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My Syrian Diary: Part 24

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.

Written by Marah Published on Read time Approx. 3 minutes

The exams of the second semester are getting closer, and I must pass them if I want to move on to the second year.

I’m so scared and worried as I haven’t been giving it enough time because of the millions of other stuff on my mind. I know I need to reach some peace of mind to go on as I can’t seem to find comfort anywhere – in my school, for example, although it was my desire to study there. I’m losing my interest and sense of achievement; so many things happen in school that affect me badly. Like the other day, when a friend of mine was expelled because she had unintentionally broken one of the medical items and couldn’t afford to pay for it as she’s a displaced person. This disturbed me a great deal because I know how hard she fought to get into this medical school.

I feel like I’m living in a jungle of beasts, and this has allowed hatred and grudges to sneak into my heart.

Something inside me is changing. I’m becoming tougher and more ruthless and, believe me, this is happening against my will. Everyone else around me has changed, too; it’s like a virus has infected everyone with corruption and dishonesty, so I can’t find peace anywhere I go – not at school, not on the road, not at work. You can see misery and horror on all faces.

Maybe it’s the current security situation caused by the crisis, which has surely affected everyone without exception, or maybe it’s the rapid increase in prices that drives people mad, especially now that the crisis has extended to transportation costs, which have doubled in price all of a sudden. This issue has caused the resentment of students and employees. I, for example, now have to spend half of my income on transportation. This is too much for me and for every Syrian citizen in these current brutal circumstances.

At home with my family I keep getting this feeling that something is collapsing inside us. I know it’s because we have all run out of tolerance. Lately we’ve all been very stressed and unwilling to listen to each other.

Throughout the crisis I have become full of burdens and worries that are beyond my experience. Sometimes I get determined and I try to put all kinds of positive ideas in my head, but they fade away gradually in the face of all these challenges. Also, I am the oldest child in a fatherless family, which puts a great responsibility on my shoulders and more burdens than I can handle. How can I possibly not worry about the exam!

Last week my mother got sick, so I was in charge of the house and the family. It was a scary experience that made me decide never to add marriage to my burdens – unlike some of my friends, who are seeking marriage to run from their painful reality. Life has become full of sorrows and with very few joys, and I’m getting tired of it. What makes me even more worried is that my mother is considering moving somewhere else, now that I have just got used to this place. In spite of all its flaws, what can I say … I’m sick of running around looking for the peace and safety that don’t really exist in this world, although no human being could live without them. I feel like a corpse. So, isn’t it natural that I feel this way about the exam considering all the mess in which I’m living?

Aren’t safety and stability the main factors for success? That’s all I need, but alas, I finally realized that reaching safety and peace would not be easy, though perhaps not impossible. But I’m only a human being with limited abilities. What could I possibly do in such a contaminated environment that can provide me with nothing?

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