My Sisters in Syria
I pulled him even closer; my nose buried in his bed of curly hair, my fingers clamped tightly in his small fist. I sat with my back against the hard back of the cold blue chair looking out across my city through the floor to ceiling length window beside me. Lights twinkled below me, reminding me and calling to me but I could not hear them.
As any parent with a sick child knows, in those moments my mind was spinning at a million miles per second: I remembered everything; from the moment he came into this world, to his first step, his first word, the first time he suckled at my breast and the way I felt more connected to anyone in this world than I ever had before.
But the dark thoughts were there too, and I almost imagined what it would be like to say goodbye to him and to never see his smiling face in this world again. Air-robbing pain struck my throat and I felt my heart stop in my chest, just for a moment, like its switch had been flicked from on to off and was stuck somewhere in limbo.
I took a deep breath, in then out, and found myself in the present moment again, looking out across my beautiful city, my boy in my arms set well on his way to recovery. I had everything to be grateful for; I have everything to be grateful for. Gratitude filled my heart for my world of wonder and blessings and joy, but simultaneously grief struck hard against it with a stick – beating it, beating it so hard until I almost felt sick.
You see, my sisters are just across the oceans, cradling the bodies of their lifeless children in their arms, knowing they will never see them smile in this life again.
Imagine their pain – futures struck down in a moment, the hands of time stopped for eternity. They entered the world through their bodies, and left the world ebbing away in the arms of the body in which they arrived. I cannot comprehend their pain, for imagining my boy like that for just a brief moment, completely took my breath away.
My sisters, our sisters, they are living and dealing with this on a daily basis and having to live with it for the rest of their precious lives. No parent should have to bury their child. And nobody should have to live amongst carnage, amongst bloodshed, murder and persecution. No child should have to see desperate fear in the eyes of the people assigned to protect them, and no family should have to be torn apart by a war in which they had no part to play.
My heart bleeds every day for my sisters in Syria, for their struggles and for their sanity.
My heart bleeds everyday for my sisters in Syria, and for their children, my children and all our children who have been made to leave this life too soon.
My heart bleeds for my sisters in Syria and it just won’t stop – because we live in a world where false truths are held so highly and we unconsciously believe that some lives simply matter so much more than others.
My heart bleeds for us all: for my sisters in Syria, for my brothers in Palestine, for my mothers in Iraq, for my fathers in Burma, in Libya, in Yemen, in Pakistan – and for every innocent child who is having to pay the price of war all over the world.
Oh my heart, it is bleeding.
And I just don’t know how to make it stop.
– Sabah Ismail – somewhere in a hospital ward.