We humans

My life in Syria

Dec 10, 2015 /
Letter from Syria | TED

Syrian national Mahmoud Al Moufti on living in a country at war.

The world is going crazy, as it has been since the beginning.

As a Syrian who is still living — so far — in Damascus, Syria, I got the bad news from the city of Beirut on the 12th of November. Then on Friday the 13th (coincidence?), more bad news from the city of love, Paris.

I received the news with pain, sorrow and sadness for all those who lost their loved ones, mixed with new fears that the big war will become even bigger, with more players on the Syrian playground.

My fears are compounded by what I saw and witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Both of those cases were similar to ours and ended (actually they haven’t ended yet) with neither destroying Al Qaeda nor losing the war against it. What really has been destroyed in both cases? Both of those countries.

Then I thought about the Syrian refugees who are looking for a better life out there and who will now be facing new challenges, as many westerners see them more as a threat than as humans who are just seeking hope and looking for a new, better life.

As for myself, I am, like so many others still here on the inside, hopeless and helpless.

Syrians are good people. My country is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This country and its people deserve better.

I see the scene within Syria as similar to Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.

All the characters are here, all of them.

We are all waiting for this unknown Godot. We don’t know who he is or what he will do to change the situation, but we have been waiting for him for five years now. Because there is nothing to do but to wait.

Is he death? Or the savior?

Is he really coming? When?

Is he the same Godot of Afghanistan and Iraq? If so, do we really want to wait for him?

The war is horrible, poverty is horrible, life here with the current economic situation and the health situation is horrible. Awaiting the unknown is horrible.

Syrians are good people. My country is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. This country and its people deserve better.

I am 33 years old, married. I have a four-year-old son and a two-year-old daughter. Both came to life during the war. Both are waiting with me for the time when we can live a normal life. They might ask when this will be. After asking twice or three times, they will know that nobody can answer this question.

Just as many people do, I have big dreams. I always wanted to be the next Elon Musk. I wanted to get a chance to work at Google or Facebook. I wanted to build my own startup in Silicon Valley.

I have the rights to that chance, no? No. I don’t have a visa on my passport, and I never will have, because my passport is not acceptable in any of the “first world” countries.

Normal life is too short to be wasted in waiting. What I am most afraid of while waiting is a … BoOoOm…

Bad luck. See you in the next life, if any.

Illustration by Maya Sariahmed for TED.