The Roman Shiite Ottoman

It’s hard for me to meet my father without us getting into a useless and irritating argument these days. It’s been two years since we last met. I’ve seen him three times since I arrived in Damascus. Now I realize how easy it is to be at peace with him when I’m away. I can love him then, even more than my mother. But once I’m here, I must remind myself not to be mad at him. When I talk to dad, it feels like I’m talking to Sultan Abdelhamid, or even Hitler. And what do you know; the old man is apparently a fan of both.

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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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