I’m Syrian, and I will not give up hope for justice

Syrians have seen their lives destroyed as the international community stood by and watched, but they still cling to the hope that one day justice will be served.

A duty to speak out

How does a Syrian approach a piece on Syria? I’ve spent the last 48 hours writing and deleting, trying every approach I know to tackle my own reflections about Syria today. I wrote questions, arguments and rebuttals; at one point, I wrote a personal narrative, until imposter syndrome reared its head and convinced me to discard it – because who am I to speak in the name of those back home?

I rebutted this point in my head, assuring myself that I had just as much right – a duty, in fact – to convey the voices of those I still know in Syria, and to express my own opinion as a Syrian. This, I realised, was the core of my problem: expressing my opinion as a Syrian.

So what does it mean to be Syrian? What does it mean to have lived through the past seven years, experiencing the development of breaking news, from “live shots fired at protesters”, to “one person killed by a sniper”, to full on-massacres – until breaking news no longer existed as a concept?

What does it mean to have survived in silence to avoid imprisonment, never being able to build trust with neighbours to discuss issues pertaining to your very survival, for fear of being disappeared forever as a political dissident? What does it mean to have lived through the horror and barbarity of the shabiha, to have received news of your own family being killed with butcher knives and axes, and then to have to convince the rest of the world that this level of monstrosity actually exists?

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