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A visit to the refugee school

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Last week, was my first day to visit the refugee school inside Syria; it happens that it was also the first day in the SOS non-governmental organization, it left on me a lifelong lasting experience on my mind and soul, which is why it is definitely worth mentioning on paper, in this trip I learned, that most important and precious aspect of human existence is its dignity, and humans in all cultures will pay every possible price in order to save and protect that dignity, this is in general, in every case there is exceptions also to be mentioned, What I mean with the word “dignity” is constant human pursuit to save face and appear like everyone else around them in spite of life uncompromising difficulties, we see this self-evident in the case of the refugees who are staying temporarily in the Syrian schools, from the first glance we see them living a life like any ordinary life that we the non-refugees live, but after close examination we see completely different picture from the one we see from far way, the first thing that we notice is the daily stress that the refugees feel because of the rapid change in their environment, like a plant that if we took it from one botanic garden to the next, in most of the time it will die from the change in the environment that inflicted on it, this is in case of plants, in case of humans, it takes a shape of unhappiness and lack of laughter and smile, which are very essential for every human being. Another example that can be used to explain this feeling to the observing mind, is the metaphor of the naked person walking in the public streets, as we know the person is striped from his cloths and suffers from public scrutiny not just because he lacks cloths to cover his body, but because he in this norm and behavior is bringing disgrace to the laws and values of society at large.  So we conclude that being a refugee is an experience very humiliating to the human soul, no matter what people tell you otherwise, you can easily notice the pain and suffering from their tone of voice and knowing all that, you should deal with them according to that order. In spite of all the daily difficulties that people in the refugee schools encounter, you can see from time to time, some kind of order and tidiness here and there, if this shows a thing, it shows that there are always people who are fighting the adversary back and are creating that human action friction with it, like Clausewitz explains in his book “On War”, making the destructive storm postpone in motion, and opening a place to rationality and human sound calculation to appear. We see this in the constant struggle of the Syrian families against poor conditions, in order to recover what was taken from them by the brute force of war and circumstances we also see them from time to time working as a one group to fight the bigger issues that face the whole school building like the sanitary broken system or the spread of infectious disease with acts of separating the people affected and calling for assistance of the Ngo’s and government.

The school that we went was a governmental school, now is empty of students accept of 2-3 classes still functioning, the main mission of the organization that I’m volunteered in, is to provide children and families of the needy, with basic needs in times of hardship and in times of peace, in addition to this its established to provide orphan children with families in order to achieve smooth integration of orphan children back to society. This mission attracted me to volunteer in this Organization, in addition to this there was an inner motivation concerning to my sheer interest in adventurous and exciting events which push me always to this kind of humanistic situations and events, and also comes from my personal conviction that every human being at some point of his or her life, should do something to humanity no matter how small or great, and with the result of such a altruistic behavior all of humanity would suffer less and would gain more happiness on the long run. So, in a bottom line, my personal fight is with injustice inflicted on the free mind and soul of (real) human beings, who has a soul so close to in nature with the eagle than the chicken which also have wings, it will never try to fly with them let alone its wings are artificial symbol of their will to fly, and to be more specific, my personal fight is with those who has immense amount of power and greed and has a tendency to destroy other people sometimes societies and whole countries for the sake of their own personal gain and wellbeing, I’m not here to argue that self-interest is a sin, I’m arguing that the excess of it is a mere human tragedy for the person who is possessed by this tendency and all the humans who live close to him  and her, and unfortunately to amount of those people in the 21st century has increased exponentially mainly because of the upper hand of the capitalist system and the consumerist lifestyle. So, it became a normal human scene to see a person riding a very expensive car like Cadillac, which is a symbol of luxury and extravaganza, driving across miles and miles of shanty towns and poor populations without even bothering to look outside of that black window of his car, societies in this sense are becoming more and more suffering from inner separation with the use of glass windows and luxury café’s and private compounds and all the rest of the cosmetic surgeries that the modern life are doing to itself to hide its own vises and abnormalities. My personal guess is my Armenian background also play a part in this, since the pictures of genocide and mass murderer is still fresh in the memory of every living Armenian on earth.

My daily work in the school was visiting each refugee family and taking notes on their financial, emotional, and psychological condition, with the survey filling method, this type of survey covers most of their basic life aspects to make the senior management know and understand the amount of financial attention should be given to each particular family, I also took some documentary photos, some of them are really professional in quality, I also started to take photography more seriously after this experience, and realized the power of the picture especially in the age of Facebook and social media, where the written word is not much of in fashion as the picture. In the course of the visit, I went to too many houses and simply repeated what I talked earlier, the same picture repeated in every room of the school, small classrooms transformed to apartments stuffed with 5-6 people in each room, without electricity, water, or simple cloths to put on, some of the children even didn’t have shoes in their foot, I also saw plenty of children suffering from serious health issues which needs immediate attention, I clearly remember the Mongolian child which her entire special care hospital was abolished by war, so she had no other choice but to live with her family in the refugee school, I saw her wandering in the corridors of the school twice, I even had the chance to take some photos of her while she was sitting on the floor at her home. Also another human tragic case was the case of an old women which she couldn’t take care of herself and she didn’t have someone to help her either, so we see after all this analysis that mostly the most vulnerable people in society are the ones who lack the social and emotional bonds and safety nets, in which these weak existing safety nets fall in the slightest social disruption opening the doors to huge human and financial costs which can’t be reconstructed as easly as some utopian revolutionist  may presume it can.

these were the most severe cases I encountered, and they need the most immediate attention, since everyone else can push their self through the day accept those people.

