I would like to start off by informing you that I have never visited Syria. There were many reasons for why I’ve never visited our closest neighbors to the west, but that however is not the main story. Today’s highlight will be Syria’s heritage. We’ve all heard stories of the different eras in Syria, eras which marked the country and made it so rich, not only with monuments and historical places, but also with culture.
To be specific, three distinguished attractions had caught my attention (knowing that there are many others): I’ve always dreamt of visiting The Hamidiyya Souks in Damascus; The Umayyad Mosque and souks of Aleppo; and The Khalid ibn al-Walid Mosque in Homs. It is sad, the fact that I never got to actually visit these places; the fact that these places went from monuments to ruins; and the fact that Syria is now war-torn, bleeding, suffering and in ruins… it all makes me and many others sad. Yet what makes me miserable is the loss, the loss of human souls: innocent children, elderly, friends, activists, acquaintances, innocent people who had nothing to do neither with the Syrian regime nor with the Syrian revolution.
I come from a country where war has become a part of its culture (sadly). This is not a metaphor for something. I can honestly only recall a few weeks of peace in Lebanon ever since I was born, something was always just around the corner, thus I do understand what Syria is going through, and it escalated from a revolution to a literal undefined civil war. But it’s still a revolution: and freedom costs a price, freedom is expensive, and by demanding freedom we sometimes risk losing stability, security, education, people, friends, places, cities and even a country. Freedom might cost us our own country, freedom might be beautiful, but getting there can be one ugly horrifying process.
The Guardian was not the first to post an article regarding Syria’s heritage and the mass destruction. As enriching and educating as the piece was, informing us of how diverse Syria’s heritage (was), I can only add one thing:
If it was hard for me to observe the destruction over and over again throughout the past three years, the destruction left by the ongoing war in Syria, then I can’t possibly imagine the feelings of the Syrian populace. But we have to be strong, for them at least: everything comes with high price, especially changes. We can hide in a tiny corner and cry, we can curse freedom for its high cost, but we should never forget about those who lost their lives. Those lost souls who left us because they demanded and fought for that freedom. Everything can be recovered… everything except for a human soul. Remember that.
Published on NOW (https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/blogs/532814-syrian-heritage)