Oh beautiful Syrian child

Oh beautiful Syrian child. Your are smiling and your brown eyes are full of life but also weary. You are smiling but hurting, because your sleep is bothered by dreams. Dreams that makes you afraid of sleeping. You have seen so much a five year old girl shouldn’t have even heard of. You are playful and curious just like every girl at your age. You smile even when you tell me of that time when you died and came back. The bomb was dropped from a helicopter and exploded in the neighbors house. The thin walls didn’t give any protection, instead they crumbled and gave birth to a million pieces of deadly shrapnel. You died and came back. Soon, beautiful Syrian child, you will probably die. And that amazing smile gone. And those brown eyes lifeless and empty. It breaks my heart.

You were born five years ago in a well equipped hospital in a country in peace. You were welcomed by loving parents and two older siblings. Today your parents are involved in a revolution. Your father says it is a big revolution, almost as big as the revolution started by prophet Mohammed many, many years ago. Your father is a leader, a military leader. Your older brother and sister tell you he is great. They tell you that you must support your father and the revolution. They tell you that you must be prepared to die with you father. And you smile and say – I will die with my father because he is figthing for a good cause. Then you make a funny face and laugh. I smile back at you but inside my head I am screaming in pain.

Your father is fighting against a dictator, a power hungry man. It all started in 2011 with the so called ”Arab Spring” and has escalated since. The war has forced more than 2 million people to flee from their homes most of them to neighboring countries. It all started with protests and a strong desire for democracy and an end to the more than 40 years old totalitarian rule of the Assad regime but evolved into a confusing and cruel war where several factions are fighting each other.

Many of your friends have left. Or died. You have attended several funerals and seen unmeasurable amounts of human tears. And still you smile…

I wish I could tell your father how I feel. I wish I could say something to make him realize that fighting and killing other human beings never will win anything. I wish I could make him understand his true purpose – to be a father. To provide for his children and never put them in harms way. He has a religious motivation to fight driven by social norms and cultural dogma. He is convinced that the path he has chosen is the right way and the cause is worth more than life. Even the life of his children. He talks about sacrifice and martyrs. And that God will reward those who walks the right path. It is all an illusion.

Oh beautiful Syrian child. The power your father is fighting is a totalitarian regime. And he says he wants freedom and free elections so that his children can have a better future. Yes! The cause is good, but the path he has chosen only leads to death and destruction. The fight must be an intellectual fight with information as a base platform. Dictators are a thing from the past and have no room in todays world. But the transition from a one-party leadership to a democratic form is often hard since there are many different factions who wants power.

Your parents love you. I have no doubt about that but they have been mislead. Who put the weapons in your fathers hand? There is a power that wants this war. A hidden power. A power who knows which buttons to push to gain loyalty for a devious agenda.

Your father is desperate. He is certain that the world doesn’t care. – How can the world watch while Assad is killing his own people and do nothing? What is UN doing? Nothing, NOTHING!

Oh beautiful Syrian child. Syria has a history of religious tolerance and people used to live in peace. But unemployment, drought and corruption has tested the peoples patience too long. The Sunni majority has managed to oversee the injustice with a government and military mainly populated by the Alawi. As tension rose the mukhabarat, the military intelligence agency, started to act more aggressively and fear turned into anger. And it all exploded in 2011 with ”The Arab Spring”.
I do understand the frustration and hopeless feeling your father must have. I do. You rub your eyes little one, you are tired. If only you could have a good night’s sleep feeling safe and wake up with happy faces around you. I wish. And there’s that smile again, the most amazing smile I’ve ever seen. I think of my own children and are suddenly overwhelmed with a feeling of gratitude. This insanity must come to an end.

I wish I could convince your father to suggest a cease fire. At least. And start negotiating with the hated power on the other side. I know the world do care but we who are watching also feels hopelessness. How can we act? What can we do? We HAVE to do something…

I know your father is right about what is wrong but violence will not solve the problem. It is hard to ask for patience, but there must be another way. I don’t want you to die little one. I want you to grow up with hope for the future. I wish all the best for the Syrian people, but as for now PLEASE stop the killing. And if I had the opportunity to speak to mr Assad I would say the same. PLEASE STOP!

Oh beautiful Syrian child. I don’t know you, I saw you in a documentary about the children of Syria and I started this conversation in my mind. I have never met you and I never will but it feels as if I know you. I have had four children of my own and my little girl is only three years older than you. You could be her and I could have been your father. It is nothing but coincidence in what country we are born. I was born in a country that hasn’t been at war for 200 years and so was my children. We are all human beings and we need more love, respect and tolerance on this planet. We don’t need war. We don’t need religion. We don’t need to judge other people. If you believe in God then search for God within yourself instead of trusting some book written a long time ago. Don’t listen to the priests and mullahs that is trying to force you to live according to their interpretation of what is written. Free yourselves. Show love and respect.

Naive? Maybe, but that is how I see it…

//patrik wiksten

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