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My Life in Syria: Diary Entry 51

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

I feel my body shaking and I cannot tell whether it is because of the cold weather, or because of the unknown that I will soon be facing.

We have already purchased our plane tickets. Next week, we will travel by land to Beirut, and from there we will take a plane to Sabiha Airport in Istanbul. I am scared and I do not know why. Is it because I’m leaving my country? Or is it because I’m moving to a new place where I do not know the language and the culture?

With all the pain and humiliation that I’ve suffered here, it is hard for me to believe that this fear stems from the idea that I will be leaving my country. What would I be nostalgic for? My destroyed life? My father who was killed? Or my home that I lost? My home country has taken everything away from me. It took away my life and my future.

Perhaps my fear stems from the fact that I will be moving to a place that I do not know. Maybe I am afraid that I will not be able to cope with my new life. But we’ve been through a lot, and along the road we’ve learned to cope with all types of challenges.

Why am I scared? Is it because I’ve learned not to trust life or fate? Is it because, deep inside, I believe that my fate is going to follow me wherever I go, and put hardships in my way?

I must not let my fear control me. I must focus on my travels. I helped my mother with getting our documents certified from the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. I spent an entire week running from one office to another, but I am finally done and all our papers are ready.

My visit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates was really difficult. They apply a thorough and humiliating search on people. They make you feel like you are a criminal. I got really frustrated when a man paid the officer a bribe, and simply cut to the front of a long line in which tens of people were waiting. The hardest part was that the security police violently arrested three young men, simply because their age was suitable to serve in the military. And some people keep asking why are we leaving our country? What a silly question! The answer is very clear: because we are in a country where we are not treated like human beings. When I was at the ministry, I felt that I was suffocating. I wanted to scream, but I was too scared.

Young people make their country stronger. This is what we learned in school, but we never realized that young people are stronger only when they live in a country that provides them with what they need to survive. It is a two-way street. My country should provide me with the basic requirements of humanity in order for me to give back to my country. Young people are fed up and exhausted. This is why they are leaving.

Yes, I am scared, but no matter how challenging the future might be, it will never be as bad as the reality I live in now.

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