Dear Deeply Readers,

Welcome to the archives of Syria Deeply. While we paused regular publication of the site on May 15, 2018, and transitioned some of our coverage to Peacebuilding Deeply, we are happy to serve as an ongoing public resource on the Syrian conflict. We hope you’ll enjoy the reporting and analysis that was produced by our dedicated community of editors contributors.

We continue to produce events and special projects while we explore where the on-site journalism goes next. If you’d like to reach us with feedback or ideas for collaboration you can do so at [email protected].

My Syrian Diary – Part 33

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

A man asked for my hand in marriage. He is 30 years old and originally from Damascus, but now he lives in Switzerland. My mother thinks that he would be a good husband for me. She tried to convince me, though she also asked me to take time and think before making a decision. But when I said no, she became very angry and accused me of not understanding her or the situation we live in. She said that one day I would regret this decision. In this man, she saw an opportunity for me to have a real future, particularly because he insisted that I should continue my education in Switzerland and go to graduate school there. Everyone knows that education is much better there than it is in Syria.

Actually, it is my mother who does not understand me. I want to fall in love. I want to marry someone that I love. I do understand her, but I have my own fears and concerns. Fate has had the upper hand in my life, despite all my attempts to convince myself that I control my own life and my own destiny. The truth is, I am scared every time I have to make a decision. What if fate is playing with me again? This is one reason for me to say no – I don’t want to give fate yet another chance to defeat me.

I want to find the right guy, spend the rest of my life with him, and have a family and kids with him. But what if I am not ready to set out on that path? What if I fail as a wife and mother?

Those around me think that I refused to go to Switzerland because he is 10 years older than me, but that is not the reason. I would actually prefer a man who is a little bit older than me. I need a mature man who could calm me with wisdom and experience, and become my husband, father and friend. I don’t know whether I am making any sense at all. I am scared and hesitant, and I can’t pull myself together. I am usually stronger than this. Today, I feel helpless. I pause, rethink, and ask myself: did you make the right decision? I look at my sister, who agreed to marry in order to realize two dreams – one of getting married, and the other of finishing her education, and then I wonder which of my dreams I would realize if I got married. My dream is to heal from all the scars that the war has left on and inside of me, and to find peace. In my opinion, it is too early for me to get married. Despite feeling lost, I do believe that, one day, I will realize my dreams and on my own terms. I will not succumb to any pressure, and I will do what I believe to be right for me. I understand that my mother also wants what is best for me, but I know myself better than she knows me.

What kills me is that I keep oscillating. After telling myself that I have finally made a decision, I question whether it is the right one, or whether I will regret it one day. How should a lost person like myself make such a serious decision?

Suggest your story or issue.


Share Your Story.

Have a story idea? Interested in adding your voice to our growing community?

Learn more