She was the one I always looked up to since I was a little girl, I always felt jealous from her free and rebellious spirit. She always had a unique way to do things, everything. She bought the most beautiful stickers, got the most bizarre binders and school bags, she just love perfumes, she just love Dior although she was never able to get any brand. She was so talented in writing articles when she was in high school. She worked with her friends in the journalism class on issuing a magazine, she wrote two articles in it, my favorite one was about a journalist telling what he saw in his trip in Bosnia after the genocide. Who thought that a story once wrote by a teenage girl would ever turn into her own reality!
She had many expectations for university, in public she wanted to be a physician, or a pharmacist, everyone around her said she must go to medical school including our mother who wanted to live her old forgotten dreams through Umm Al-Lool. But what she wanted to be is a flight attendant, all what she wanted is to travel around the world, mainly India. Probably something deep inside of her never wanted to be a physician, and her grades did not help her to do so. She dropped university because she was so angry. Ignorance in dealing with life took us all through a devastating roller coaster at all levels, we hit rock bottom and remained there for so long.
When the revolution started in Syria, I didn’t want to know what the people I know and love were doing. I didn’t want to be worried all the time and lose myself in a long and deep concerns that tear me apart, my ability to immense in joy is matched by my ability to immense in depression. But somehow I knew that they will engage in any way they can. As I learned afterwards, they did and she did a big time.
She found a chance in redeeming her lost years and dreams, her lost love and destiny, her lost dignity and humanity. She told me once: Now I feel I am someone worthy! I told her you were always worthy, to me you are. Our mother told me what Umm Al-Lool was up to, and I was very very angry not because I didn’t want her to be part of it, on the contrary, deep inside me I was very proud, but I wanted to spare her and my family from a bestiality they might witness.
When I went out from Syria several years ago, all I wanted to built was a good future and make my love ones happy, allow them to catch a ray of sunlight. I wanted them to have what they were denied access to. I worked hard and relentless, in my own life I saw revolution was the only way, and I revolted every day, fighting to breathe, for freedom. Now, they don’t care, they wen’t through so much and they are ready for what the days will bring to them. I am not ready, I don’t accept what days bring along with, I am a rebel for god’s sake, accepting is not one of my best qualities.
Recently, I met her online. She told me that they expect clashes, the ASSad regime might shell the area they live in. My heart started to beat in my neck. Deliberately, I postponed my family’s move from Syria to another country because Umm Al-Lool will not leave, she wants our mother to go out so she would be free to act without fearing on our mother and sisters. But the relatively safe days are over now, and our mother must flee to another area if we want to secure her life. I can’t dodge it anymore, and I had to accept the unacceptable before, I had to accept her choice to stay and might face arrest or death, I need to take everyone out but she will stay.
“I think I can do that, I will get you all out,” I said to her. She said that they don’t want me to borrow money for them, what will happen to all people in the area will come to them. I said no, I can’t handle this and they should not worry about the money. During our conversation and planing for our family’s travel, by purpose I dropped any reference that she will stay, I talked as if all will go and no one will be left behind, and she replied by excluding herself from the plan. A small question intervened our conversation every 5 minutes: and you? She answers: Leaving is not an option, I have work to do and I can’t leave the guys here, not now. This dialogue went for an hour until I started crying silently, my tears fell like a waterfall. Then I told her about my trip to USA, and how I went there to talk about us, about Syria. She said that she is so proud of me, she shared my pictures and showed them to other people. I said that I am so proud of her, I am proud of them all because they were all so brave and nobel. Then as usual we ended our conversation by poking each others with fun words. I was still crying when I hanged up the line, spent the night sitting in the dark while my cat was purring on my lap, losing my self in the lights reflecting on the savage black lake in front of my terrace and asking my self: Why on earth I didn’t love in a revolutionary way? I never loved her enough.
I never realized her influence on my life’s path till now, and I accept it with honor.