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My Life in Syria: Diary Entry 47

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

Why dream, when we know that our dreams will never come true?

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, this question has been haunting us young Syrians. In the beginning, I took my dreams for granted, and I did not even realize how crucial they were. I lost my ability to dream until a friend of mine made me a simple promise. This promise brought my dreams back to life – I dreamt that I could leave this stagnant and dangerous place that I used to call my home and my motherland.

My dreams took me to a new life without stress and fear. I dreamt that my family would genuinely smile again, and I dreamt that I would continue my studies and that I would have a bright future. I knew I was only dreaming, but I enjoyed these dreams. My mother says that our dreams should not be without limits, so that we are not crushed when we face reality, but I do not want to believe her. I want my dreams to be limitless. I want to create in my dreams the world that I cannot have in real life.

These days, the ability to dream is itself a dream, but I realized that dreams are like any living plants. They need to be nourished and taken care of, or else they die. I abandoned my dreams for a time, and this made me depressed, but my depression worsened after I hid something from my mother for the first time in my life. I did tell her that I got a new job, but I did not tell her that it was a full-time job and that I could not show up to classes anymore. She thinks that I go to school in the morning and to my work in the afternoon, but in reality I spend my whole day at work. I cannot tell her, because she would not let me continue with this job, and I know how much we need the extra money. I had to lie to her. I had to help her. I could not watch her wearing herself out trying to put food on the table and not help her. But I do feel guilty about lying to my mother. Also, I’m troubled by my relationship with the guy I call my fiancé. Although I realize how good a person he is, I have a cold relationship with him. I sometimes feel for him, because this distance in our relationship is because of me. He has been really nice and willing to give me and our relationship a chance.

I sometimes think that I should give this guy a break, especially because I do need someone to be by my side during these harsh times, but I fear that seeking out his closeness in this way would not be fair to him or to me. I think that time is my best friend here – I will get to know him during the coming weeks and months, I will get to know him better, and I will determine if we can continue together or not.

Life is dry and only dreams give it some color. I will hold on to my dreams like a drowning person holds on to a life vest.

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