Small Oligarchy in a miserable world:

As some of you realized there is a vital entity which is lacking in all this, its governance and government support and parent ship, I also asked the same question, where the heck is the government? Simply put, it’s absent, so who governs those needy people? In the midst of the chaos, the “strong” refugee families take the lead in commanding and distributing the goods, apartments and humanitarian aid, leaving the lions share to them and leaving the small bits to the more unable families, mainly the weak families lack the strong social ties and relations to push them ahead in their daily survival and small portion of them already lost some members of their families making them completely in the hand of ill fate.

Conclusion:

In the end of this essay, I conclude that (Ngo) associations are so vital to the development agenda of any society, because it creates safety nets to the vulnerable groups of the society, I also encourage people to donate some of their time and resources to other people if they are strangers even better, who knows when and where you and I, can become in times of need and search around us and won’t find people who helps us. I also suggest that Ngo associations not only should limit their duties to funding the poor and the needy, but widen it to building the devastated states and economies with providing them with the tools of self-sustainability, in case of Syria, Syria needs not only reconstruction in the upcoming years, but also economic   re-construction which in case nobody funded it, Syria easily can become a safe- haven to extremism and terrorism, as some parts of it are already now, it will become not only an importer of terrorism which it is today, but rather to a strong exporter to this rotten apple to the world, to nearby nations like turkey Jordan in the short term, and Europe and the United States, on the long run, I hope in the upcoming years the global community will be more aware of this danger, and take the necessary steps to curb these issues on the ground before they transform from local to regional and then global one.

The beginning of the End, Living with the falling bombs

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The beginning of the End,

Living with the falling bombs

 

In the last month or so, the way which I used to conduct my life has completely changed from the way I do the house work, study and (have fun). The constant environmental changes and disruptions makes the person paralyzed by the total sense of the word, and this paralysis comes in the shape of physical and mental one, like the constant cutting of electricity and internet made my life in a sense much harder to carry on than before, even though it made me more responsible person than before, if I should look at it from a positive perspective, it made life progress much harder,  like if I need to open a net to search for some information, I should use means and ways goes back to the times of Thomas Edison, this is what we got ourselves into in Syria, even my modest writings and research that I used to entertain myself from time to time, has been severely disrupted by the merciless war and chaos. I used to be a very positive personality once, I even used to give motivational speeches about life, but resent things which I’m seeing is challenging the spirit of positivity and the level of human endurance that I used to experience in the last year, I mean by that, that the level of psychological struggle and the physical struggle which I experienced in the two year Syrian war, can’t be explained in a small essay like this, the reason is that any emotional shocks and pains that the human goes through when written on paper, loses its power and intensity, and can’t be a constitute of the real day to day feelings of the person on the ground, I named this essay the beginning of the end, because in so many ways, I feel that that this war has to end, this end can be a personal end, like if something bad happened to me personally, or it can end for the whole country and everyone start to live peacefully, after all this horrible events in the previous 2 years, this may sound pessimistic essay but it’s not, it’s a down to the earth essay, it shows how a university  student like me is struggling to live his life in a normal way in the middle of all this terrible destructive waives threatening his ship and his life, until this day, the author survived 9 threatening events and the threatening events are still counting, this is not a heroic story of a man trying to have a university degree against all odds, it’s the story of every student who will probably give away his life if necessary for the sake of progress and science.

Once in the begging of the Crisis, I wrote a small essay about death and dying which I never been able to publish anywhere and never intend to do so, the reason is my whole concept of death was childish and very simple, the problem with death and the fear of death is, that death can take many form and shapes, from a strong sounds of bombs, to old man, death is frightening for everyone and specially for young people, but in reality death is emptiness of emotion, it’s an empty cup with no water in it, not motion no life, but as we are humans by instinct, fear death as the same way we fear to get sick or be bitten by a snake, the problem arises that in some point of our life we are conditioned to face death face by face, and in my own case, every day, with seeing all kinds of bombs flying over our heads, in that particular facing moment, we get confused to how we will be able to face this terrible organic destruction of our selves, sometimes in a very terrible forms, like the one which happened in the Aleppo university architecture students, or the suicide bombers in the street of the major cities,  and when you see people are dying in this horrible way, you realize that how far the atrocities of war has reached in the modern times, for the outside observer, these bombing and dying people has no significant meaning to them, and may be some people will say let the Arabs die and that their fault, but it’s in some sense every human’s fault who is seeing the wrong and not speaking about it, and in sometimes if not always is encouraging evil, because of his or hers stupidity and ignorance.

