Peace Of jasmine
In Salloum, the nearest Egyptian village to the Libyan border, a place recently being called as “the Syrian hotel”.
This “hotel” is not similar to any hotel, but it is almost the same like a prison or better to say detention, where few hundreds of Syrians who are seeking to get into Libya staying there, the “hotel” does not contain any of the living conditions.
People are sleeping all together, first floor for men, as the 2nd for women and children.
Hundreds staying there away from home but still the fear in their hearts forced most of them them to hide their faces in every photo we tried to take.
They were afraid at their families, relatives and sometimes friends who are still inside of Syria or even in Lebanon.
From different cities in Syria were gathered all together in that place because they once stood up all together chanting for the freedom.
I met this girl, 11 years old her family name means peace came from the Turkish language “Barish”, and her name is Yasmeen which came from the jasmine in Arabic language, although both her name ad family name refer to the peace and love but that did not stop Al-Assad both the father and the son of attacking her family.
Abd El-razzak Barish, Yasmeen’s father was arrested in 1987 October for over three years for being a member of the Syrian communist party.
Yasmeen told me how her only brother was injured when the Assad force were attacking Saraqeb in Idleb early in January, she said:
After we heard a sound of some rocket or bomb Rafi went out to see if some one needs some help but as Rafi was walking heading the place of the sound another sound came up, but Rafi kept walking not realizing that
he was wounded then he started to spit blood until he fell down,
some people put him in a car and took him to a hospital, Rafi’s friend came to our house to tell us how Rafi was shot, my Mom was screaming and asking where was he shot!!? is he still alive!!? was it a bullet or what!!?. Rafis friend could not speak but he just pointed to the his heart.
We did not know what to do, my mom was crying and screaming but then we went to the hospital by the same car that drove Rafi before us, the seats were full of blood, I thought I will never see Rafi again but I did not cry, I do not know why but I was afraid, maybe for the first time I was afraid to the limit that I even forgot to cry. When we arrived to the hospital some guys from the Free Syrian Army did not let us enter until we told them that we are a family of Rafi a guy who is getting his first aid in the hospital.
I asked Yasmeen, what were the Free Syrian Army soldiers doing there and how did they treat you, she said:
They were guarding the hospital to protect the injured people inside of it because if the Shabiha “thugs” came in they will arrest or kill all injured people, and they treated us very well and so nice especially when they knew that we are a family of wounded person, they even called me the hero’s sister, they wished us good luck and prayed for us and then we entered the hospital, in the hospital it was horrible a lot of people a lot of blood a lot of screaming..etc
but we saw Rafi and he was still alive and some doctor told us that he is somehow fine.
Later we went to Aleppo through villages because we can not take the roads which is full of military check points and we flew to Jordan to take Rafi to a hospital because the hospital in Saraqeb does not contain the materials to do a surgery for Rafi, in Jordan we stayed a month until Rafi did his first surgery.
Does he need more than one? I asked
Yes, he did one for his lung and now he needs one for his eye but he can not do it until his lung is in better condition, a Friend of my father was hosting us as we were in Jordan , he was very nice he even once invited us to a restaurant, She said
I asked so you have never been in a restaurant!?
yasmeen answered: No no we always used to go, my father own a restaurant in Saraqeb, big one, but you know this is the first time I see the sea as she was pointing to the sea beside of us… its huge just like the sky.
I said: do you know that its the same sea in Syria!!? Yasmeen answer yes I know the Mediterranean but I wish I saw it in Syria in a happy days, I would see children swimming and playing with water but now I only try to see Syria from here, but anyway I can not see Saraqeb nor my friends, you know Shadi.. I do not know if they still alive or Al-assad killed them.
At this moment a donkey was passing by pulling a cart, I pointed to that donkey saying, see this is Bashar, he is here now (I did that because I started to see Yasmeen’s tears and I wanted to make some joke to see her smile back) but instead Yasmeen said: but that is so injustice look at this donkey its helping people to survive but Bashar is killing people so you can not call him Bashar.
I was shocked to hear this answer from 11 years old kid, but then she said: but soon I will go to see the sea in Syria, my father promised me that he will take me when Bashar leaves, when Syria is back for its people
we walked Yasmeen and I and I wanted to buy her some juice but she did not accept and then after few minutes I could convince her to drink one, and I asked her what kind of potato chips she wants but she never wanted to say until I told her that its not for her but for other children in the “Syrian’s hotel” and so she chose, then I told her lets buy the chips later on our way back to the hotel, and I asked her to remind me…. 10 minutes later as we were going back to the hotel Yasmeen said in a shy voice: hey, probably you forgot about the chips!!!
we bought a lot and we went to the “Hotel” where the children staying, every time I give her a bag of chips she gives it to some other kid until she gave all so nothing was left for her so I smiled and asked her what about you!!?
Yasmeen said: they are children so they love it more, anyway I can survive without chips and I would not cry but they would.
I spent hours with Yasmeen and this is only some of what happened and what she said
But the main thing Yasmeen did is to make me again believe in the people’s power when they have the will,
one of the things that I will never forget was when I asked Yasmeen what if you went to Libya and you never went back to Syria, and then stayed in Egypt and never went back to Syria as well if Al-assad stayed in power, Yasmeen did not let me finish saying that and replied in an anger voice, noway, impossible maybe you can imagine that because you were not in Syria during the revolution, if you were there you would see how people really changed and how they will never give up, if Al-assad stayed that will be in only one case which is when there no more people to kill there.
If Alassad and all his military force could not break 11 years old will, how come Al-assad dare to Imagine that he will stay in power!!