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Mother, Forgive Us if We Are the Next Martyrs

Posted By Guest On January 29, 2013 @ 7:52 pm In Connection Point,Voices from the Frontlines | 3 Comments

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View of the city of Hama in Syria. Photo Credit: Bernard Gagnon

Anonymous*
Hama, Syria

“What shall I tell my mother, as she is still suffering and this news will increase all the pain of the last 30 years? Many days had passed, and we were sad and grieving yet still peacefully protesting.”

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Every mother, daughter, wife, father, and child has tragic experiences in Abi Al Fedaa, namely: the city of Hama. The most difficult pain is when you are trying to overcome 30 years of pain from the past and then one is faced with even greater pain in the present time. It all adds up to much agony and distress, in fact, pain that is worse than all the past pain.

I am one of Hama’s children. When I opened my eyes to this world I found myself deprived of one of the most important words that supports and gives happiness to each child. This word is “Father”; my three siblings and I were deprived of it. I found my mother running here and there attempting to see that our basic needs of food and drink were met. We were constantly moving from one house to another without understanding why. Once we grew up and started understanding more, our mother told us the story of our dad’s martyrdom back in the 80s. While she was telling us the story, her tears were flowing as if she was witnessing his death at this moment, as if she saw how the deceptive bullets had penetrated his body. We felt the hurt but no tears or pain can ever bring back our loved ones.

Today Hama is living another tragedy. A number of my friends, my siblings, and I are among the people who are suffering, as once we decided to participate in peaceful protests we became names on the authorities’ wanted list. Little did I know that my mother’s pain was going to repeat itself.

My oldest brother was with the army, and he knew of the regime’s brutality and what it had done to the people of Hama in the past, so he decided to leave the military. After a period of time the regime located him and surrounded the house, shooting from all directions  until he fell dead – just like my father  had done for the sake of our homeland, for our people, and for the sake of justice.

What shall I tell my mother, as she is still suffering and this news will increase all the pain of the last 30 years? Many days had passed, and we were sad and grieving yet still peacefully protesting.

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Clockwise from top left: Opposition protest in Idlib in support of the Free Syrian Army; FSA members with a captured tank; a burning building in Homs after bombardment from the Syrian Army; a Syrian Army checkpoint in Damascus. Photo Credit: FreedomHouse, Elizabeth Arrott, and Bo Yaser

Then one Friday afternoon we heard a loud bomb. My second brother had gone for Asr prayer in the mosque. We somehow felt that the bomb was placed near the mosque where there are gatherings of civilians. I could not believe that my brother could have died like that, even though I had received a phone call to confirm the news. I tried to hold myself together for the sake of my mother, who has been taking care of us for such a long time and is still grieving for my other brother.

My mother was telling me that she was worried, and as I was comforting her I knew I was also lost and confused.  How could I tell her the news that my other brother had passed away only a month ago?

The night fell and with its darkness everything seemed yet darker. I need to tell my mother this night that my brother is not going to be with us.

I am not able to write about these moments or describe the tears without feeling deep pain; all I can say is if you are human your eyes will tear while reading my story and you will know that the ones committing all these crimes are not humans.

I had wished the story ended with my father and brothers’ death, but my other brother and I are wanted and are being chased because my deceased brother had chosen to leave the army. We cannot even check on our mother because we can get caught or killed any minute. The pain is immense and indescribable and no language or words can ever express how deeply sad we are. It is my mom’s fate to be lonely again after spending her life in raising us.

Mother: How much I wish I could kiss your hands, comfort you, and make sure you are well… Please forgive us if we are the next martyrs, and keep us in your prayers, my beloved mother.

*For her safety, the author of this article will remain anonymous.

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