if we in the beginning spoke of the body destruction and its constant fears that it comes with, we can see also that the fear to lose your dignity and soul is even more greater and more hard on the human psyche, the reason is, when your soul is smashed or stolen your recovery is slow and very painful, and in some cases it’s impossible to cure, and can become like an open wound you carry it with you until the end of life, the most disturbing  feeling that I felt in the resent days was when I saw hundreds of people fleeing their parts of the town and walking slowly from my street to a more (Safe) ground in the city, this part of town which I’m speaking about a district called(Shiek al maksud) and its situated in Aleppo, which is 1km far from my district, and contain hundred thousands of families and refugees which fled from other parts of the town, so in the recent days the rebels came and entered this part, which made the government to start shelling the buildings where hundreds of rebels are situated all this happened in the night, while hundreds of thousands of people sleeping in their beds, until the date of the writing this fights are still happening in that part, what is the fault of the civilians who are killed and fled the town and been a refugee for the second time in the row? where is the human justice and dignity, it’s all became apparent to me that all this pain is dissolved in the tears of the women that I saw in the street waiting for the bus to come and take them to other place they will call it home. The question is what is a nation or home or government? this question is asked for every part of the world, where governments and homes and nations fall in responsibility and break apart, where there is no social structures and machinery to help to stabilize the damage to the human being, when all this is lacking and when organizations are constituted just to contain themselves in nicely built buildings, instead of per suiting the human benefit and human development,  then and only then humanity becomes in a real thread and danger, in this sense what should conscious human beings like us do to help others? is it possible that relaxation tapes and calm music will solve the issue, or opening our hearts to others and help them to get out of their pain is the right road to take? And if we chose that road what will guarantee us that there won’t be people who won’t use our kindness and empathy to grow their power and ego, and this is what happening in Europe now, where some governments are funding far reaching wars and after a while they are opening their borders to immigrants to come to their country, some of them are not accepting this, by putting measures and jailing people, but thousands of desperate people are fleeing to Europe each year just to reach the shores of so called (paradise). One of my friends is thinking now to travel illegally to Europe by a ship, after he lost almost everything in this war, and I mention him, because he exemplifies the true picture of the young educated generation in Syria, which is facing one of the most uncertain futures you can ever imagine, it is estimated that this war will continue for years, meanwhile, generations will suffer from job loss and disrupted life, if they don’t lose one member of their family. If I can compare the Syrian social situation to something, I can compare it to a train which got out of track and moving by its own force in an unknown direction, the train is only working and moving by its own people’s good will and productivity, without any one helping or caring the security of those people and their businesses, making their lives vulnerable to all kinds of humanitarian disasters without any kind of helpful assistance.

Coming back to my own personal life in this humanitarian chaos, I can say there is a strong feeling of dissatisfaction and fear, fear that cant explained by words, but it’s a the kind of fear that dominates the human and let it paralyzed, when nowadays you walk in the streets of Aleppo, you will see piles of rubbish and dirt everywhere, because of lack of fuel to run the rubbish collecting vehicles are not working, I’m worried that in the upcoming summer days will see the spread of disease pandemic, that will make health issues much worse that what it is now, since most of the hospitals are closed or burnt down from the two sides, leaving 5 or 6 hospitals operating on the ever increasing numbers of injuries and wounded people,  and some people will say the solution is just to leave that place and go somewhere else, but where? the world has become infected with violence and hatred in every part of it, just when I’m writing this words, the Boston exploitations happened against innocent runners, in the finishing line, where is common sense in this, where is the human creativity in this, is it that human beings have this two traits (building and destroying) in the same amount?  I don’t understand.  

 

 

social and economic consequences of the Syrian crisis

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ImageImagesocial and economic consequences of the Syrian crisis

In this essay I will try to explain the social and economic consequences of the Syrian crisis, till the day of the article, because as time going further in the future, things are changing in a very fast and rapid way. I will also emphasize on the point of conceptual ideological dysfunctions of the Syrian and Middle East societies for building feasible reality that can benefit the conflicting visions of the area.

First of all I will do an environmental overall research of the overall situation in the country and then get into more pressing issues of the crisis. The international perspective represented by the UN is totally biased toward the benefit of the northern industrial nations, making their point of view about the subject illigimate. Also the Russians benefit strongly and play a big role in the conflict, because Russia thinks that this part of land is inside its own territorial power zone, that’s why it deployed (big alexander) missiles all over the Syrian borders, after the Turkish intimidating move backed by the Nato to deploy anti- missile shell the (patriot missile system), this Nato move was so rude that it can trigger a wide scale conflict around turkey, Iran,

Syria and as well as Israel, the huge media coverage that Syria in the starting of the conflict was getting has been loosened, after the conflicting super power parties (Us and Russia) saw that resolving the deadly situation is far more complex and far more interweaved to each other than they expect it to be, the big media news agencies which they have far reaching dominion strategies also loosened day to day coverage’s of the ever escalating conflict of Syria, concentrating more on their country’s internal economic struggles and most of the time on American foreign policy.

The situation on the ground is totally different from what is shown to the public on the mass media companies, the life that used to be totally safe, has become a total struggle to survive in a dignified sense,

The inner city wars, has left millions of citizens in total despair and in a unpredicted state of affairs, with constant worry about what will happen next, the guerrilla warfare system that the separatist groups has adopted left all the parts of the city in total insecurity and in constant fear of coming ambush or street fight with heavy machines, this fear in itself is enough to stop any kind of citizen life style and human progress in the broad meaning of the word, even the name of the free Syrian army as an major opposition to the S.g.f has been changed to more extremist ideological fighting groups and forms, which has become more popular here in Syria and gained more respect and power on the ground, like the ( Jabhat Al nusra) and this groups are mainly using suicide techniques as fighting method against the more stronger opponent the (Sgf) .  The western powers mainly concerned by their selling of armaments, are arming whatever separatist groups it finds flow into its strategic long term interests, as it thinks that getting rid of this groups is an easy business which is not, so the idea that conflict can be managed specially in this parts of the world has been shown to be a complete failure which also that can spread its negative effects even to

