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Syria Diary Part 8: My Trip to Damascus

As part of a collaboration between Syria Deeply and Rookie, we’re publishing the memoirs of a teenage girl living in the midst of Syria’s war. Marah, as she’s chosen to be known, lives in a city under siege. She was 15 years old when the uprising began. This is the eighth in her series of articles.

Written by Marah Published on Read time Approx. 1 minutes

Tomorrow my dreams come true. I will bid my family farewell and say my goodbyes to my mother and siblings. I will leave my hometown and head to Damascus, the capital of Syria, to sit for my high school final exams.

I’m happy and scared at the same time. The fear is overwhelming! I will have to go through two checkpoints where I will be searched and asked for my ID papers. Supposing I was able to pass safely through the checkpoints, how will life be with my relatives there? Will I feel comfortable? It’s the first time I am staying with them, so how will it go?

I’m currently studying as best as I can. But the harsh living conditions here and regular power outages don’t always allow me to study well.

I often wonder if I will be able to fulfill my bigger dreams, whether I am worthy of them. My mother’s happiness hinges on my success. She has worked herself to the bone to get me to where I am today. She smiles at me, but I know she’s even more confused and scared than I am. She worries about what I will face on my journey, and she reassures me, though I am well aware that she is heartbroken to see me leave home. I will miss hearing her voice.

I wonder if I’ll see my siblings again. I will miss them all. There’s both of my sisters and my little brother.

If I leave and don’t make it back, I am not ready to face the possibility of losing them. I’m a bundle of nerves. I always blamed my mother for not letting me continue my studies in our hometown, but right now, I am wishing she would stop me from getting on the road to Damascus.

I wonder what fate has in store for me. Will it smile at me? For the first time, I write with a shaky hand and teary eyes.

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