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Eulogy for a Syrian

A city of patch-worked, dust-weathered architechture lay before us on Ahmed’s1 Damascian terrace. A humble house for a humble man and his cheery family; I was honoured to be staying with them. And the taste of the late mezzah breakfast, sprinkled with olive oil grown just past the ridges in our view.

At that moment we ruled Damascus, and set forth in our 4-door to visit somewhere new. Today it would be a business trip to Sweida. We swung by my uncle’s2 office to pick up some things. He diligently persuaded the office workers to help with some off-site welding equipment storage, and we loaded up the car with welding rod samples. I grabbed us some drinks from the convenience store across the street, and we were off with a departure to the South.

The Syrian countryside is a contrast of semi-developed wasteland and awe-inspiring beauty. Both feel ancient and worn-out, yet like the steam trains we also passed on our trip, they still functioned.

Our first stop was an auto-shop which also repaired agricultural equipment. We were invited in warmly for a cup of coffee. I also needed to use the restroom, but it was a hole-in-the-ground ordeal, so I opted to delay my needs until our next stop.

Another hour through the country and we were approaching the outskirts of Sweida. I found relief as Ahmed chatted up the next shop-keeper. I had a better look at the place as I left the facilities. It was like being in Mario’s closet; row after row of pipework and valves seemed to pour out of the wall like a metal waterfall.

The streets were no less overloading in their stimuli. A sea of people celebrating the cool night air as another day in Syria was coming to a close.


A group of kids threw fireworks at our feet as we left the shop, a startle that evolved into a laugh.

When we finally got back from that drive I passed out on the bed. My mind was filled with old-world wonders. What new destination would await us tomorrow? How would we spend the closing days of 2007?

In the hot summer of 2012, another “bang!” broke the stillness. Two bullets would change lives thousands of miles away. Ahmed and his Mom were both shot; Ahmed would die of his injuries in less than two months.3

5 years later the world has changed. Ahmed was slaughtered by the very ugliness he sought to avoid. It is the burden of we the living to carry on and keep fighting. Fascists will keep winning so long as their victims are divided. Unite with your fellow human against those who would harm you.

May rage prevail over fear.

May wisdom prevail over rage.

Rest in peace, Ahmed.

  1. Until the Electronic Syria Army and present Syrian “Government” are eliminated, I will not endanger my friends and their families by posting their names.

  2. For now relationships have also been changed. I’ll tell the whole truth when the Syrian “Government” is forced to. Or is overthrown.

  3. His mother is still recovering as of this writing.

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