The Organic Prepper
November 12, 2019
In 2017, I visited Syria. I sat in Damascus and listened to the sounds of mortars, missiles, and gunfire ring out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At night, I would walk to the roof of the hotel and watch the firefight raging in Jobar. Damascus residents - innocent civilians - lived in constant fear of terrorist mortars that would rain down on them randomly, sometimes destroying their homes, sometimes killing their neighbors or family members. Sometimes, if they were lucky, they would only land in the street, scaring the shop owners and their customers and sending the street cats for the nearest hiding place. Sometimes, however, it would be the last thing they would hear. Sometimes, it would be the last thing their children would hear.
In that context, I walked through Damascus and talked to the people who lived there. They were resolute, courageous, and strong. Every single one of them had experienced some horrific loss, generally of someone close to them but also friends and neighbors as well as homes and businesses. Yet, despite all that, they maintained this love for life that few of us in the West have ever experienced. “For us,” one girl said to me “life is about living. We are surrounded by death so, for us, living is enough.”
It was easy to get the sense that the Syrian people were willing to fight to the last breath and drop of blood in their body for their ability to live free of foreign terrorism and for the dignity and sovereignty of their country. I got this sense not just in Damascus but also in Aleppo, Homs, Tartous and everywhere else I visited. A few times I was even told that, if America had the guts to invade Syria, then Syria was ready. And Syria would not be Iraq.
Once, in discussion with a Syrian man, the question was asked how Syrians seem to be able to get back up on their feet and start living again, sending their children to school, working, rebuilding even as the war continues two miles away. The answer was simple: “This is Syria.” When it was suggested that the Western powers do not understand the Syrian connection to their country and their unmatched resolve to continue living and rebuilding what was lost, he agreed. “That’s right,” he said. “They don’t understand us. And that is why they lost.”