They say freedom is beautiful, being free is a beautiful feeling…When I saw this ladies picture, a Syrian lady who was bombed because she came from a city that rose…I saw beauty, but something else outweighed it all…Pain

Freedom is something people chant. People who have never been free to do what they want or think as they like.. Have no idea what the word freedom means. It sounds wonderful as they see us outside living and saying and doing as we like. It was the unimaginable. The prohibited. The unforgivable. But now, reality.

To me freedom, in its simplest of terms, is like a bird. A bird is able to fly, thus free in my perception.

This bird has been caged but also had its wings have been tied down, for years. The bird has had its ultimate weapon, its wings, taken away.

However, the bird is being fed, as long as the bird sings for its master; it is being fed and given water to drink. It just must remain under the control of its master. Tied down. Unable to fly or do as it wishes.

What happens after years, well the bird gives in, what more can it do? It has nothing to fight for; it is locked and tied down.

But with time, the bird gets angrier and angrier; the bird notices ways in which it could rub the ropes tying it down to try break free.

It hurts, the bird pulls as the rope tears its skin away, the bird pulls and pushes with its nails ripping out and the bird starts to be skinned, the bird pulls as the chain around its neck suffocates it. The bird pulls and squeezes and screams and bleeds and hurts, and starts to wonder “is it worth it?” only to go on…

Until the bird is…Free?

But what now, the bird has forgotten how to walk and fly. The bird is confused, there no longer is someone to feed it, it has to make a life out of itself. The bird now has injuries that will remain for life. The bird once beautiful is now a ripped torn skinless “thing”.

The bird crawls, then after a while starts to walk on its 2 feet, it then begins to teach itself how to fly…and then the bird is officially free

It may seem totally stupid what I’ve said, but link it to Syria.

The Syrian people never had the chance to be free, you are caged from birth, the walls hear you, our families back home placed Assads image at home even though we fear just the look of his eye. Everyone was enslaved by a slave of God.

But, the regime made use of this, it made people believe if I don’t accept Assad as my leader, and work, even if I work all day for 50p, it is better for my family than nothing, so the people would work all day to pay for the bread they brought that evening. Like the bird, singing to get its food. Assad enslaved people mentally, you do this for me, that way.. You will have food for your children.

Like the bird, the people gave in, it was their destiny, generations passed, massacres took place, you began to turn a blind eye to the man being abducted across the street, you began to turn a blind eye to the girl being taken to be raped by the regime, you began to turn a blind eye to the corruption and theft, you began to turn a blind eye to the suffering levels of society, you began to turn a blind eye to the fact your brother could go missing..And you could not question how/what/where.

But as the bird, people were bubbling with anger, it didn’t need a man to set himself on fire, the people were fuming for years…Assad was warned by one of his cabinet members when he came into power, this member resigned and now runs an opposition channel, Syria is full of many bubbling volcanoes ready to erupt, don’t be like your father and place sand to just block the eruption…deal with the problems. Assad never did. So, you can see the youth of Syria marching the streets facing bullets in their faces or saving the injured from bombed homes knowing the next shell could be on them.

So the Syrian people went on, they got shot, tortured, bombed, raped, skinned, electrocuted, starved, executed, burnt, pushed out of their homes, left with nothing, thirsty … they hurt and bled … the beauty of freedom began to drift as they realised the brutality they actually lived under, the real “okay life” they had, what was being hidden…just for someone to speak their mind their tongue would be cut out. If someone filmed a crime their eyes would be pulled out. If someone drew caricatures their fingers were broken or cut off. If you just belonged to a city where some protested, you deserved to die.

So with this painful journey, everyone is worried about the next steps, and yes of course we are. But, we need to be realistic here, how can we tell what the future will be when the Syrian people will have to learn and experience and try out freedom first? Us here in Britain know how to think and work, we were given the space to do so.. Be it religion, politics or even the environment .. We developed skills of how to think and manage our thoughts and actions.

In Syria people have been under such a brutal dictatorship their minds were locked, they had no chance to think and experience thinking, they are like the bird – they need to learn to walk and fly “again” … I say “again”, because as humans we are born free … only then are we placed into systems where we become enslaved by a dictator without noticing the bad.

So the future of Syria is interesting, it will take time and effort … but I guess the Syrian people have us as their guides, I cannot wait to return, to help rebuild Syria especially my city Homs.. Not just rebuild the demolished towns, but help rebuild peoples way of thinking, that they are no longer slaves of a regime, they are able to think and no one will take them, to give them the chance to express their opinions and thoughts and accept other thoughts without fearing they will be reported. I want to help rebuild women’s personalities and confidence after rape and rebuild childrens hopes and dreams loosing everything.

To a free Syria, inshallah.

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