Looking for a safe haven out of Syria’s devastating war

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ARA News

By: Rana Talo

The ongoing devastating war in Syria has left many cities in ruins, forcing tens of thousands of families to flee their homes and resort to the nearest safe haven as the regime’s merciless airstrikes has constantly targeted civilians and their areas.

Amid the continuous clashes between the pro-Assad forces and the rebels, besides the unstoppable shelling of the regime’s heavy weapons against civil districts, leaving the city of Aleppo with my family became an inevitable destiny, to start a journey towards the unknown.

Refusing to leave Syria, my family decided to resort to the city of Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in the north-eastern part of the country, where the Kurds form a majority of the population. Unfortunately, staying there for a long time wasn’t an option, basically because of the clashes that erupted between armed groups from the opposition and the Kurdish forces in Sere Kaniye; the fact that forced me and my family to cross the borders to Turkey, looking for sanctuary. 

As a dream –or rather a nightmare– the sorrowful developments of displacement changed my life and moved me to a dark era with ambiguous aspects.

As a teacher in a primary school, I was dreaming about tomorrow’s session, wondering on how to make it as joyful and interesting as possible for my pupils. However, at once I woke up, with a surprise asking myself: “Where am I? Still in Aleppo?” The sound of heavy bombings struck me and crashed every single detail of my aspiring dream.  

“Muhammad, what’s going on out there?” I asked my brother on phone. “The Free Syrian Army has entered Ras al-Ain, stay inside,” he replied, leaving me in deep confusion and panic. He stressed that he’ll be back soon.

In that day, three residents of the city were killed as the clashes occurred between the rebels and the Kurdish fighters.

As my father tried to calm me down, the sense of horror didn’t leave me. Violence has mercilessly prevailed across the country, depriving people of the minimum feeling of safety. Muhammad returned home exhausted out of running and fear.

Afterwards, we had no other option but fleeing the city and rather the whole country, trying to cross the borders to Turkey. Along with my family, we walked towards the bordering checkpoint, with reluctant and terrified steps, and the path seemed endless.

Meanwhile, the regime’s forces airstrikes could be heard, damaging several buildings in Ras al-Ain city, under the pretext of pursuing the rebels. However, most of the victims of the shelling were reportedly civilians.

We have finally arrived in Turkey, where we met a number of friends and relatives nearby the Syrian-Turkish borders. I was quite astonished by meeting many familiar faces, as if we previously held a timing to meet, but it was actually the joint destiny that led all of these people to flee their homes and leave behind a devastated country amid a horrible war.

People were standing in rows near the Turkish checkpoint, waiting for registration to get a shelter in one of the recently established refugee camps. For those who have some contacts with families already ‘settled’ in one of the Turkish bordering cities, a better opportunity is available to be able to resort to them rather than going to the camps, where the impacts of the war can constantly be seen and the bitterness of the situation more felt. As my father arranged a sanctuary by one of his friends, we could finally move there.

However, the Turkish city of Ceylanpinar, which has previously received hundreds of Syrian families, couldn’t remove the miserable memories of the Syrian war. Since then, we are listening everyday to many horrible stories of families who crossed the borders and resorted to the city, and still occupied by the bloody scenes they witnessed inside Syria.

Awaiting behind the borders for the shootings of heavy weapons to stop is indescribable with the sense of impassion, I continuously wonder whether there would be a new beginning for hundreds of thousands of displaced Syrians, after a bitter and unprecedented experience of being forced to look for life outside their homeland. Still the endless glimmer of hope accompanies my soul, looking forward to return to my city, Aleppo, and start over again.

 

Source: ARA News

 

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