Us itself, because like the proverb (what goes around comes around). The direct financial support to this separatist groups from Qatar under the American supervision is total catastrophe to any kind of civilization living in this parts of the world, some of the finds even get through under the cover of humanitarian help, those all attempts are utilized only to over thrown President Bashar Alas ad’s government with all its civil structures that took 100 years to build, replacing it by an Islamic Sharia law kind of government, this rigid type of Gov. is accepted as the true way, by the majority of the illiterate masses of the society where poverty and corruption is nested for centuries. About the Bourgeois class of Sunnis, and their stand on this crisis, most of them fled outside the country waiting for something positive to happen and hoping for a stronger comeback in the future, which I personally suspect will happen any time soon, the thing that will happen if the political system collapsed it will be a long period of anarchy, that’s because the illiteracy level is so high in this country and the population growth is so immense that governments in those areas can’t sustain the needed human life standards which needed to live a decent life, also any political reform in order to take in any country, the citizens of that country need to have a certain level of  intellectual ground, of knowing about political game,  that said is, to have the ability to analyze, think and vote from his or her own will, and not to be effected by authoritarian influences like religion, which plays a very big controlling role on human actions in middle east, and the most important, to create political powers which can compete with each other in a fair competitive sense which is lacking from the whole region, we can trace this lack of knowledge, from the collapse of internal structures of political parties in Egypt, the unique situation of Syria isn’t like Tunisia, where the political change didn’t have so much casualties accept the horrific event of that guy who let himself on fire, who started the whole Arab spring.

Social environment:

the most eye catching changes in the social area are the ever increasing number of mass immigration outside of the country that they are living, their lost homes and belongings behind making this mass sections of empty towns a perfect place gangs and military groups from different sizes and power, where they became masters of these empty streets and citizens making it more different to enforce law and order, for the current system and for the system that will follow it. All this happened because of the loose control of the borders between turkey and Syria, which was protected by trust between the two nations. The Turkish side failing to keep the trust, allowed the military groups to enter the Syrian land without any hesitation, even they trained them, which is total violation of international laws and orders and total violation of human dignity itself. Also the second social change is the mass presence of the poor populations on the wealthy streets of undestroyed towns like Aleppo, where they are opening massive amount of shops and stores selling everything from vegetables to fish, this makes a whole new social structure where every one’s life and emotions are characterized by contrast grief and sadness, for example the population of (Salah-Aldin) in Aleppo, moved to Aleppo university’s student dormitories making a total disruption of the lives of both students and doctors, and where the term safe place has become out of mind and question, people in Syria after tasting long term economic failures their heart and mind become full of grief and sadness, especially after they lost some members of their family, little hope left for a better and more stable future, and what make things worse is the 24/7 unstoppable shelling that is exploding over population’s head all the time, reminding them that death is near, which is psychological and bodily pain that needs years to be cured entirely. Another social phenomenon is the constant sight of the ambulance cars with Kalashnikov guns inside them shooting in the air to open a road for the cars to go faster, this new phenomenon make people feel that they are under constant mercy of the gun in any moment, stripping people from their citizenship and transforming them to mere slaves,

In the business area:

the real estate market has stopped working long time ago, because of the sudden recession from war, this where Syria was enjoying 6% rise in growth each year in the past, the Syrian currency is falling miserably without any stop, like a big snow avalanche, making life in the city extremely expensive, the gold prices crushed the sky limits, where the demand is bigger than supply. The price of transportation is connected directly with the rise of the oil prices, which in the recent year has risen dramatically, electricity also connected with oil and the availability of oil in the big cities which is halted by the rebel forces all the time, and because of this too many people are stealing electricity from the electrical posts in order to survive, when too many people steal because the lack of controlling authority, the whole electrical system becomes damaged because of too much heavy load and this is exactly what happening in all the cities around Syria right now, people in general people are relying on wood to heat their homes instead of oil and gas, the middle classes still afford to buy fuel radiators which consumes high and big amount of wood for little amount of actual heating, if this situation continues in the long run, even the richest people will become poor, in the middle of whole this chaos there are big benefiters  also, like the traders who are selling electrical radiators the wood traders, and the mobile phone traders who are asking inflammatory  prices for their monopolized products, those new type of merchants in my opinion will become the new oligarchs of the upcoming years, coming after  names like Azzuz who was a big affluent of the Syrian Government, those new oligarchs do business the same way as their older ones, by doing illegal trade and work without paying any taxes, what keeps them in control is their vast social business and political connections, established by buying the silence of corrupt politicians by money, this gives them upper hand advantage against anyone else and help them to become the richest of the rich in the developing world.

Syria news,The Road to the Airport:

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The Road to the Airport:

