My Syrian Diary: Part 28
Marah, a teenage girl from one of Syria’s besieged cities, shares her stories of life in the war. She recently moved to Damascus to continue her education, deciding to focus her college studies on prosthetics. She hopes to help heal the injured in her country’s conflict
Rapid and unpredictable change in our lives creates many challenges for us.
I will talk today about our new apartment. Some may see this as a trivial issue, but it greatly affects our lives in a very negative manner. In an attempt to prepare us for the new place, our mother took us there for a visit. One of my sisters could not join us, because she was busy with her exams. After seeing the apartment, my little brother was shocked, and he expressed his anger with hurtful words, whereas my little sister was silent as she gazed sadly at the place.
Our mother tried to cheer us up. She said that we would cover the holes in the walls with pictures of flowers and birds so that the place would look like a little garden. She said that we could stay up at night and watch the stars from the room in which the wall had been destroyed. Her smile was fake. Her voice was shaking with an apologetic tone. The bottom line is that we must accept the new place simply because we have no other choice.
Every corner in this place tells a story of injustice and oppression. The ceiling is ruined and the burned walls carry scars that the bullets have left behind. How is it possible to find stability and comfort in this place? Day after day, our most basic rights are ripped away from us.
Despite my own hopelessness and frustration, I felt that, as the oldest sister, I had a duty to help my siblings accept the new situation and to make my mother feel that we appreciated her effort. But deep inside me I feel that it is all a big lie. I constantly lie about how I feel. I put a fake smile on my face and act normal while I am very depressed. I do this with my friends, with my family and even with myself. I tell myself that everything is going to be fine, but I know that this is not true.
I was the first to protest against the new apartment, and I admit that I said some crazy things, but when I realized that I had no other choice I succumbed and accepted the new place despite all its negatives. I know that as soon as we move there we will face many new challenges. It is far from where I study and work and I will have to stop at many checkpoints every day, which is really scary but I tell myself: If you can’t change your life, you can at least change your behavior towards it. Think positively. Your positivity should give you strength and resilience. As Dr. Robert Schuller said: “What happens to you does not matter. What matters is what you make of what happens to you.”
date : 26/06/2015