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, in the face of the ongoing war that has destroyed her local schools. Her father was killed in the violence and she now lives with distant relatives in the capital.
The moment I arrived in Damascus to continue my studies, living away from my family, I was overwhelmed with classes and homework. I was trying to be the best student in school. But I find myself alone here. I long for my family, my mother, my brothers and sisters, my city and my friends. How strange – suddenly I have so many of the things I craved back home, like all kinds of food and electricity day and night, but I lack the security and warmth of my family.
Life is weird. It is a strict teacher that makes you overcome its difficulties, so you can learn from your own experiences. Here I am, learning more and more in a classroom, while outside of it I am discovering that human beings cannot live without roots that hold them, protect them and give them strength and patience. Without my family, I feel like a withering plant that was cut off from its roots.
A lot of the time here, I don’t know what to say. I really don’t. I am adjusting to this new life. Maybe I need my mother’s help. If I had more money, I would make my mother come live here with me. And then my younger sister could come too, and she could finally have round-the-clock electricity during her own study hours.
Having made it to Damascus, I am suddenly unsure of myself. Will I achieve my dream and go to college? Or will I end up drifting off to where our country’s current circumstances take me? I don’t know where my destiny will lead.