Sunday, March 4, 2012

If You Listen...

This was written in my journal 1 month ago. I do not mean for it to represent full truth, or even my opinion on the events in Syria. It was just so incredible for me to be talking to someone about what was going on as we were speaking. You see, Syrians are famous for being tight-lipped about their government and its current affairs. So, take my words not as gospel, simply for what they are. Words of the broken-hearted.

[Note: I have deliberately taken out any personal information about my contact out of respect for him, his safety, and the sensitivity of his words.]

Istanbul   February 4

 He was very nice and hospitable (as always) - and his English is impeccable. 
The most fascinating part was his willingness to discuss the current events of Syria. Once we asked him about it he wouldn't stop talking. There were tears in his eyes as he talked about 6,000 dead -

 "Not just a number. 6,000. That means 6,000 families, brothers, friends"

And his words were marked by the familiar Arabic questioning "for what?"

It was heart-wrenching to not be able to reply with any substance. Through his only-marginally-broken English, he spoke stirring words denouncing killing, demanding freedom, and asking for help. 

"Iran and Russia are friends with Assad. Why? They do not care about the killing. About our people. I don't understand."

What a difficult conversation to leave. I want to ask him so much more about his feelings:

"I know he should be tried - brought to justice - but in my heart I think he deserves the death of Qaddafi."

More about his family:

"Sometimes when I call them on my phone, I can hear guns firing."

And about the future:

"Civil war? Between who? Us Syrians make our country a good place because we look out for each other - not the police, not the government. We love each other."

It is incredible what you can find, if you listen.

Pray for Syria.

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