I spoke to my cousin’s wife the other day. She’s from Damascus, but has lived here for years. Her parents lived in Damascus until last year, when they made the trip here. My cousin’s parents came just this year, from our village, less than a month ago. Thank God. I’m glad that they don’t have to worry about their parents’ safety. And yet, there are still brothers and aunts and cousins and friends to worry about. No matter what, we all worry now.
We talked about how we’re handling things now, three years into the war. She said she feels sometimes like she’s coming out of her skin. She loved my letter to our representatives. “It was beautiful to me,” she said. “I know a lot of people think it doesn’t do any good to speak out, but for me, it’s therapy, if nothing else. I feel like I will go mad sometimes if I don’t say anything.” I told her I agree. I said, “I tell myself, if the worst happens, at least I will know that I tried to say something. At least I didn’t sit by quietly while it happened.” It’s a small comfort at best.
My niece in Australia says she can’t sleep at night. She lays awake, angry at the world, wanting to force everyone to acknowledge the truth about our country and stop killing our people. I told her that I have nightmares every night. I’m so tired all the time, and I want to sleep all the time, but my sleep is never restful. Many nights, I wake from a bad dream and realize I was arguing with someone from the press or the government about the lies they keep repeating about Syria. Other nights, my dreams are more sinister.
I dreamed I was camping by a river. There were many people there, and everyone wanted to be on the water. I did too, I had a canoe. But when I reached for my paddles, I looked down at the base of a tree and saw a human skull and bone there. At the same time, an old man, on the other side of the tree, saw the bones. I looked into his eyes and I knew he was the killer. He reached down to touch them and I told him to stop. I said loudly, “Don’t anyone touch these bones, they’re evidence and they shouldn’t be tampered with.”
I knew I needed to protect them until the police came. I couldn’t find a phone at first, and then the police couldn’t come right away. The man tried to get other people to tamper with the evidence, telling some kids to sit against the tree to play a game. Of course he wanted to destroy it so no one would ever see it. He wanted to stop me from protecting it. He looked at me with hate in his eyes.
I watched people take their boats into the water and splash away happily. I told myself, “just go into the river and have fun like everyone else.” But I couldn’t. I couldn’t let him get away with it. I knew that if I left, he would rearrange the scene and lie to the police about what had happened, and they would all believe him. I stayed at the tree and protected the bones, waiting and waiting for the police to arrive.
I woke up suddenly, in fear, with a heaviness weighing down on me.
Radical jihadists from all over the world are travelling to Turkey and Jordan, where they pick up training and weapons from the US government. They cross the border into Syria and slaughter Syrian men, women and children. Muslim Brotherhood and other Syrian traitors are waiting for the weapons they bring. When they flood into a region, people run for their lives. When they take over a region, they behead Christians and rape Alawites and execute Sunni Muslims who refuse to join them. They force the strictest, incorrect Shari’a laws on the people, the niqab or burqa for women, a ban on cigarettes and alcohol and segregation of the sexes. They deliver swift and brutal punishments on anyone who refuses to comply. When the Syrian army comes and banishes these “freedom fighters,” the people cheer and greet the Syrian soldiers with hugs and kisses. When people who fled previously hear that the Syrian army has regained control, they return to their homes.
These are FACTS. Everything I just wrote above is what is actually happening in Syria. All over Syria. This is REALITY. This is the TRUTH. But the US government and its allies want everyone to believe that the Syrian people want their government destroyed. The US government wants everyone to believe that they are helping the Syrian people, by sending weapons to fighters who will bring FREEDOM to Syria. But these are LIES. This is the OPPOSITE of REALITY, and it ignores all those FACTS I just conveyed to you above.
So my nightmare isn’t really so hard to understand, is it? I dream of our reality.
The Syrian people have stood steadfast, for three years now, guarding the tree. We wait and wait for the world to see the evidence, to know what we know. We wait for the world to demand an end to the lies, and put a stop to the evil.
All we want is for the nightmare to end.