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My Life in Syria: Diary Entry 48

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. 3 minutes

No matter how much we lie or how hard we try to hide something, we will sooner or later get caught.

As I mentioned to you, I hid from my mother the fact that I was not attending school. But unfortunately when we ran in to a friend of mine from school who asked why I was not showing up to classes, my mother discovered the truth. I did not want to lie to her, but she believes that education should be at the very top of our priorities – and so I knew that she would not let me take another job and ignore my studies.

You cannot imagine what happened. She lost her temper, and after yelling at me, she said that she would not talk to me until I went back to school. It was the first time that I have ever seen my mother that angry. I immediately agreed to quit my new job and to return to school. I understand that my decision could have led to very bad results, but all I wanted was to help my mother.

Although I understand why she was angry, I am not happy with her reaction. She got very upset because of a very small lie on my end, although she sees how everything around us is built on lies: our neighbor lies and steals the water from our tank, the landlord lies so that he can raise the rent, the seller lies in order to profit, girls lie to guys so they can get an invitation to a restaurant and they also lie to their professors in order to get better grades. Guys also lie to girls for their own bad reasons. Police officers lie in order to get some extra money.

At least I lied in order to do something that was good. I actually feel proud of what I did. The idea that I lied to help my mother provides me with some positive energy, because at least I lied to help and did not cause harm to others, like everyone around us does. I admit that I sometimes feel angry with the world around me, but I have never lost my humanity like so many others have.

Even my mother herself lies. She lies when she hides her fear and sadness from us. She lies when she sugarcoats the bitter reality we live in, and keeps saying, “Tomorrow will be better.” Isn’t this lying?

Although I’ve lost my new job, which means living on the small allowance that my mother gives me, I am very happy to be back in school. The allowance I get barely covers my basic transportation. Talking about transportation always makes me think of the times when the officer at the checkpoint ordered me to leave the bus only because my ID card was issued in what is now an area controlled by the opposition. They are afraid of the name of a city! Can you believe it?! I really wish we could switch places, and these officers could go live in that area. Then they might realize how exhausted the city is. Day by day I realize that I cannot hate this city, just as I can never hate my country, Syria. Despite all the pain that my country has been giving me, I still love it.

I am sorry, but when I talk about my city I lose control. Back to my point and back to our reality that is filled with lies. I wonder where we are going and what will happen to us. Are we turning into jungle animals with no law? No, because animals do not lie. Are we turning into stones? No, it’s even worse, because the hearts of people have become harder than stone. I do not know what lies in store for my country, because we have lost all values and principles. And my mother is angry with me for my little lie.

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