Last year, in Eid, I read an article saying that up to 1,100 Qatari civilians headed to hospitals in the first day of Eid, suffering from severe stomach pain and in some cases vomiting, all because of eating “too much”. One man even got a heart attack and consequently died as he had much high-sugar desserts, all of which are very common during Eid. People are buying new clothes, chocolate, intending to visit friends and family members whilst no one cares about what Syrians’ Eid tastes like.
In Syria, 25,000 families of martyrs will have their hearts shaking in fury as the world still has not brought them justice nor has it interfered to stop the ongoing bloodshed. In Syria, family members became no more. Each and every family I know of has lost a family member by whatever mean it is. In Syria, there are 250,000 missing civilians; their families are bundled in fretfulness, unknowing whether their beloved are dead or alive, detained or outside the country already. In Syria, more than 1,100 mothers lost their children, grieving over them daily, sitting by their graves and remembering the countless number of times her son/daughter cried, laughed, the first time they articulated a word, the first day of school, the first homework… All the memories just gone, buried in that grave along with that small heart of the child who lost his/her dreams and has become no more. In Syria, up to 100,000 detainees in regime’s dungeons are being dreadfully tortured, their nails, teeth, and eyes are being pulled out, bodies getting electrocuted a hundred times a day, children, women, and men raped/sodomized repeatedly, their screams echoing underneath in those damned cells, but not an ear to hear them. In Syria, children and women are dying from hunger in besieged areas, their bodies thin, their ribs poking their skin, their eyes bulging from their face, their limbs vulnerable, and their hearts beating, just barely, waiting for a hand of aid to save their lives. In Syria, detainees who got released live in an utter nightmare, haunted by the screams they heard day and night in the regime’s dungeons, remembering the torture they underwent: the beating, the cursing, the burning, leaving those permanent scars on their bodies that bear to become witnesses of the abuse they underwent. In Syria, and specifically on the borders, Syrians are so close to their homeland, to their destroyed districts and houses, yet they are far, far away, banned from coming back by the countless number of barbered wires, security forces, and snipers, ready to take their lives the moment they step into their Syria again. In Jordan, refugees are left in the desert, barely with any aid at all; in Lebanon, refugees are being kidnapped; in Turkey, refugees are busy treating the wounded civilians who come in by the hundreds each day.
The pain is immortal and Syria has been suffering all along yet I see many who are willingly going to enjoy the “blessings” of Eid tomorrow, as though the agony of my people is not enough to wake the bits of their conscience up. Today, 18/8/2012, just a day before Eid, 160 civilians got martyred up till now, among them at least 13 children, all killed by the relentless regime and by the silence of our friends. These families will not spend the night with their new clothes under their pillows, waiting for the sun to shine to try them on and visit their family and friends; they will cry themselves to sleep over the clothes and leftovers of their beloved martyrs, thinking how could everyone ever enjoy Eid whilst they know the sufferings of us, the Syrian people.
In Eid, ignorant celebrators begin to have this overwhelming urge to over eat as if Ramadan has not been assigned by God to remind us of the blessings we are in, to thank Him for them, and to help those who are in need. Children in Syria have no baby milk and many have become severely malnourished as the regime’s forces have been imposing a suffocating siege on most of the revolutionary areas (which actually is every single city/town/village in Syria except the pro-regime ones). On 11/8/2012, an activist in Al Houleh (located in Homs’s suburbs) filmed a toddler who was suffering from sever malnutrition; his mother carried his weak body and began to flip him around, showing the world what her son is undergoing and beseeching it to send in aid so her child doesn’t die right before her eyes.
Surely, the world ignored, Arabs ignored, Muslims ignored. The siege was still imposed on the city and no one was able to provide the child with the needed medical attention and nutrients to revive his body again. 6 days later, the child passed away as surely his organs failed and his heart eventually stopped beating. What does this mom feel, just 2 days before Eid, seeing Muslims celebrate whilst she mourns her loss with a heavy heart. The activist shows up again on 17/8/2012, and so does the mother, sitting lifeless in front of her child, traumatized by the death of her son as she slowly watched his soul leaving his body, as she slowly watched him weaken every minute that passed by.
Mothers in Syria are heartbroken and shattered inside. They suffer the most as their husbands, fathers, uncles, brothers, and sons are revolting on ground whilst they treat their wounds, cook for them, help in relief, and aid in every way possible. They risk everything on the brink of a thin line that separates death from safety but still insist on risking all that they have ever had in order to have a free Syria. Whilst you will spend your Eid in the best restaurants ever, women in Syria continue to cook for the rebels using wood or coal since gas is not available. Whilst you are preparing your clothes for tomorrow, women in Syria are running away along with their children only with the clothes they have on, fleeing the bombardment and massacres in their residential areas. Whilst you know you will have baby milk to feed your child and make sure he/she is safe, a mother in Syria loses her child because of malnutrition as she stands helpless, watching part of her soul dying right in front of her. Whilst you know you will be going out safe and secure, enjoying your time tomorrow, women, men, and children leave their houses in Syria with their souls in the palm of their hands, jeopardizing their lives with every step they take in streets as a sniper bullet, a shell, or a bomb could target them and shred them apart.
Think of others’ sufferings. Think of Syrians and of the Burmese. Think of Gazans who cannot travel because of the occupation whilst you are free to travel wherever you wish. Think of the sufferings of Somalis. Think of the world. Eid is not assigned for you to become as ignorant as ever, to throw away food because it is much, to buy expensive clothes, to visit your friends whilst others lost everyone they have every loved… Eid is to share blessings, thoughts, compassion, and care for others. Muslims, do rejuvenate the meaning of Eid in you before it’s too late. You never know how everything would turn upside down and you become in need of a helping hand. Aiding others is not charity but a duty.