The Syrian Conflict Won’t Steal My Christmas

Christmas used to have a special meaning in my family, full of spiritual and familial rituals. As children, my sister Leila and I used to take turns throughout the night watching out for Santa Claus, waiting to catch him “in the act”. I cannot remember clearly when we realized it was a trick played by... Continue Reading →

What’s Personal When You’re Syrian?

I see my psychotherapist on a weekly basis, without any of the feelings of shame widespread in our society regarding this practice. But I have a barrel of guilt inside me that is wearing away what is left of the love of life in my heart. Wednesday at noon is the time I steal away... Continue Reading →

A Year Away From Syria

“I should have cried.” This is the only thing that goes through my head over and over again when I remember the little girl that was torn into pieces. I don't know anything about her, and from her remains I couldn’t guess her age, but I do remember how I stood there, distraught. I didn't... Continue Reading →

My Birthday

I open Facebook to find a birthday greeting. I grasped the opportunity to return the greeting, making up for those three years in which I couldn't send him birthday wishes. Those were the three years he spent in prison for writing on the Internet. I used to contribute to his site. It was called Akhawia. Karim... Continue Reading →

In War-Torn Aleppo, There’s No Place Like Home

Very few Syrians have not experienced compulsory displacement. The fact of having to move from one place to another, abandoning the tangible present while ruminating on memories over and over again until they’re worn out. And like many Syrians, I too have a story involving houses—“luckily”, I should add, because for hundreds of thousands of people... Continue Reading →

The Killers

  On a very normal day, during lunch with a friend in Turkey, away from the pounding of bombs and death, and close to suffocation with guilt at being away from my city, enjoying luxuries like electricity and communications services while Aleppo is dying, I—being as much of a social media addict as the next... Continue Reading →

Syria: Love in the Time of Tyranny

They told me from the first day that her husband was in prison, and that the songs I have the habit of singing could trigger her sadness. I wasn't particularly touched by that. We have become accustomed to hearing about the families of prisoners, as if it were normal, in Assad's Syria, to be imprisoned,... Continue Reading →

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