Von Rania Mleihi
Today I had a hot bath. I needed it. I was very tired and stressed lately. When I went in the bath I felt so light. Water was very hot. It was very calming. I listened to my breath under the water I felt the water coming up and going down with each breath I took. There were some little waves. I enjoyed watching them for a while.
Suddenly I remember my brother telling me about his boat trip from Turkey to Greece and how the waves were throwing them away from their destination. I get scared, leave the bath and run to my room. Later on I called my mother in Damascus. She told me she was up from 3 in the morning. My father and her were trying to fill the water tank on the rooftop. They had no water for the last 2 weeks. They were filling gallons from ground floor carrying them up to the rooftop and so on. Water cannot reach the 3rd floor, because the Water Pump was very weak. I felt so embarrassed I had the privilege of a hot bath.
I was thinking a lot after this call. What’s wrong with me? I have no control over what is happening so why can’t I just relax and let life happen? After a long analyses I found out that I am lost….lost somewhere in time…I don’t know to what time I belong but I am sure I don’t belong to NOW.
Being lost in time made me loose my feelings, they become numb. Everything is not now, everything is not real, and every feeling is postponed. Feeling scared and worried about my family is postponed, missing my sister is postponed and feeling the pain of my broken heart is postponed. Everything is happening in some other time… It feels like I am watching a movie or I am reading a book, I am witnessing the life of this girl but she is not me… This life is not mine… It can’t be mine. This fact scares the shit out of me…
I ask myself: What does it mean to have a war in my country? How does it feel when you watch the news and ugly pictures of a destroyed city and the reporter claims that this is my hometown?
How does it feel to have all your family living in danger??? How does it feel when they tell you that when they leave in the morning to work they don’t know if they will make it back home at the evening? They say it just as if they are talking about something super ordinary. Nothing special!! At this point you will understand what it takes to survive this life.
How does it feel to be a homeless? Not like being a homeless in the street but more like literally you don’t have a place where you can call it HOME. Don’t tell me that you can choose your home or create a new one. Don’t tell me, that home is where you can smile or where you have good friends and feel safe. Because I believe if you don’t have the right papers you won’t be able to stay even in your substitutional home you have chosen no matter who you are!
Do you know how it feels when your love goes away and leaves you behind for someone new, someone you once considered to call a friend, to whom you opened your home to and said we are your family and this is your house? Maybe you do! But can you imagine that after all not only your marriage was ruined and you lost your flat, the family you were building and a child you took as your own but also you had to leave the country (in which you were trying –again- to build a new home) because simply you’re holding a Syrian passport and without being with your European partner you have no rights at all.
Now here you are: a new start with a lot of challenges that will make you deviate your thinking of war, betrayal and the mess around you. You are facing the unknown and uncertainty which just happened to you and the huge loss you had. To prove to yourself that you can still be alive and you can still build a new future to prove you are capable of raising your head up saying I am here and I am equal to you.
I am a human being just like you but I happened to be born in that part of the planet, where you are under the curse of geography.