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Don’t get me wrong. I do not blame it all on the West; we are all complicit in this; we have to admit it is we who are refusing to get off the hamster wheel. It is we Syrians who have come to despise our faiths, our land, and our crafts because we are told that these are the root of our problems. And it is we who have surrendered to all kinds of corruption and self-interest in every possible field, so that we hardly recognise who we have become.

That’s why we watch the international community convening month after month and year after year to grapple with the vexed problem of Syria, but the truth is no one seems to be looking further than the constantly cracking surface. We forget one kernel of truth, namely that it is always those who haven’t built, those who have lost the sense of home, who are the first to revolt. When the business of war in this region has started to fade away, the business of reconstruction will be introduced instead. The ground is already being prepared by all of the parties and in different parts of the world, and the mood is shifting from emergency to investment.

But we have to ask ourselves, is this the kind of building that is going to solve our problems? Is it going to offer the home that we have so painfully lost? I’m doubtful, because nothing indicates that anyone remembers the process by which our home was destroyed. No one remembers the destruction of craft and property rights, or how the attack on religion was planned, or the stretching of economic rifts beneath false sectarian labels. No one remembers how the separation and urban isolation of competing territories was introduced, or how a culture of shame was used to suppress any possible perception of what really mattered to people.

Few still see any hope left in this apocalyptic place; yet many seem content with the few islands that could result for reconstruction. It doesn’t really seem to matter if it all “falls off the wagon” (and history shows it most definitely will) as long as there’s enough time for buildings to be erected and sold on. The only problem is that there can be no space for peace if we are to accept investment as a replacement for war, secularism for religion, division for cohesion, routine employment for craft and production. Because none of those improvised solutions will bring back the trust, neighbourliness and shared love of home that our communities once enjoyed.
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An Gíogóir
September 4th, 2017
2:09 PM
Talk about a one sided account. It is indeed true, that in some cases, Christians were protected by their immediate neighbours. But it was solely because of Western intervention that the Christians of the area weren't exterminated, as they were in Anatolia.

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