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My Syrian Diary Part 41

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, which she hopes to use to help heal the injured in her country’s conflict.

Written by Marah Published on Read time Approx. 2 minutes

My little sister, who has spent the years of this conflict silently suffering, finally exploded. She let out all her pain, and then fell unconscious. I was shocked with what I saw, and it took me a little while to realize that behind the constant smile on her face there had been an enormous amount of pain that needed to be released. The doctor told us that she did not have a physical problem, but, rather, she had suffered a nervous breakdown. Her breakdown was an alarm. It alerted me to the fact that my family is vulnerable, and not immune from the events surrounding us, even when those events don’t harm us physically. My mother blamed herself for being busy trying to provide for the family, and neglecting her children during their adolescence – the time when they need their mother the most. She was torn because she also couldn’t leave her job, which provides for the family. I also felt responsible for what happened to my sister. She is only three years younger than me, but she is the youngest, and I feel like I am her second mother. I remember going through a similar experience, hating everything around me and feeling that the pain was eating me on the inside.

During the Feast of the Sacrifice holiday (Eid), I tried to take care of her and spend what time I could with her. Although I was busy with work, I did manage to spend the last day of Eid with my family. I took them all to a beautiful park, hoping that the nature would help alleviate their stress, but none of us was really happy. We all faked our smiles – our minds were occupied. We looked like we had lost hope.

What happened made me rethink my plans and reconsider my choices. I realized that I should take more responsibility and be more involved in my siblings’ lives. I should quit being selfish and stop thinking about leaving. My family needs me, and I should be here for them. My mother has too much responsibility and is under a lot of pressure – I should be by her side, helping her. Running away will not help; it will only make things worse.

The last five years have changed everything in our lives. Everything has become pale and miserable, even the Eid holiday – instead of celebrating, people were consumed with their concerns and worries, and kids were not even excited. The Eid holiday this year was not like anything we had ever seen before. Eid does not bring happiness anymore; instead, it reminds people of what they have lost and the tragedy that they are living. I was so overwhelmed that I did not even remember to call my friends and wish them a happy Eid.

We all feel lost and we have no idea whether we will find ourselves or not. We are all shaking from fear and a lack of trust in ourselves and in the world. Sometimes I think that all Syrians should migrate to another planet, a planet where we can live in peace. Is there a planet like this?

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