When I inhale your breeze, I exhale joy.

When I was 6 years old, this teacher asked me where i was originally from and I said “Syria” without giving it two thoughts. I knew where it was, went there for the first time when i was probably 3 months old, it was an easy question for me and I was sure everybody knew about it. But to my biggest surprise, this teacher asked me where it was and if it was very cold there. The thought of Syria being cold made me laugh at that time, because it was the warmest place to my heart. I finally realized when I told the story to my parents that she thought I was talking about Siberia, a very vast and cold region in Asia. It kept me indifferent at the time and growing up, I got more and more used to people having no idea about that country I came from. And, I enjoyed explaining it all to them, sharing my love for the country, for its culture, for its people, its places and the unconditional love its people give and the incredible solidarity and joy they share with every stranger knocking on their door or just passing by. I wish I could still today, explain to people what Syria really is to me and my people. What it really feels like to put your foot on the its ground after months of not touching it, what it feels like to inhale its air and exhale joy. I want people to ask me what Syria is not tell me what they assume it is because of the few words and images they’ve seen somewhere, because yes, Syria is bleeding but only a soul that is still alive can bleed and, this soul will heal, yes it will because of the hope that we carry.

Dima K



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