Another Damascus Night

Another Damascus Night

The ancient walls of my house are a foot deep and yet still the noise from outside passes through them as though they were wafer thin, generally it’s a pretty quiet neighborhood, the children are loud and boisterous when they play but it’s hard to be annoyed, they don’t stray far and they don’t sit in front of TVs playing video games, when I was the same age I played in the street and we made our own entertainment often at the expense of others and more often than not the local copper, I have not lived in this hara for that long but already I watched toddlers having their first day at school, cheeky girls starting to wear the Hijab for the first time and becoming a little more coy with it, teenagers leaving school at the first opportunity just as I did and aimlessly hoping for some kind of a job, I know all their names and they know me, when I return home I get high fives from them all, they call out my name when they see me in the Souk, culturally we are poles apart but underneath we are pretty much the same.
Last night I was lost to my dreams when the noise from outside interrupted them, in my muddled state it took me a few seconds to recognize the sound of boots thundering along the alley, images of Monty Python were just starting to form when I heard the unmistakable sound of a gun being cocked, the metallic click clack had me fully awake and on my feet, it was 2.30 am, not for the first time were soldiers going from house to house but this time they were going straight for somebody specific, whatever was going on outside for a few minutes passed me by I as dressed and grabbed my papers, soon they were marching off again with whoever it was they wanted, then the women started to screech and curse, the other neighbors were coming out, everyone was shouting and one women either wife or mother was hysterical saying she had no idea why they had taken him, then the children all began to cry, it occurred to me for the first time that some of my neighbors have babies and until now I had never once heard them cry, compared to what is happening all over the country just now this episode was brief and hardly noteworthy but the utter desperate sadness of this awful crisis crushed me, I thought I could live with the sound of the bombs and bullets but not the screams of a mother and her terrified children.
Syria is a country like any other, her people are like you and me and they are all suffering immeasurably.
(September 2012 Damascus Syria diary update)

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7 thoughts on “Another Damascus Night

  1. Thank you for liking my post, otherwise I would’ve never had the pleasure of chancing upon your blog. I absolutely love the sort of introspective journal logs you have here, while simultaneously offering a journalistic insight report on Syria . Thank you so much for sharing your work, and courage to live by your passion 🙂

  2. All souks and Hara in the middle east are the same, lots of fun and you see everyone and everyone knows you! I miss it a lot and I always wished my kids would have had the opportunity to live care free and run around the Hara.

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