Damascus is a city to love. Everyone who has visited or lived in this city has fallen for her. Songs and poetry have been written about and for her. But the almost-five-year war has damaged her – all we are thinking of now is how to leave her.
The pain and the blood that we experience every day exhausts us. Even my mother, the wise and strong woman who has overcome so much, is becoming weak. She recently decided that my brother should immigrate to Europe as a refugee with one of our relatives so that he might one day apply for family reunion papers to help us get out of this hell.
She knew how hard and dangerous the journey was, and she knew that he was still a 12-year-old boy, but she had run out of options. She got him a passport and started planning his trip, but she backed out at the very last moment. She realized that she was sacrificing him for the sake of the rest of us, and saw that it was not fair. Many families are sending their kids into the unknown with the hope that they might one day help the rest of the family get out.
People are not only fleeing to Europe – internal displacement has brought many new souls to Damascus. They suffer from such extreme poverty and poor living conditions that they cannot afford to send their children to school because the family unit is dependent on all its members for survival. I cannot imagine what kind of future is in store for Syria.
As for me, I work all day long, and in one month, I will return to my studies. I still have hope that one day I will realize my dreams, but I know that this will never happen here. I cannot achieve anything here, and I cannot enjoy anything either. I don’t even enjoy the company of my friends anymore. Everything has become void of meaning. There is only one thing left: my family. They are my strength when I am surrounded by nothing but darkness.
I want to leave so that I can help my family, but my mother rejects the idea unless I go to Switzerland, where my aunt lives. I don’t want to proceed with my plans without my mom’ s approval, because if I leave, I don’t know if I will ever see her again because death has become our daily companion in Syria. I am lost and scattered. I don’t know what to do. I cannot make a decision that might lead to me losing my family.