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My Syrian Diary Part 35

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. 2 minutes

There are things we wish for, but when our wishes come true we begin to see the cracks in our best hopes. I hoped for my mother to get a job, but her daily absence created a big gap in the house because her hours are very long, lasting from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, in addition to the two hours she spends on the road due to the difficulty in travelling to her job. After an arduous trip, she returns home exhausted and unable to do any housework, so it becomes our duty to help her, and since I’m the eldest, I have considerable responsibilities on my shoulders that I didn’t even know how to do beforehand, like cleaning, laundry and cooking, so I started cooking some food with the little experience I had.

These simple chores are not the real problem, for there are much more difficult tasks that took me by surprise. This week, for example, the security situation in our area was very unstable, and our home was subjected to an early morning raid. I was really scared when I first saw the police, especially because my mother and my brother had left for work, and my sister and I we were alone, but I kept my myself calm. They requested our rent for the month, and unfortunately we were late in renewing the contract, so they took some important papers that we had to go to the police station to retrieve. My mother is a new employee, and was not allowed to leave her job, so I had to go along with our landlord to collect the papers and renew the contract. I felt very uncomfortable there, because girls do not frequent these places. To make matters worse, we discovered that we were required to pay a sum of money in the form of a bribe to the employees, since all state-related transactions require bribes, especially since the laxity and negligence in government institutions following the crisis in Syria. It is truly a pity that we lost our principles and morals. It was vital for the paperwork to be recovered, but I wasn’t able to do it. I’m so exhausted by these responsibilities, but I realize that I don’t really have a choice but to help my mother, and my desire to do so eases the burden.

The second camp for special prosthetics is going to be held soon, and my friends and I decided to participate because it would increase our expertise and support our field of study, but it will be added to my list of responsibilities, and I’m concerned about organizing my time between home, work and camp. It feels really difficult to organize my time well, especially with the heatwave sweeping Syria this year, which almost strangled us, and severe water shortages for several days in houses in Damascus. The extreme heat and lack of water makes me want to lash out at everybody around me. Our hearts can no longer tolerate this. Our life does not resemble a respectful human existence. I wish I could live with dignity in my homeland. That is my biggest wish.

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