Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | From a Syrian mother’s heart

There is nothing more expressive than a mother’s heart when it speaks.

Years passed by, slow and dreary as a tortoise’s movement, during which I have not seen my family members fleeing from the brutality of the Assad regime to Lebanon as I have taken refuge fleeing from arrest in France, my last exile.

This morning I spoke to my son via WhatsApp to say to my beautiful seven-month-old granddaughter: Good morning.

My son was sad; he told me that the visa application to France was rejected after the interview, which took place after many correspondences and a waiting period of more than six years.

I was shocked.

I tried to contain myself in front of him, so I told him:

“It’s okay, my dear; it is still possible, my son, to file an appeal against the rejection decision.”

There was a period of silence between us for a long time during which I did not know what to say as if I had finished all expressions of justification. As for his and his wife’s facial expressions, they spoke volumes: Pain, frustration, grief and refugee humiliation.

An innocent laugh from little Larissa cuts through the torrent of our misery as that little girl is lucky because she does not know the meaning of worries and sorrows, not even the meaning of a person being a refugee without his family, and living in a country whose conditions are miserable as well.

I was very tired today as yesterday and the day before yesterday and years ago and I will stay as such until I see my family after a long absence.

What should I do. I need a savior as I am imprisoned in exile prison and its walls, buried in longing and nostalgia, sewing the dress of hope to wear it though feeble like spider webs.

I once told my son Basil after he said to me: “Take good care of yourself, mother?”

“I will certainly do so; may God more years and meet you, no matter how far we are.”

Do you know that longing is a prison, nostalgia is an arrest, and waiting is a single cell?

Salam Abo Shala
Salam Abo Shala
Human rights activist; journalist; researcher in intangible folklore and folk traditions.


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