Remembering Aleppo

What will you tell the world one day?

How will we tell them the story, that there is no feeling left in us, that we no longer empathise the loss of blood from a child, that we no longer listen to the cries of our desperate mothers on our streets, that we don’t see these men with sand swept faces as our own fathers, our own brothers and that we don’t take their every move, their every step into a dilapidated building, as heroic.

What will we tell them when they ask us what happened there, what happened to that place where children played in the street, where family life took precedence over monetary evil. How will we tell our own children of the atrocities that devastated an entire era, how the world barely followed the stories of the innocent civilians, casualties in war, or rather, victims of mad men who slaughter helpless children in broad daylight.

How will we tell the story some years later, after the destruction of an entire city lay bare in ruins, crumbled around lifeless bodies of the people who had a home there. What happened here? They will say, with eyes wide open, fixed upon us, in honest lack of a cruel world’s mind games, souls untouched by the hand of the devil, and hearts untouched by the advent of paper. I swear these kids have not touched a single note. Even this plated silver is too heavy for their hearts to carry. In the coldest morning of December, I had five classes that day, filled it to the brim with incredible laughter, smiles so deep it could infect the whole world. And in a state of such irresistible laughter, I wished the depths of man’s power would never afflict their souls, for tens of thousands of children elsewhere were fleeing their home town, or what was left of it, asking where’s the world, where are we, where have our hearts gone and we continuously ignore their plea.

But we will not forget this day, this week, this war for in several years time when our children learn about the Aleppo massacre, about the genocide – what lie will we make up, or worse, what truths will come up of us, about the modern world who witnessed Aleppo and didn’t do enough to help, how will we tell our children that we simply did not care.

Photo taken in Istanbul

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