After volunteering for four months in Greece with refugees, I found a deep love for the Syrian people and the Syria they once knew before the war. Here is a poem reflecting on the Syria of the past, the reality of the refugee crisis, and the hopes they have for their future.
The stories I hear reflect beauty and love, tales of laughter, music, peace, and hope. But where has the time gone Oh Syria? Where have your people fled? Where is the magic that I see in the eyes of your children, and the love I hear in the songs of the past? Can you not become what you once were? Can your joy of life once again fill the skies? Will your children sing again from their hearts or will they continue to cry?
Your walls are battered and torn, your dreams burnt to ash, your fruits and flowers turned to dust so fast. Where is the Syria I see in the memory of a story? A child reliving the best times of his life; I see the spark in his eyes that ignites when he speaks of you again. The beauty of a hopeful heart now fading away with the wind.
What has become of the love, the joy, the songs? Your lives now torn, your homes all gone. I hear a distant melody, a flaming heart, an echo of life, a small light in the dark. But for you Oh Syria, I cry a thousand tears, your heart knows only pain, yet it beats so fierce. Where the memories of the past meet the dreams of the future is where you lie, you’re tired and shattered, the rivers of hope have run dry.
For I see the tears of the children you love, I hear the stories, I feel their hugs. I see the people as they search for peace, their wandering, their pain of leaving behind all they ever knew. So Syria, Oh Syria, today can you give me a sign, for your parents are hopeless and your children are crying. They speak of their life, their words so frail, the world has abandoned them, their faces so pale.
Their lives have been torn, their hopes fell apart, they long for the feeling of comfort, of home, of love. Day by day they fade away, wasting time and wasting words. They wait for a sign, for a hope, for compassion from the world.
“For who have they become? And what will they be?” I think as I stare into the innocent eyes of a baby. What has she done to deserve all of this? and what will her future hold? Will she ever see the Syria that her parents once knew ?
For today these are questions, only the answers you hold, if Syria can be a place of love like times of old. For with each sunrise I sing a song of hope – that the world can be a little brighter and the Syrian people will find a place to call home.