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My Syrian Diary: Part 27

Marah, a teenage girl from one of Syria’s besieged cities, shares her stories of life in the war. She recently moved to Damascus to continue her education, deciding to focus her college studies on prosthetics. She hopes to help heal the injured in her country’s conflict.

Written by Marah Published on Read time Approx. 2 minutes

Fear and anxiety hang over us and hang over our homes, defining our relationships and how we communicate. This might be because it is finals week – my sister’s finals started last week, and I’m very worried about her. In addition to the heavy and dense curriculum itself, she struggles with some subjects and, unfortunately, her teachers are not well-qualified.

The finals, of course, are not the only reason for our stress – everything around us intensifies it. Two days ago, I went with my mother to see the new apartment that we’ll be moving to at the end of the month.

I was shocked. The neighborhood is located between two battlefronts. The apartment burned after a missile hit the building. Once I entered the place, my heart trembled and I closed my eyes. The place was a wreck. Everything was black, and it had no doors or windows. In order to live in this place, we would have to clean it, paint it and repair all the electrical wiring, as well as the plumbing. It is not suitable to live in, but we have no other choice. The rent we pay right now is too high and we can’t afford it anymore.

Many displaced families moved to that neighborhood, and we will not be the only family in the building. The other families might be worse off than we are. It is startling how we’ve become no more than pawns – circumstances beyond our control dictate the course of our lives. The situation is too bad to be true. I sometimes think that this must be a nightmare, and that I will wake up soon. Will my mother’s warmth and support help us get used to the new place? I truly doubt it.

My relationship with my siblings is getting worse, because we are all stressed out and we find it very hard to cope. But what frustrates me the most is that I will have to quit my job because the new place is too far from where I work. I love my job. It provides me with strength and confidence. It is where I meet new people and do something. Last week, for example, I managed our booth in an exhibition where we presented some of the electrical appliances we carry in the store. I enjoy my work despite how tiring it is. It is the only thing that provides me with optimism.

I am a pawn on a chessboard that is stuck in the black squares. Everything around me is black. My destiny is dark and I am tired of it.

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