The neighborhood witnessed heavy shelling that day as the sounds of strong clashes went deeper and further into regime-controlled areas. It is the collective punishment whenever the regime is hit by the FSA, shelling the liberated areas.
We were sitting at an FSA checkpoint when a woman was standing at her door, looking after her young children playing outside ignoring the close heavy shelling and sounds of clashes.
Despite all attempts by our FSA guys trying to get her to go inside, she kept smiling at them and playing with her children.
I went to speak to her to try to convince her to go inside with her children, as shelling can hit our street any minute.
“Marhaba, don’t you think it is better if you and your children went inside until shelling goes down a bit?”
“Would you like to have a cup of coffee with me?” she replied
Inside her very small house, which smelled of burned wood, she made coffee from the small bag she keeps next to the stove, as there was no electricity, water or gas for months now, she made the coffee on a stove made of a tin container filled with little sticks of wood, she prepared it all gracefully and naturally within a minute.
She sat next to me with Sa’ed, one of her children on her lap. She picked up a plastic bag next to where we were sitting and got some fabric and dresses out. She showed me the red summer dress she’ve sewed for Qamar, her 3 years old daughter last month. She was so proud of it, and the dress was so beautiful!
“It is a bit bigger in size, cause by summer she will grow bigger. Children grow really fast”
We sat there for 30 minutes, speaking about everything, except for the war, we spoke about her divorce, sewing and drying the wood. We spoke about men and her children bed time, we spoke about the environment and trees, we spoke about how gorgeous Qamar will look in her red dress next summer.
The shelling and shooting was just the background, and the coffee was the main event, the main event of that hour.
Death is a possibility that passes by; it could be a car accident, a heart attack, cancer or well… a shell. In wars, death is overrated…
We Syrians will never get used to death, we are gripping into life, strongly, so Qamar can wear her red summer dress and so our FSA guys few meters away can go back to their wives, lovers, universities and jobs.
You can “worry” as much as you want over the future of Syria, you can put it all in one cooking pot and tell all the world how scared you are… you can hide in your little corner at your warm house in the exile where you are safe so you can better worry about the future of Syria. But you have no right what so ever to steal the grip that Um Sa’ed has on life, don’t you dare tell her she needs to be scared over the future, don’t preach her on “secular” or “Islamic” state, don’t you cry in her name.
Um Sa’ed is there to live, keep your dirty hands off her beautiful dresses that she will make to Qamar for yet many summers to come.