As I normally do, I woke up this morning and stared at the ceiling, trying to
motivate myself to get up and start my day. I heard my mom and dad talking
to each other very quietly and thought that either they didn’t want to wake
me up, or they didn’t want me to hear what they were talking about.
But I couldn't stand not knowing and slipped out of bed and went to the door
of my small room to hear what they were saying. It’s not something I
normally do, but since my two brothers left I had begun to feel as if I had
to be the man about the house. I know what they need. I do the shopping and
I have to try to help them with financial matters.
Fortunately at the end of the day I can look at myself in the mirror and see
that I still have my lovely girlish features, but I have to act differently.
I sneaked out and listened to them. Dad was sipping his coffee and I could
hear the sounds of the cup on the table. "60 years of work, 60 years of
exhaustion. My life passed by just making ends meet. I did my best to give
them a decent life, and the houses I have had are being shelled. I sold my
car to pay for Abed and Mazen’s trip. Basically I have lost everything and
now have to pay 210,000 Syrian pounds to rent a house.”
»I am the rich man who owns six houses and three stores and I have to rent a
house and feel humiliated by the owner, who looks down on me and who wants
me to pay for the 6 next months in advance. To hell with all these
exploiters who are sucking our blood like parasites. Exploiting all of us
who have left all their belongings behind to escape death«.
Mom interrupted him; »You made the decision for them to travel. I didn’t want
my boys growing up away from me. Abed is not well. He is a little depressed.
But he told me that Italy is amazing, and they have another deal to take
them to Sweden for 800 euro«.
Dad yelled: »And now I have to pay to send my only two boys further away from
me«. He sipped from the cup, calmed for two minutes and said: »When I chose
what I did, I knew it was going to be the best decision. They will
understand later. It’s safer for both of them to be away from here and the
two sides in the conflict. They could be kidnapped, or arrested, or die. Now
they are safe. Abed can continue his IT. It’s so popular nowadays. He can
get a good job and after a time when he gets somewhere to live he can have a
reunion with his wife«, he said.
»For Mazen, he is young enough to cope with a new environment. He has to study
and mature. I am sure it was the right thing to do. I don't regret what I
paid for them; all I worry about now is that girl«.
I felt at that moment that he was pointing to my room, as if he felt that I
was sneaking up on them. I wanted to act as if nothing had happened and went
out of my room. «Good morning«.
»Good morning. Come and have your coffee, it's still warm; and please could
you log into that blue screen where you read the news«.
»Oh dad - it's not the ‘blue screen’!! It’s called Facebook !! Facebook dad
I logged into the ‘blue screen’ as dad asked: "let me see, good picture,
likes, comments, Oh no !! what the…???
Before telling you, my friends, what I read, let us have a flash back. I am
Ram, a Palestinian girl who has lived all my life here in Syria. In the
Yarmouk refugee camp. We didn't get involved in the revolution and the
Palestinians didn't take sides.
But after the bombing and shelling, everyone left the area. We left
everything. The camp wasn't a real camp - it was a city with buildings, cars
and stores. They started shelling us by plane. People left everything behind
and ran away, pushing and shoving to save themselves. That was when I
arrived at the philosophy that "fear has no controlling morality". Still
some people couldn't escape. Either they didn't have the money, or for other
reasons. So the camp was used by armed men. At the entrance to the main
street there was a nasty checkpoint. No-one could go in or out. Poor people
inside. The armed men put the place under siege for 10 months. Those poor
people used everything to stay alive - with no electricity, no fuel, no
mobile networks. But still alive despite horrible treatment by the militias,
and despite the heartless rockets.
In the end there was no food left. They had nothing to eat.
So what I read and astonished me was that a sheikh in there issued a fatwa
allowing them to eat the meat of dogs and cats, instead of starving to
OH MY GOODNESS !! How terrible. I stared at the blackness of my coffee in the cup. How could I start my day after reading this!!! Today, tomorrow and
yesterday just bring new agonies for all of us.