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A letter to the World After Reading Today’s Economist Article on Syria

February 23, 2013

“The country formerly known as Syria” is the title of an Economist article published on Feb 23rd 2013, just over three years after I left the UK back to Damascus and where I read my first Economist article. Syria has used to be an isolated country where even the Economist is out of reach for an HR professional and Business Administration graduate like me.

That year I spent in the UK was the longest period I had been away from my beloved Damascus. And though I fell in love with every bit of this new country, I was determined on going back to Syria. And it was not only due to my agreement with SAID Foundation, my sponsor to Nottingham University where I completed my MBA, which stated that I am to return to my home country upon the successful completion of my degree to help in the development of the country. This agreement was my excuse that I always used when asked about my decision regarding after-graduation plans, shying away from saying that I preferred mediocrity with love and sense of belonging in Damascus rather excellence with cold feelings and loneliness in London.

I have even infected some European colleagues with my love to Damascus, and a couple of them have actually traveled there while we were still studying. Every time I met with new people, I talked to them about Damascus, “the world’s oldest continually inhabited capital city, where Syrians liked to boast that Christians and Muslims, as well as people from a smattering of other sects, lived side by side in peace”, as this Economist’s article put it, referring to how we used to be in Damascus rather how we are now!

The article even continues that “People bustled through the markets. Women could stay out safely alone past midnight. Men played backgammon on the pavements with their neighbours. The Syrian accent, spread through the region by the country’s soap operas, conveyed hospitality and simplicity to fellow Arabs.” All in the past tense!!

So we no longer convey hospitality? Cannot men play backgammon with neighbours, and women feel safe alone anymore? Syrians are no longer able to live side by side? And what about Damascus? Won’t it be the world’s oldest continually inhabited capital city tomorrow?! Will it remain a city at least? Our city?

The article viciously goes on, “Today that Syria is no more”………

No more? Khalas?

Where should we go then? I have already chosen mediocrity with love and sense of belonging in Damascus rather excellence with cold feelings and loneliness in London! I am supposed to be here to help in the development of my country! Where should I go? And even if I managed to go somewhere, what can the rest of fellow Syrians do? Almost a hundred thousands of them died already, with many more hundreds of thousands have gone missing or have been locked up, and even millions are now displaced internally and externally. Millions! We are talking people, human beings, children, elders, and women.

And the rest of the world is watching with numerous countries are actually contributing to preserve Syria’s new status quo. But I will not talk about countries, governments, politicians, and even the United Nations. I do not believe in all of those. I will talk about people, activists, and the youth who changed the world, and still changing supposedly. I was moved many times by initiatives led by a handful of people across the globe. No one is there to lend a helping hand? Not even you?

Well, I want to say something to the whole world, and especially the West. I want to say something to the Economist with regards to the mentioned article. Damascus is going nowhere, and it will always be here, and it will remain the oldest continually inhabited capital in the world.

Syria’s civil war: The country formerly known as Syria | The Economist.


From → The Uprising

One Comment
  1. Layla Rahmeh permalink

    Not even those who have left the country in attempt to as e their families from danger that may reach them, are having a place to host them.. They are living on the margin of life.
    The world in its people and not only government had turned their back to the Syrians, in a viscous cruel way…. Announcing, the death of a country whether intentionly or unntentionally .. Eventually Syria is left alone .

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