Yes… My best way to let out has always been through writing, blogging, drawing, creating something, or, at certain cases, having sex. Sex is not an option now, I am too tired of paranoid Antakyans who tend to complicate everything. So, bear with me! Remember that you can always move on and go to do a funny thing elsewhere. I know I am being a drama queen, so spare me this comment please. :p
Well, let’s see… The first thing that comes to my mind is that I am jobless by choice. I just don’t want to translate for foreign journalists anymore! Not because I don’t like them, even though it’s true in some particular cases, but because I already know all the Syrian stories by heart now. At least nothing surprises me anymore, which limits my ability to engage in a conversation with any “subject” who might be interested in a chit-chat before talking to me or to the journalist I am with.
There are quite a few journalists whom I am very fond of, but I still cannot go on with translating for them for a very important reason. I want to do my own stories. There are many things that I can do and write about, which many foreign journalists might not notice. I am more interested in how people changed, and I can do some good reports. Social news and social journalism have always been my thing! However, I am Syrian, which doesn’t mean, to some at least, that I can communicate better with “subjects”. It means that I can’t be objective. OKAY! I am not! I care about people and I don’t give a fuck about politics! But that shouldn’t be a problem, should it? No! It’s not the problem. It’s just that some idiots think that the foreign audience won’t be interested in what I have to say. They should check my blog statistics.
Well, let’s move on. I am taking care of myself and I know that I will find a good job at some point. So, let’s talk about something more serious; why I used the word “subject” for example.
Well, this is what Syrian people have become; subjects. Not to many journalists, but to the business. While most of us, journalists, see this, we still believe we can make a change by reporting and spreading information. I know many who believe in this and I do feel their passion for Syrian people and Syria. Yet, this doesn’t mean that Syrian people are not subjects to some, if not many. It hurts! It hurts when I think of it this way.
I lost many friends, acquaintances, and some relatives to the war. Some were killed by the regime and some were killed by some extremists. Some of those whom I lost were talented and experienced people. At some points, people whom my friends worked for approached me for help because they know I have worked for many years, even before the uprising and the war, on human rights violations issues. Well, last time someone asked, turned my life into hell.
When I was leaving Istanbul a month ago, a friend, who works for a Syrian NGO, called me and asked me if I can help with a mass grave investigation. They needed satellite imagery source and they didn’t know where to go to. Well, most of their qualified employees either detained or killed by the Syrian regime. The people who are left to work for that NGO are not really qualified for anything. So, I took over, and started emailing people. I got a response from HRW (Human Rights Watch) in a few minutes, and we were promised free satellite images and, even more, free satellite images analysis. Great isn’t it? Not to me!
Since no one is qualified, I had to do all the work. I had to contact the satellite imagery expert, pull out coordinates from the map, translate testimonies and eyewitness accounts, and coordinate between the Syrian NGO and HRW.
Aside from everything, that Syrian NGO people are everything but professionals and experts. They were hiding important facts which made me think that they were idiots and didn’t know what they were doing. When I received the satellite images analysis, I had to explain it word by word to them. Even though it’s simply written so anyone can read it.
Well, we were looking for a mass grave that can fit at least 3,000 bodies. Three thousand Syrians are killed and buried somewhere while their families do not know. We don’t know who they are, and we have no means to know. I couldn’t leave; I had to stick with that disturbing investigation to the end, because I wouldn’t have forgiven myself if it came to a dead end because of the Syrian side’s unprofessionalism and inadequacy.
I had to go through disturbing testimonies by some defected officers. I couldn’t believe that things I read happened in the second millennium. I normally cannot handle such things but I had to.
Well, all that was happening while I am trying to look for funding for Mawaleh. The replies I have been receiving were even more disturbing than going through those testimonies.
“We do not want to get involved in Syria”, was a very clear and forward answer, which is better than the politically correct shit I received from other funders. Well, if some look at Syrians as subjects, how did I ever expect that some might consider working on LGBTQI issues in a war zone. “All people are dying some way there, LGBTQI people are not different.” This is my understanding of it.
Yet, an Arab magazine, that claim that they can help heal homosexuals receive funding. They even start attacking Mawaleh and me personally. Well of course; they have the resources to do it now.
Having to go through all that, people expect that I can actually carry on with laughing and hanging out. They expect me to be cheerful and happy. Why shouldn’t they? I always make jokes and tend to love to laugh. Well, not now. I feel I need some time to be the bitch all these things had turned me into. I need to absorb those feelings and understand them. After all, I can’t afford a time away since I am jobless. So, I can at least learn how shit can make someone feel.
I just need to be me. Even though the “now me” is annoying and bitchy, but I still am me; hiding somewhere behind all this shit, lurking, and waiting to come back when it’s about time. I think it’s not a good time to come back.
Well, if you read so far. You can also check Mawaleh No.12.5. It’s out. I just finished it today. Thanks for reading.