This is a continuation of my own diaries and the things that I faced in Syria, even writing of this article, has become ever and ever more difficult to accomplish physically and psychologically, the reasons are obvious my moral is decreasing because the intensity of the war has escalated dramatically in the previous few weeks, things are not the way it used to be, I used to listen to classic music and start writing my own diaries, but now, I can’t stop my mind worrying the mind chattering totally is controlling my mind, three weeks ago, our family decided to travel to Armenia in order to see, if there is any possibility of immigration that we can take, it’s worth mentioning that immigration became the desirable solution for the many in reaction with the current circumstances,  the journey in itself was suicidal, I don’t recommend anyone to take the road to Aleppo Airport, then we went to meet the driver, he was an Arab Christian crazy driver, who was risking his life daily in order to take passengers on that dangerous root, when I first saw this man, I knew that he became the way he was from the stress of war, he was doing his job out of absolute necessity, the pictures of mother Mary was all around his car he was religious, and in the same time he was like the fox kind of humans, dealing with every one, pleasing and talking behind people’s back all the time, he had to take us from a very dangerous root, to the airport in order we can take the plane and leave the place, rebels on the left, ordinary forces on the right, pointing guns on each other, and the road just in the middle, it’s amazing how we convinced our self that everything will be all right, when we first started to prepare for the flight, the news came that there was an Armenian convey which was hit by false gunfire’s and big number of casualties recorded, we were terrified by the news, that’s why we decided that postponing the trip is the best choice, this was the first time, on the second time, we decided that we have to take the trip no matter what, and then we took it, we went on 5am, I won’t forget that morning, because I didn’t sleep that night so well, we went straight to the Airport, the driver was driving on 125km/h speed, he was flying not driving, he was very talkative, mainly talking about his heroism about the confronting death and escaping from it, he was telling the story of the death of another taxi driver , when he was standing next to him, when a false bullet killed his driver friend, he was telling it with a happy sarcasm, like someone, who was already put himself on the side of the dead, the guy apparently escaped death too many times, and survived death not because he was a nice guy, but because he was good with dealing both with the rebels and the ordinary forces, next the car went on a very long road going from the outer borders of the city, the road relatively was secure,  but the most annoying part was the constant chattering of the nervous driver, we were very silent all the way of the trip, our silence was a sign of our nervousness, the funny thing that happened in my mind that moments, is the flaw of imagination I imagined that I was somewhere better, somewhere more secure and more humane , it was natural thing to do, since the circumstances that we were in, was not understandable from the point of the view of the rational mind, when we got close to the Airport we felt the impact of the war, we saw the torn down buildings of Salah Aldine and  the Saif al dawla, we saw too many barracks on both sides of the road, all the barracks were full of machine guns and soldiers it was terrifying part, then we went through the same place where the other Armenians were shot, the traces of the bullets were still there on the wall, we went by that also, then finally after too much struggling psychologically, we saw the Airport building, and took a long breath of  relief, when we entered the building, it was like we entered a military zone , with fortifying walls and guns of all kind, inside there was something like allot of soldiers, ready for fight in any moment, we knew it was a different type of environment here our driver was a known man from heck of allot of people inside the airport, that’s why we entered without any inspection, we were one of the first arrivals for the plane, that’s why we decided to put our luggage on the row and started preparing for the journey, inside the waiting hall, there was allot of soldiers roaming in case of danger, there was one guy I remember his figure, he looked like an old Rambo, with his Kalashnikov and long beard and light t-shirt, he had tens of bullet holders all over his body, these guys were the type that don’t fear death, there were people everywhere  the airport was stuffed with people going more than coming, they were trying to load luggage as much as possible since there was allot of them won’t come back again anytime soon, another thing caught my attention is the huge presence of Armenians in the waiting room, the flight was more than full, there was Armenian big families, small ones and some artistic families also, playing guitar, it was exciting to see all these people in that place waiting the plane to fly, we waited as long as 2 hours for the plane, we ate sandwiches that we made earlier, it was nice to think about sandwiches before we went out of  home, I took an ought with myself that if things become worse in that place, certainly I will fight, fortunately things went far smoother than I expected, and we went to the freeshop section it was closed there wasn’t any free shops anymore, the plane was in good shape and we went to our seats the crazy thing is we were given boarding tickets with no special barcode system on it, it was a fake printed one, maybe they had to decrease the expenses of the flight, so they made a ticket like this, and after we sat in out places, the plane    … to be continued

