I have been trying to get back to blogging for a while, and this time around I wanted to focus on my story, but whenever I decide that “next week” will be the week for the new start, something bad happens in Syria – something I feel that is bigger than my story.
I was, one day, a successful man despite the dictatorship, and then, I found myself in the midst of a revolution. A revolution that changed me personally as it changed my friendships and priorities in life.
Before last March, I used to calculate every move and every choice. I didn’t want to be exposed to the regime as an LGBT rights activist, and I never cared about making a name in LGBT activism at that time. After all, Syria is where I have always wanted to live, and I didn’t believe in martyring myself for any cause. It seemed to be an irrational thing to do back then.
Before last March, I used to have some kind of balance between LGBT activism and the career I chose for myself – writing. Everything was getting better day by day, and I managed to succeed at what I did or wanted to do. Everything was going as I wanted, until Assad’s police and army started killing Syrians for wanting what everybody in the world wants – Freedom.
Before last March, my ego was in control, and we all know how annoying a gay ego can be! No matter how I cared for LGBT people, no matter how much I wanted to help, I cared more about myself , about my safety, and about the image that I had successfully created for myself among my friends and acquaintances back then.
And then, March 2011 happened. I saw for the first time the pictures of Hafez Assad and his sons – Bashar and Bassel – being taken down by Syrians in Syria. What a gloriously horrifying moment it was!
March 2011 happened – a revolution happened, and it wiped out every egocentric feeling I had ever had. March 2011 made me remember sourly an old Syrian saying – A person is only worth the price of a bullet! However, no matter how cheap Russian, Chinese, and Iranian bullets are, the Syrian blood and the Syrian souls are bigger than history, time, and life.
While people who were/are new to political activism tried and still are trying to seek fame or personal glory using their writings or so-called activism, others were working silently, feeling insignificant compared to all the sacrifices made by Syrians, and I found myself drawn to this group of people.
Leaving everything behind, the once egocentric man transformed into a Syrian. How great it is to be a Syrian!
The revolution, while being used by many for personal gain, transformed each one of us – my friends and I – into one of those Syrians who are defying one of the world’s most brutal regimes with nothing but a chant and the enticing Syrian sense of humor.
Months later, I came to the country that treats my fellow Syrians like this.
I am in Istanbul, Turkey now, and I am trying to find a way out of here without asking for a refugee status in a country that treats refugee in such a horrible manner. My personal story is only one of millions – I am just one of those lucky ones who can tell theirs.