A collection of micro stories alternatively titled “Do Syrians make you uncomfortable?” (will be periodically updated).
1. In the days following the Aug. 21st Sarin Gas attacks when 1,400 people were gassed to death, my ethics professor argued that America bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki created a line at the intersection of war and humanism that humanity would not allow itself to cross again. He said this to me in his office, when I came in to talk about Syria, after his class when students were angry “WHY DOES AMERICA HAVE TO POLICE THE WORLD?”
2. A phone conversation: “Hey I met another Syrian girl today!…Syrian or Syrian American I don’t know but she was born in Damascus I think…yeah she’s young, on her way to becoming a doctor…yeah she was cool, really smart and really bright….she just got married too and we talked about her religious convictions….yeah of course I thought of you Shiyam when I met her so I asked her about what was going on in Syria……Hmm well she didn’t say much just said that she doesn’t do politics….Hm….yeah…I guess it is strange that a person dedicated to a healthcare who has ties to a country where 1 million people are injured is a passive spectator..”
3. When Iranian Americans are moved into rage over Palestine but are walking blissfully through this world as Iran occupies Syria.
4. When Zionists use Syria as an excuse to feign concern over people dodging bombs as their government bombs the sh*t out of Palestinian hospitals, schools, and children on the beach.
5. When I walk into the Palestine Solidarity Committee, and their most active member is a Syrian American young boy who is so passionate about Palestine it brings people to tears but when I ask what is going on about Syria, it’s as if I’m an 18 wheeler in front of a herd of deer.
6. When my Damascene neighbor launches a new religious study group and invites us young, impressionable banat to join. “Great Aunty! Can I sell these scarves to donate to Syria Relief and Development?” A side-eye before she says “Ha everything is for Syria these days”, turning her back.
7. When I share news of massacres and everyone around me yawns. Not white enough, not American enough, not anti-imperial enough, not local enough, not ___________ enough.