It was a feeling of great joy I felt when I checked on this celebrated website. I haven’t checked it recently so perhaps this is a belated discovery! It was profound relief to know that its author has found sanctuary in Syria and as ever her vivid description of her new surroundings involves the reader.
The happiness that comes from knowing that a friend is safe and well in no way diminishes the deep sorrow from the knowledge that this is but one instance of displaced people. The knowledge remains that many are still trapped, although some manage somehow to resist the oppression that others, local and foreign, are imposing on them.
The squalid truth is that sectarianism has emerged from the presence of US and allied forces there to preserve and enhance their commercial interests. Civilians representing private corporations are there too contributing to the killing and torture of innocent people. Before Shia and Sunni co-existed, as we read in earlier reports from Baghdad Burning. They lived, worked, intermarried without thinking twice. Life became impossible when you couldn’t walk the street without knowing who was your enemy.
Imposed divisions between people live on. At one time Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians lived together in villages until 1947 segregation when Pakistan and India emerged. Ireland is enjoying a period of relative stability although the underlying divisions remain and could erupt at any point. Israel and Palestine were set up with the minimum, one could say the complete absence of forethought. Thousands are caught up. Those who dare resist are labelled “terrorist”. This is nothing compared to the state terror brought about by powerful states trading arms, oil or whatever is in their leaders’ interests. (Clearly a great many of their people disagree profoundly.)