The ugly truth that isn’t ugly

I walk around Damascus and I see how confident and confined its soldiers are, both men and women. They wear their camouflaged suits and tie their machineguns to their backs, commanding the streets as if they were heroes. This makes them the proudest people in the city’s alleys. I’m sure, all the way north in Idlib there are other kinds of confident camouflaged people. The two sides fight each other tooth and nail, but they both agree that their showcase of violence is a source of pride.

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The Road to Damascus

Photograph by Linda JW / The road ahead – Tunisia

Some people meet God on their way to Damascus. I met Joud from Jobar, instead. He was the driver who transported me yesterday from Beirut to my home in Damascus. He charged me a reduced fee of €40 for the whole car.

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We each suck in a different way

When I was 12, my father told me that I was a fly and that the West was a heated light bulb. He told me that the sparkling object from a distance would burn me alive if I ever went there. I was a rebel. I never listened. I installed a VPN software to access social media. I learned English on my own. I spent most of the following 15 years trying to come to the West.

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Climbing Down the Tower of Babel

Six weeks ago, Amazon contacted me, asking for my feedback on how to improve their services. Their email read the exact following:

Your comments and suggestions will help us improve our store and offer better service to our customers. We are concerned about the activity on your account. We want to do all that we can to prevent you from having to make frequent returns of items from

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We often take the most precious things in life for granted. Who truly takes into consideration his eyes while sitting in front of a screen for hours every day? Who worries about his hearing while blowing up his ears with headphones? Who worries about his legs while abusing his knees going up and down a hill carrying heavy loads? Who truly cares about his lungs while inhaling one pack after another?

It’s simple and obvious that we’d dearly miss these things when we lose them. Until we do, however, they must go unappreciated.

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