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My Syrian Diary Part 45

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

The conflict in Syria has caused the displacement of many families. Unfortunately, those who escaped from their houses fearing for their lives are not able to afford the soaring rents in the relatively safe areas, such as Damascus. Many of them are forced to move in with friends or family members.

A friend of mine lives with twenty people in a two-bedroom apartment, and another lives with her two aunts and nine kids. Such scenarios are very common these days. The lack of stability and privacy makes life disastrous for both kids and adults.

I had never experienced such a situation personally until a few months ago. My father, may his soul rest in peace, and my mother after him did all they could to provide us with stability and privacy. But, unfortunately, a few months ago, my aunt and her little kid moved in with us. She stayed with us for three months, and as soon as she left, my uncle and his four naughty kids moved in. His kids are very noisy and his little daughter, who has been sick for a while, does not stop crying. Although I feel for them all and I am happy that we could help, the situation annoys me a lot – I cannot study or sleep. Their mother is tired of them as well. Their frequent moving from one home to another has negatively affected their behavior. When they misbehave or are being too noisy, I run away to another room and close the door, but they follow me wherever I go, so I sometimes lose patience and yell at them.

I’ve come to hate being home and I blame my mother for that. She continues to retain her humanity, and follow her principle of “think of others.” She thinks of everyone else, but not her own kids. We are tired of taking care of others. She has turned our house into a rest area– every time one of our relatives misses the bus back home at night, they stay at our place, and every time someone manages to get out of Ghouta, our place is the first stop. I do blame her because she knows how pressured we are and that we do not have the energy or the patience to take care of people. We suffered for a long time and nobody cared, why should we care for others now?

I stay at school for extra hours in order to minimize my time at home, but school has become really boring since most of my friends have left the country. The new situation at home has brought the idea of leaving the country back into my head. Leaving is what I concentrate on these days. Leaving is the only way to survive, or at least the only way to escape. I have no idea whether traveling will help me to realize my dreams, but at least it will get me out of here. I have to try. Don’t they say: To try and fail is better than not to try at all?

I got my passport and all the required documents to travel, but I do not have the money. I do not want to ask the guy I call my fiancé for money. I worry that if he helps me leave the country, I will have to marry him at some point. I would rather find my own way out, then meet with him – and then decide whether I want to marry him or not. This way, I will at least have some self-respect. However, in the meantime, I do not have the money and I am waiting for something to break through.

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