After a little walk in the Christmas spirit of the city with family, I went and got the bread for Christmas Eve. On my way back home, in the tramway, I started looking at people around me and wondered what plans they had for the night. This, without a doubt, brought my thoughts to those who’ve lost someone, with my people, my friends who spent their Christmas under the sounds of bombs, without electricity or for most, away from Home, away from loved ones, away from what used to be their usual Christmas time. I feel like I’ve written this sentence so many times, only the number keeps growing but this is the 5th Christmas in a row that Syria spends at war and where Christmas doesn’t feel like anything but prayers for peace, love safety and the end of war but it doesn’t hurt any less even with time.
I also celebrate Christmas. Not in a religious way, but in a traditional way and I, also feel this heaviness on my heart because the memories are rushing back. Memories of the Christmas trees and lights everywhere around Aleppo, crowds of people in the streets, gatherings with friends before and after Christmas to wish it to each other and the bells of the Churches ringing.
But most of all, the memory of a once upon a time unity.
Sadly, for the past 5 years, celebrations, instead of bringing happiness, remind me that we’ve been away for too long, that war is still a matter of the present and that it has been going on for years now.
Merry Christmas from the bottom of my heart. I hope that as far as you might be from Home, as far as you are from the Church you were used to go to for Christmas and as small as your gathering might be, that you’ll still find a piece of Home in your Christmas this December.