I was scrolling into the Facebook news today, and a post saying stopped me, “ Aleppo is liberated.” I asked who liberated what? And I got the answer of: It is the free army liberating it from the military of Assad.”
In the morning I was talking to a Syrian friend who woke up on a post of his nephew in Aleppo saying that they are moving out. “ But I thought they already moved to this house because it was safe last year.” He told me with worries filling the tone of his voice.
I spent a whole week with Syrian friends in Cairo upon my last visit, which probably made me confront my emotions towards what is happening in Syria. I have tried to block my emotions from feeling the enormous amount of this human catastrophe, thinking there is nothing to be done. Each scene reminds me of our catastrophe as Palestinians. That tragedy of a nation that started in 1947 and seems never to end. As if what is happening in Syria is a flashback of today to what happened back then. People are throwing themselves in escapes to the nowhere of the sea. Massacres, murders, oppression, hunger, same catastrophe different time, and of course many times more in numbers of victims.
Seeing Syrians in Cairo made me feel the pain of diaspora that never heals. There is something that is broken in each and everyone’s eye. Those who are supposed to be luckier than those whose fate was in the sea, or probably those who are facing their face on the grounds of Syria.
While I never supported the Syrian system since the outbreak of the Arab spring. Believing that people choice should be respected. I have come to a certain understanding that if there is anything that still keeps Syria as Syria, it is the presence of that system. I was argued with a friend that there is nothing that is left in Syria. It is a collateral damage. Of course, it is true. But then you look at the people. Those fractioned amid all those factions of different sects and directions, who are abused along this way.
We as people are watching from the comfort of our distance cheering to one side over the other, not giving the slightest emotion of the humanity that is being spilled in blood over there. All those victims of Syrian people who no one cares if they lived or perished, as long as they are counted on this side or the other.
What is happening in Syria is exposing the ugly nakedness of our reality as people. As Arabs in particular, who proved that our hearts are as hard as rocks. Our minds have stopped to rationalize since the moment we decided to give a proclamation to our tribal loyalty. Whether secular or religious. Fundamentalist or liberal. We all lack the dignity, the respect, and the humanity to be human enough.
The Palestinian Nakba seems so tolerable because at the end our enemy is defined and he is not from us. While here, the celebration and the mourning is a result of a murderer who is from us to a victim who is also from us.
The deterioration of the Arab reality is far worse than bad, corrupt criminal leaderships. It is the mentality that rules population. A mindset that devotes the clan. An attitude that lacks a sense of humanity.