walks in the streets of aleppo

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sorian al jadida

Walks in the Streets of Aleppo

I had a busy day today, I left tired typing my last article, about my daily life in the city, in this article I would like to articulate how was my half hour walk break from the prison home that I live in, I will explain the overall general impressions that I felt and saw in the streets, it was nice afternoon evening when I went out near 5pm straight, this is the time where the moon starts to show in the sky, I don’t go out later than that, the streets become a war field after that time, I decided make my walk as interesting as possible, so I decided to take another root, from previous days of the week, I got out of the door, saluted our neighbor barber, there was plenty of people inside, they saluted back at me with a smile in their face, usually when I walk I out an iPod in my ears, usually listening to relaxing music, my favorite type is reiki,  or he sounds of the ocean, in this day, the weather was surprisingly nice, there was a tender breeze coming from the north, blowing next to my ear bringing with it, the hope of the future freedom from this suffering, the most beautiful things on those suburban roads, the green long lines of jasmine on the two sides of the street, which spreads its amusing odors, all over the place, the high pitch voices of the Canary birds, singing their learned songs from their closed cages, every now and then I would see groups of boys, looking bored from what is happening around them, sitting on the corners of the streets, sometimes with ugly looking dogs with them, they don’t have work to do, that’s why they fill their time with cursing and fighting, and sometimes with making graffiti on the walls, I like the graffiti, but most of the time, I would keep myself away from this boys, some of them is full with fear and anger, probably they didn’t have any loving parent, to help them when they are growing up, they look ready for a fight in any time, their only worry in life is how to hurt as many people possible in the shortest time, some of my high school closest friends were this particular type, they made me harm back then long time ago, I continued my walk to next to the Soriani church just next to it the Muslim mosque we used to live in peace and harmony before, but now things are different, it’s a beautiful church built with a unique modern design, you would see a funeral papers stuck on the walls there, I entered it once or twice, although I’m Christian, Christians seldom enter the churches of other sects, when I look inside the church, I see a live community of people, protected from outside world’s dangers, next I walk down between the streets , I walk by the DVD seller, he is an old man with a big cross inside his shop, I rarely enter his shop, he shop is dirty and he looks like a hopeless man, you see allot of hopeless people here and there, maybe the slow pace of living made them that way. If you are lucky, you may also see group of girls looking and staring to boys, their outrageous costumes, sometimes makes the boys escape from them rather than like them, like that other day, I saw a girl with a yellow t-shirt with orange shoes, it was provocative, and didn’t fit on the girl, so she looked really silly in that, the eyes of these girls seems to tell a message, a message that invites boys to their sneaky games of love and affection, while the war prolongs, women become more nervous and easy going, they fear being left alone, that’s why you, will see all of the pretty girls of the suburban, convinced their fathers that immigrating is the best choice, there is a big number of people moved from their houses and there is more considering to do so, sometimes when I walk, I would see the furniture transport car comes and collects the stuff of the house, so they can move to a better living place, some of the people move to Saudi-Arabia, Qatar, and Dubai, where the high salaries are an attraction for the middle income educated families, but there also, things aren’t as rosy and easy as what you expect it to be, the global financial crisis effected the whole income of population of the world, another big thread of immigration is the rebels of this war, just days ago, they abandoned one of the elderly houses in the city some of the elderly people couldn’t walk to be able to escape anything, that’s why they left them there where they can face their destiny alone. While all these ideas are running in my head, I’m smelling bad odors of rotten garbage wherever I go, it’s the trash problem, whenever I go I see trash and garbage everywhere, this is how freedom manifests itself in a country here self-discipline and education failed to do their job, before the crisis, garbage gatherers used to work their job pretty well, but after the collapse of the administrative bodies of the government, the started stop working, that’s why the city became a big garbage can, where every night you would walk up, irritated from the smell of the burning garbage. My biggest mistake of that day’s walk, was walking from a narrow street that I avoid mainly, this particular side street, is a mixture of Christian and Muslim neighborhood, while I was walking there I saw a Muslim preacher, preaching in the street in an angry voice, why was his temper so sharp?, Maybe some of his brothers got killed by the bombings, maybe he is trying to gather people to go and fight whatever he thinks the enemy is, I walked very fast from that street, because I didn’t want any troubles to face, it’s 7pm now and the sounds of the machine guns started to become heavy, I decided it’s better to go back home, before I would get killed from a distracted bullet. Finally on my way home, I saw the girl that works in the hair dressing room, she had this despaired eyes and looks, she looked like someone who experienced allot of men and didn’t like one of them, she looked nasty in her overdone perfumes and hair style, any how I went back home, walked by the grocery seller, who was someone hiding his head behind the stuffed grocery products, as I reached my door step, I took a deep breath, that this small walk didn’t end with any unfortunate event…end

 

Pain:

With pain we born,

With pain we grow,

With pain we die,

I’m sure some day

Our soul will go,

To a better living place,

A place where death

 Can’t take our loved ones from us,

A place where love and beauty,

Will live forever.

Usual day in Aleppo

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Usual day in Aleppo

In those days , every time I wake up, I realize how greatly I’m blessed to be alive and breathing , first I look around and see my family members , some still in deep sleep , some already waken up before me , the sound of the television seems non-stop to me , everybody is concerned about the political situation and on what things will turn out next , when I first wake up I feel really dizzy and a bit of a feeling of loath to continue my day, everything around me feels sticky and slow, I feel I’m swimming in an ocean of concrete, yesterday’s  dream or the nightmare still hunts me for a minute or two, usually I see a man trying to catch e and kill me, and I feel  lucky if I saw a nightmare ,because it indicates that I’m still sane, it’s been a week I didn’t see any dreams, because I wasn’t sleeping well for almost a month , what keeps me awake is the sounds of the bombs hitting their unfortunate targets, some people feel happy telling me that they aren’t  the ones who got hit but I always remind myself that we could too get hit by this devilish mortars .We live on the last floor of the building , the probability of getting hit is much higher than the others in the building.

After I wake up ,mostly waking up late , near 11 pm ,I wash myself in a fast way ,and go for my cold ready tea ,which has been made by mom ,I warm it in the microwave  ,drink it with biscuits and pasting cheese, then I sit in front of TV screen , searching  for horrific incidents happened  during our sleep ,after watching the euro news and Syrian local news for a while I start thinking how to get myself off the comfy chair , with this measurable daily routine I feel  my life slips out from my hands , like a sand clock put downwards .I take my pen and open my laptop searching for some inspiration to continue my blog or the unfinished book “reach the top without stress” although I wrote the book under enormous  stress ,mentioning stress ..I become really stressed out in night hours especially around 1am ,this is when the real military operations start to happen; everything around me shakes from the sound of the bombs! with pain in my stomach, and slowness in breathing I struggle to have a normal sleep .I should admit that in the first days of Aleppo uprising I couldn’t sleep because of feelings of paranoia, that a bad thing is going to happen to us, but after a while I resolute with myself, and decide to sleep no matter what, therefore, I found that sleeping early is the best solution. Some days I thought all of this was just a dream, kind of a divine joke where God tries to test a human’s strength, till he cracks down and surrenders. I think the most hilarious thing of all is me putting chairs blocking the balcony to prevent myself from the distracted bullets, but unfortunately it’s obvious that I can’t stop the falling mortars, some people face that reality with positive lies as “everything is going to be alright”, but I prefer dealing with it in spite of its ugliness and brutality, people who want to believe lies can go with that, I won’t stop them anyway.

