Over the past few days I've come across some of the most beautiful and joyful scenes one can see in a life time. An ancient city dressed up for christmas with lights and street fair, the laughter of children on the rides and the scent of spiced coffee and Christmas sweets. Walking through the Christmas market in Edinburgh I kept thinking that Bab tomah or Kasa'a' in Damascus should be as festive at this time.
The following day I was going through the glens of the Highlands with its snow topped peaks and small streams crossing through the stone all the way to the different lochs and two thoughts came across my mind, this could be Kassab with its majestic mountains and lemon trees; and can all the springs in Scotland wash the blood of the face of my beloved Syria?
Over the past ten months I, like so many Syrians living outside Syria, have, been living in turmoil and peace at the same time. You wake up, go to work, meet friends and live life as normal but at the same time you're wasting away with every drop of blood wasted, you sanity is slowly disappearing with every news round and you're losing friends and family quicker than you can keep up with.
We're cursed if we support and cursed if we oppose, we're damned if we're in the middle or if we try to keep room for logic or reasoning.
We're double cursed because we have to live on when our family and friend back home struggle to hold on. How can I keep warm when my flesh and blood slowly waste away? How can i see beauty when so much ugliness surrounds me?
I've been living outside Syria for so many years, I've never felt I'm exiled as much as I do today. The past ten months have created two types of Syrians, those living in Syria and those living abroad, deny it as much as you want but you cannot say that you're as part of Syria as the people who are living these days there. This was not a price I bargained when I chose to temporarily live abroad, I think that most Syrian expats haven't bargained on this price either.
2011 has cost us all so much, blood, lives, friends and our sense of belonging, as it's coming to its end, the heart trembles when thinking what more can be lost.
A friend told me yesterday while walking the streets of the old city surrounded by joy and morning our dead, this is just the beginning, the stupidity accumulated through the past months and the push for "creative chaos" and "you need to destroy in order to build" is starting to show its results. The question on my mind, how much more will it take for some to realise the price they're asking others to pay? Will 2012 carry the salvation or distraction of all that is beautiful in Syria?
Forgive me all, I can't wish you a merry Christmas nor happily wait for the new year, I can only wish that we end 2012 still having a Syria we can call home and with healing wounds not fresh ones.