here, there, everywhere

A View of 2012 From Syria

In At home, Middle East, Syria on January 2, 2013 at 9:42 pm

I was thinking about 2012 in retrospect as that’s what you do in the last days of the year.  I have so many things I’m grateful for:  family, friends, an awesome apartment, my first car!!, a good job, enough food that I need to keep my fat jeans in the closet, great travels, and a re-found appreciation for my every day surroundings.  Then I received an email from a friend of mine who lives in Damascus; it outlined 2012 from her perspective, living in constant fear and strife, how she and her family cope day to day.  After reading her take on the year in review, I asked her permission to publish it here for the benefit of any who choose to read it, because one more thing I’m grateful for is the wisdom and insight of people who are brave enough to put their views, hopes, dreams, struggles, and thankfulness to paper and share it with the rest of us.  She knows it’s being posted and for obvious reasons I’m not printing her name.  But if you do read it and are affected by it, please leave a comment and a word of encouragement so she knows that she, her family, and her country are not alone going into 2013.  Prayers for Peace on Earth and a Happy New Year to all!

The worst thing happened in 2012
The unrest that took over my country, people’s lives, minds, hearts and values.  The bloodshed, fears, uncertainty, violence and hatred. For how long both sides are going to keep pulling each others’ hair?  When are they going to do the right thing?  When the problem takes over it effects everyone.  This suffocates me.

How do we get by?
We get panic, we hide like rabbits, we swear with anger, then we say the Islamic testimony “I believe that God is one and Muhammad is one of His messengers” getting ready to receive death in case we are to face it.  Then when it gets calm again we live our lives normally, we go to work, shopping, visiting each other BUT before it gets dark we go back home. Our hearts are in pain, we pretend to smile.  When life runs away from us we run after it.  Three cousins got married, one got engaged.  We got together with the relatives that stayed in Syria.


We say so but it is hard to smile because we are surrounded with danger.  Every time we buy bread we save some for the day we can’t go out, which happened once.  There was a time when I walked on my knees fearing the shooting breaks our windows.  My nieces reactions broke my heart.  We watch the news once a day.  We try to watch movies to distract us.  That’s when we have electricity.

The lesson of 2012
Listen to the one needs and fear.  Be just.  Whatever you do, do it for God’s sake, and goodness sake because you don’t know when the friend becomes an enemy.  Put the group’s benefits over your own then deal with the problem properly so no one gets hurt.  It’s not enough to educate ourselves with knowledge, we need to arm ourselves with compassion, mercy and wisdom.  Never leave misunderstanding till it becomes a conflict.  Never trust someone who encourages hatred, revenge or retaliation.  Before I judge others whom I am angry with I need to look at the hidden projection behind my action.  Reconcile with my past and accept my faults so I can move on.


What are we afraid of?
We are afraid of losing our loving ones, houses, someone’s anger because this other doesn’t agree about my opinion, unknown future and IGNORANCE WHICH HAS PUT US IN THIS —- SITUATION.  Death.

Things I can’t stand

  • Someone trying to convince me about her/ his conviction. It’s bigger than sides. It is worse than that. It’s a hell.
  • Taxi drivers taking a lot more than they should. (This is the time when we should be merciful to one another).
  • People are still fighting over private problems while they and I can leave this world easily.
  • Someone being happy about what’s happening believing this the right thing.
  • Using religions to justify hatred and violence.
  • People give me the look that how come I am not married yet. I need to be with a man aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

What does lift up my spirit?

  • My nieces and their funny and lovely stories.
  • Teaching and my students.
  • IofC work, Creator of Peace sessions and the youth group.
  • Listening to a song about Damascus and Syria. This tears our eyes.
  • Going to Lebanon and meeting with IofC Team there. I am so thankful to know them.
  • Talking to my friends from Canada and other countries. Their emails, phone calls, likes and comments, support and prayers and wishes have been great support.
  • My memories about my life in Canada and my friends.

Things I’ve been able to achieve
Improving my teaching skills, starting a youth group from different denomination to learn about each other and love our country with peace and good work, and getting an on line scholarship in a course about ” Conflict Resolution”.  I’m always thirsty for knowledge to nourish my experience and motivation so I can walk on solid earth.

I am grateful to:

  • God that my family, relatives, friends and I are safe.  For the blessings I have especially the sight (I appreciate it a lot when the electricity goes off at night).
  • Your prayers, wishes, support, emails, phone calls, words and love. I know that I am not forgotten.
  • Damascus that is still standing no matter how much its children fight and hate each other.
  • My boss’s trust, and my students’ love.

2012 was not easy at all.  I don’t know how the future will be.  I will hold my pain and go on.  I will hold Syria in my prayers and keep seeing it in peace no matter what happens.  I will live now with its goods and bads.  I will cherish my family, you, and my values and my countries.

Peace be upon you.

Sincerely yours…

  1. Thank you for your words. Your experiences and your commitment to humanity and peace are humbling. I continue to pray for Syria and now for you. May God grant you peace in these tumultuous times.

  2. The pain, the suffering, the gross injustices you and the people of Syria are subjected to by man’s inhumanity to man, almost leaves me speechless. How anyone can display such acts of cruelty is beyond my comprehension. Yet I applaud you and many people in Syria for your courage and determination to carry on, and hope for better days.

  3. Humbling to read how you have maintained a loving and peace searching heart in the midst of such terrible strife and grief. Syria and its people are in our prayers for 2013.

    God Bless you and your family

  4. Your reflection on 2012 humbles me and encourages me. May 2013 be a more auspicious year for you, your people and your country. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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