Syria's Emergency Isn't the World's Problem

Dear Almighty,

My insides are churning and my stomach hurts and only You can stop this.  I feel a pounding on the left side of my head and my muscles feel too weak to move.  Where are Your servants? 

Where are Your servants, when the country I found You in is under siege from within?  Oh my God, those trees that stood lonely and bending on the road from Damascus to Homs.  Those fresh cucumbers in the sticky hands of children playing soccer in the streets.  Those gatherings of light in which Your Name was glorified and Your Beauty suddenly overwhelmed and calmed my aching, lonely heart.  Those nights of singing praises of Your Messenger with women dancing like You had opened the doors for us to celebrate with him.  Peace and blessings upon him.  

This faith, the white marble, the pomegranate trees--God--all etched into my memory and now blurred with my tears like the lines of those tiny notebooks from which I used to study Arabic during my pained struggle to speak, to read, and to write, the language of Your Paradise.

Where is Your world, when hundreds of thousands of humans--once upon a time living in peace--are now slaughtered, bombed, and tortured to death?  Their beautiful flesh, beautiful minds, now shredded and strewn across the streets so cruelly and unholy-like.  An entire country--millions and millions of people--reduced to terror, to tears, the smell of blood now overrunning the streets that were once adorned by harmless dust and the calls to prayer.

This, oh Allah, is the land You wrote for me to first understand the words that I read in Your Book.  The breathtaking chills that went down my spine, I was sitting with You--curled up on my aunt's old bed--the first time I opened those pages and understood what I recited from surat Yassin:

"And came from the furthest of the city a man running; he said 'Oh my nation, follow the messengers!  Follow those who do not ask you for recompense and they are guided.  And I cannot except worship the One who created me and to Him you will be returned?  Would I take deities other than Him, when if the Merciful wills for me a calamity, their intercession will not help me, nor can they save me?  [If I were to do this] I would verily be in a huge error.  I believe in your Lord, so hear me!'"


This is me.  I am Syria.  I can't replay the words of my Shaikha enough, "You are ours."  I felt home--a home I never felt before.  A spiritual one, in calmness, and wholesome peace.  The wise words and unconditional love of my Jiddo (Grand-daddy).  You blessed me in his presence.  Now I am so far away.

Citizens in my world--believers--are so quick to jump for humanitarian aid when it comes to bringing relief for natural disasters.  Charity organizations in the Muslim community are the strongest in the world, by Your Will.  But how is it that Your believers care when natural disaster strikes, and turn their faces when the same amount of damage is inflicted by an evil dictator? 

Where, oh my Loving Lord, is the Muslim community?  Shame on them!  I emailed an old Turkish friend, thinking that she would put up a message for Syrians on her popular YouTube channel, but she refused.  Oh Allah, guide her.  I contacted old activists I used to work with for Palestine, but they did not extend the same favor to Syrians, that Syrians extended to them.  Guide them.  I searched through Yasmin Mogahed's website for some mention of Syria, but, oh God, the only two articles I could find on Syria were brief mentions wedged in between spotlight articles on Egypt and Palestine.  I searched for videos from popular Muslim artists (non-Syrians), but, whether I found Irfan Makki or Maher Zain or 786 or Sound of Reason or Outlandish--the only Muslim calamity that seems to be worthy of singing about is Palestine.  Are Syrians nothing in the hearts of Your servants, oh Allah?

Oh my Lord the Loving, You know more than anyone that the number of Palestinians killed in the history of Israel's existence doesn't even equal the number of lives Hafez or Bashar Assad take in a single year.  I submit our situation to You.  Shame on them, oh Allah!  Shame on us.  Guide us, please.  Please don't let Your servants be like this.  No wonder You say in Your Holy Book:

"Verily, God will not change the condition of a nation until they change what is inside themselves." 


Oh Allah, change what is inside of us.  Change this shameful inability to equate all lives and suffering from all in our hearts.  Shame, shame, shame on Your community.  Where are the other Arab countries--enjoying their lives silently while the common folks struggle to collect old blankets for the refugees?  Where is the Muslim world, who could wipe out this suffering in a moment if we would just unite?  

Oh Allah, only You can hear the screaming inside of me.  Since when does the Muslim community value a piece of holy structure--that has no soul and only history--more than a human life?  Why do we whine about Palestine when we have such a larger enemy in full force?  Oh Allah, the city of Saints is being destroyed.  Cries, screams, bombs, and body parts dislocated.  Faces torn off.  I can't believe it.  I can't believe it.  I can't believe.  

There have been so many times in my life when You chose to take away all human tenderness and help and only You were my friend.  I can imagine, dear God, that this is the situation You have placed all Syrians in now.  Dear God, when You were all I had, I realized that You are all I need.  Be all we need in Syria.  Your world has forgotten us, dear Lord.  Your world has completely turned its face away from the scenes of genocide, taking place in the land of the Saints.  The land of my saint.  Oh God, be all we need.  Be all we need.  Be all we need. 


Dena AtassiComment