Arguments about future:

Accept from trying to survive, inside our home , we always fight about the future, what we will do, how we will spend our little resources that we have, where we should go, when to leave, all those questions remains creates an empty circle where every decision, has its unending risks and consequences, from snipers on the corner of the street, to the mortars and potential kidnapers, even the vegetable seller can be a suicide bomber, I wonder how our life decisions would been different if we were just born somewhere  else, There is little choices we have now one is to escape to Armenia, but the road to the airport, is extremely dangerous, just two days ago a car convoy coming back from the airport, trapped between gunfire, twelve people wounded and four got killed, so we as a family know that things are out of our hand and only time would tell what will happen next…

My bullet collection:

For the first time in my life I found an exotic hobby, which you can only do it on the times of war, I’m collecting empty bullets from the top the of the building and from the balcony, I collected 12 bullets till now and the number is rising sharply up wards, this bullets laying in my hands, I don’t really know what to do with them, so I took couple of shots of them and made a design art from them and posted it on the Facebook page, two of those bullets where going to kill my own sister, I will keep those bullets, it will remind me of those hardship that we had to tackle in order to stay alive till now.   I look at them and in a moment I really imagine how I would look like, if something like this hit my own head, I would look really hilarious and funny, and still. I can’t believe that those small pieces of metal can take a loved one away from us.

In the middle of the day:

We eat dinner and watch another doze of news as a whole family, my loved dish is Lazania, we seldom eat Lazania, after I finish eating, I really feel dizzy, that’s why I hurry up to take a shot of espresso made earlier, by our espresso machine, it kicks me off the imposed laziness by dinner, meanwhile, the sounds of the helicopter never leaves my ear flying over our heads, looking down to us, to us the weak ones and shooting bullets and missiles carelessly, what an adventure. Next I go to my personal solitude, to my room to continue writing my books and continue my research about psychology, biology and dreams. In those days, I feel I’m in a creative surge, I feel I’m in the peach of my creativity, that’s why I feel obliged to invest every second of my youth years to do something really unique and compelling, in a matter of two months, I wrote something like 11 papers designed one design per day and finished typing a book consisted of 150 pages, I feel closer death comes to me, faster I write and create, I know that this flow won’t go on like this forever, but I will continue creating until my powers let me do so. The biggest difficulties that I have in the creative process is the suppressive thoughts of negativity and desperation which cling to my head like a mosquito parasite sucking my powers and letting me feel hopeless, for days I would stop writing thinking that I have sensitivity to paper or that the pen is too heavy. Such thoughts are so hard to take out of the mind, it needs special treatment, I found meditation is the cure for such mind diseases in the recent stress days, I went into deep coolness by the means of meditation,  for the first time, I understand how to control the whole brain and direct it toward whatever I desire, but meditation process and the stages connected to it, isn’t a pleasant experience as you thing about it, because it needs, patience and total honesty with you subconscious mind, seldom people have that amount of honesty in their mind, most of the people would go wondering the day in a state of daydreaming and light consciousness, in order for the person to create something, it needs special higher conscious self, another look to granted reality. All in all it gives me the peace that I don’t have in the outer world. It’s like searching a gold coin in the deeps of the mountain but end product worth the effort, I also condensed my studies about dreams, I think it will give another push to my creative being, I will wait and see, what I really long for, is appreciation for my constant efforts to reach higher and higher stages of conscious living, bringing peace and harmony for all the people of the world.

In the afternoons:

After writing books and random designing, I would try to imagine a better future, better humans and nice friends around me, which one day I will have. I’m sure after this brief imagination, then I go for internet surfing, where the internet lags and stops every twenty seconds, this lag gives me an opportunity to concentrate more on my writing style, on the net , I would open Facebook for hour or two, mainly to talk with my closest friends, one of them is a Muslim university student, who was college friend before war set us apart, now I contact no one accept by internet, I miss my friends, miss talking with them, I think it’s normal since I’m imprisoned in my own house for almost two months, my only relief is going for a walk on my own street, at 7pm sharp any time later than that I would face a serious problem, or I would go to the roof of the building collect bullets, ad watch planes attacking building and bombarding them. When I chat with my friends, I try to show empathy to their suffering, since my situation is not any better than theirs, they feel healed when they talk to me, years ago I seldom did this, but life changed me dramatically to the better, this changes are happened on all the people around me, even my doctors in the university who some of them were rood to us, after the war, they become very peaceful and outgoing, I don’t know why people need catastrophes in order to change the animal of habit inside of them, wouldn’t it be easier to prepare for adversities right from begging ? but seldom happen that way.

Some useful coping mechanisms:

Mainly, writing a memo and singing is the most powerful tools that humans do have in their hands in the time of difficulties, it’s something innate ancient and powerful, you must have to sing a song which you know the words by heart, and sing it collectively with another people. It gives you power and raises your self-esteem, playing some sport like jugging inside the house and making push u[s also straighten your muscles and strengthen you personality, reading a long novel, before sleeping also helps to give the dizziness necessary to compulsive sleep.

