Dreaming Of a Free Syria

Um Ahmad, Al-Midan
Source: League for Citizenship, “Syrian Mother” 2017

 

 

 

 

I am still waiting for the happy ending for my daughter and for many more like her to return to their mother’s laps.

They did nothing wrong; they were detained just because they demanded what we have always dreamed of: free Syria and free Syrian people.

 

 

 

 

I am called Um Ahmad though I do not have a son named Ahmad. God has not blessed me with boys. However, I have two girls who are worth a hundred boys. My older daughter joined a nursing school and refused to wear Hijab. Before her father passed away, he used to joke with her that this is disgrace and she should put cover her head, and she would answer: “it is disgrace when someone does something shameful, father”. Her dad was open-minded unlike his siblings who boycotted us because our daughters did not wear Hijab.

When the revolution started, my daughter changed. She started going out, dressed up with full makeup.

I thought she was in love so I did not interfere. She started spending more time in her room whispering with her sister about things I did not understand. When going out, she would carry a pouch instead of a bag, and new friends from Sweida and the coastal region started visiting them.

The protests reached our neighborhood and I did not prevent them from participating because freedom is expensive and the repression that we’ve been living in for the past 40 years has to end. What did those kids in Daraa do? What is the guilt of those young men and women who are dying or being detained?

One day, I asked my daughters what was happening and the older one told me they were buying medicine and smuggling it to the protestors. The make-up was to facilitate crossing the checkpoints because soldiers do not suspect a made-up girl. We laughed so much that day but fear started eating me from the inside.

The following day, the younger daughter returned home late with a lawyer and told me that her sister had been arrested from work. The lawyer tried to reassure me but a mother’s heart can never be reassured. Now, she has been in detention for three years. I visited all security branches and paid many bribes but in vain. My husband’s family started pressuring him to wed the younger daughter. They said this is to avoid her being disgraced like her sister. I told them prison is not disgrace. My daughter will come out of prison feeling proud.

I’m still waiting for the happy ending for my daughter and for many more like her to return to their mother’s laps. They did nothing wrong! They were detained just because they demanded what we have always dreamed of: free Syria and free Syrian people.

Soon, when the war ends, we will go back and build our country all together; Sunni, Druze, Christian, Alawi and Kurdish. We are all Syrians and it our duty to protect Syria and reconstruct it.