrouri

IIT Armour College of Engineering | Expected graduation, December 2014

Safouh can be reached at    en_saf7@hawk.iit.edu

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