What I eat between hours:

Mostly what I eat is endless amount of biscuits, with Nescafe, this is the best combination. It gives nice taste which goes with the mood of the slow pace of life, and the fast pace of the creative process. In the late afternoon, I close the show with a hot chocolate which also gives me a nice comfy feeling.

Finally, feelings about boredom and absurd reality:

The last thing that I would discuss about in this essay, is the representing feelings of boredom, the main feel of every day is boredom, from morning to the late nights, because everyone is waiting for the war to be over, but knows for sure that this war will take a long time to end, this slow-paced of life is making holes in our soul the same way cavity makes holes in your teeth after long silent digging, it’s like waiting for the train that wouldn’t come , its waiting to our destiny to change its course, waiting for reality to be bearable again, waiting to live another usual day)…end

The day of escape

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The day of escape

On the seventh day of august 2012, was very critical day in my life, on this day, some of the (salafi Jabhat Al nusra) group, attacked part of the town which I live in, those outlaw groups, are now very active in targeting police stations, and other critical parts of the town.

   All these military separatist groups are connected with the (FSA). They are uncontrollable; destruction is spreading wherever they roam, the fights began at 6:00 am, morning hours. We woke up on the sounds of heavy artillery and machine guns, there was a l-39 fighter jet, which were shooting on the rebels, but the machine gun used by the plane, was not accurate, some of the heavy bullets, were coming right on the buildings, when the plane started to hit the insurgents next to our apartment, we were terrified, because we are living on the last floor of the building, and if any wrong bomb hits the building, we would probably be the first casualties.

   We started to pack our belongings to leave the house, it was terrible experience, my whole family was in total panic, my father suggested that we should go down stairs, so we went down, but we were still not ready to leave, there was too many things should carried out, before we can actually leave, after we were downstairs, one of the doors opened and one women invited us to her house, they were an Armenian hospitable family, who were trying to cope with the unbearable situation, with talking and sharing emotions with others, after accepting their invitation, I started to look around feeling myself in a new environment, there was two Chinese vases which caught my eye, I wished I could have them, the family consisted of women and two grownup children, the father was dead last year, from heart attack, one of the child’s, the girl, was working for a boutique shop, the house was messy, and there was a smell in it, which I didn’t like, this was the first time we were taking refuge, in another person’s house, after we sat a while, another nock on the door, this time it was a women, neighbor of theirs, rushed to the house just like us, she was crying, she was lonely women, teaching Arabic, from (deir alzor), who were also panicked from the shelling, she was crying because she were remembering what the rebels did to her home town, week ago, she were afraid that the same thing will happen here. The mother brought coffee for all of us, we started to drink quietly, the sound of the machine guns still on top of us, after the fight, calmed down a while, we apologized for coming to their house, it’s a tradition, where you have to apologize for everything you do, and then we thanked them and left.

     On our way up back to the apartment, we had loads of bags with us, that’s why, me and my sister, went up by the elevator, just when the elevator reached the third floor, suddenly the electricity went down, I was even more frustrated, some thoughts came to my mind, I asked myself, why all this bad things happening to me? What did I do wrong to deserve all this, why it has become so impossible to live in a peaceful world, only then I realized, that the world which we live in is only a chaos, but we as intelligent beings try to discover order in it, those discoveries are great for scientific in devour , but it doesn’t mean that the realities which we construct to ourselves, are real, it may be a lie which helps us to cope with the changing tides of our environment, it feels like we build our life from sandy castles, but those castles are only sand, it can be washed in any moment, like a child who gets angry from the loss of his masterpiece on the ocean, we as , matured beings feel the same kind of anger, when we put in front of hard realities. My suggestion is for everyone who encounters these kinds of situations, to be calm and not grief for his material loss, because money can come by work, if you are a hard worker, even if you left everything behind you, you will be able to rebuild yourself after the adversity, like the proverb which says, the hits that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. the reality was, that we were stuck, inside the black box, in a moment where mobility is the most vital thing, so next time emergency happens don’t you ever take the elevator, because you may get stuck in there forever.

   Then my father came to open the door, with the emergency key, we were stuck between the third and the fourth floor, only tiny space left, for us to jump out of the box, I was afraid if my sister jumps, the electricity can come again, and her leg could stuck in the elevator, afterwards I knew, that my worries were absurd, because the elevator door once opened, the main electricity of the elevator turns off. Finally, just seconds, before we were going to jump from the hole, electricity came back, and we were finally able, to get out of the elevator, to a safe place.

   In those kinds of critical situations, first thing I do, is searching face book, for any kinds of new information which may be available of the fight, its location, distance from our home, and  available roads for traveling, if we decided to escape, in case of extreme emergency. There are over 7 local forums from where I get that valuable information. Most of these forums are falsifiable, and sometimes wrong, because they don’t represent legitimate source, and besides they are easily hacked and the information is easily manipulated, till now the city of Aleppo is watching fearsome fights on its streets between the (FSA) and the (SGA). Now the (SGA) is taking back the city from the insurgents. For 24 hours in the last 3 months, we are hearing the sounds of the shelling. The supply of the electricity has been lowered as low as 3 hours per day. The shortage of fuel made leaving the town much riskier, the roads to the air port are barely safe. In the minds of the many, the time of the final emigration becomes closer, I lived to see in a time where sad eyes and sad faces looking to the looming future, those same eyes were longing of happy and bright future of Syria, if one thing makes me go on, is the trust, that I have in myself, which tells me no matter what happened, I will try my best to do the right thing.

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