The wonderful people at Syria Deeply in collaboration with Rookie magazine have been publishing the memoirs of a teenage girl living in the midst of Syria’s war. She is Marah, and she lives in a city under siege. She was 15 years old when the uprising began. Her diaries provide a rare insight into the experience of young Syrians.
She writes under the name Marah to keep her family safe, yet her stories of life in a city at war and under siege would be familiar to so many other young Syrians. Writing despite risk of retribution, despite the lack of food that threatens the lives of her family and neighbours, despite the crippling anxiety born of constant uncertainty, Marah’s voice is one not often heard. Drowned out by media reports of extremists, armies, and governments, her letters cover everything from dreaming of oranges and bananas, being proposed to by an older family friend, to the death of her father and its affect on her family.
The series of letters is an honest, beautiful and sometimes uncomfortable look into day-to-day life of Syria’s youth. Here’s a sample:
My city was once magnificent. In spring, it bloomed. We used to wake up to the sound of birds chirping and to the fragrant scent of flowers. Today, spring is here again. But what kind of spring is this? We now wake up to the sound of falling bombs. Every day, we open our eyes to our bleak reality: to the mortar shells that bring fear, death, disease and destruction. It has robbed us of our loved ones, destroyed our special places, hurt our close friends. Take my neighbor’s daughter. At just seven years old, she has lost the ability to speak after a rocket landed close to our street…I wonder, why did this happen to us? What fault have we committed to live this bitter reality? Why were our childhoods stolen?
You can read more of Marah’s writing in this series as well as get the latest in-depth coverage and analysis of the Syrian crisis at Syria Deeply.