Every day, every single day media is full of news about refugees from the Middle East. Most of them are coming from Syria – a land of sweets, as we, travelers, once named this country. If we were lucky enough, we had been able to travel to Syria before the war started. We have got the right picture of the country and its people… people who no one wants today.
I do not like politics and it does not even interest me. That is why this blog post will not be about it. There will be no figures, no facts, no speculations… This blog post will be about Syria and about its people… about their stories, their lives before the first demonstrations, before the first restlessness, before the first attacks…
It has already been five years since my visit to Syria. In fact, I was there only few months before the first attacks started. I had never imagine, that this beautiful country, with the most hospitable people from all my travels, will become a war zone almost overnight.
I named Syria an uncut diamond, as even if the country had numerous historical and cultural monuments, not much was done towards tourism marketing. Syria was not often on travelers’ radar, but that is why it was even more charming. Syria had lots of attractions under UNESCO heritage protection, which now became nothing else but pile of stones … horror stories… screams… sad faces and crocodile tears.
During my traveling around Syria, I was overwhelmed over all the historical monuments, but more than them, Syria became my favorite country because of the people. Yes, the ones that we are so afraid of now… Muslims, which many think as savages, criminals, uneducated, dirty…
Can humans even be any worse? I guess we truly are the cruelest beings on our planet. Have you even met anyone from Syria yet? Did you shake hands with them, sipping hot tea during a conversation with them? I did! That is why all the news about refugees are even more heart breaking… There were times, when people had sparkles in their eyes…now the only shine in their eyes is due to many tears shed, meaning endless suffering.
Who are those people, you might ask. They look the same as we do. They are not crazy rabbles, as many might think. But let me ask you something – how would you act if you were without food for days… not having a solid sleep for weeks… How would you feel when losing everything you worked for your entire life? How would you feel leaving your family and friends behind… or watching them dying in a bombing or shooting attack? How would you feel, when leaving your country and your whole life would be packed in one plastic bag?
Who are we to judge? I guess you can easily stay indifferent, when you have your head under the roof, full stocked table with food, running water… soft and clean bed… Are we forgetting that this is happening here and now? We might be far away from the problem, but what if something devastating happens to us too? What would you be than? Yes, nothing else than another excessive refugee, another problem – and that is if you will even be so lucky.
Believe me, no one, not a single soul out here, does not want to leave his/her home, life… at least not like this… Not me, not you… not people, who we call refugees… They have no names, they are just numbers… nuisance, we have to take care of… Luckily not everyone thing of them like this and know they are HUMANS too!
I will never forget their stories, their smiles, sparkling eyes and genuine hospitality… I was never in a hopeless situation, but they treated me with respect, offering me a place to stay, food, shelter, security, friendship… Because they are humans and that is what humans do if their heart is in the right place. Refugees are people who dreamed big, like we do, but their dreams were crushed on them with the first attack in Syria. We can only hope we will never be in their position…no one should ever be…