When Men Shed Tears by Yousif Ishaq, Turkey

Each time I want to describe what is going on around me, I feel like my heart takes the initiative to write instead of my pen or fingers, especially when I want to describe or tell a tragic story about the suffering of people I care about.

A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine who lives with his family in a spot of violence, called me at midnight while I was sleeping in my comfortable and warm bed to tell me in such a deep voice the below statement that I will never ever forget:

“Dear Brother Yousif:

I don’t know how to start my speech while the tears are falling from my eyes. As you know, I have tried over and over to live a normal and quiet life but unfortunately, each time I have tried I have been confronted with the obstacle of the miserable reality. As you watched/heard and are still watching/hearing in the news, we are suffering from a silent genocide without any support from any local, governmental, or even global organization. That does mean one thing: we are people who do not desire to stay where we are.

It is so difficult to make such a decision – to leave the place where you were born, grew up, studied, married, and had so many unforgettable memories with those who liked you and you liked. But in term of surviving, this will be the sweetest amongst two bitters. I was expecting 2015 to be a better and more peaceful year for all of us but unfortunately, it came contrary to the expectations where it started with blood and threats as you might hear in the news. Because of all the history regarding this issue, the new developments, and to avoid the same fate other innocent people have had, I decided to leave the country as soon as possible but this time without any intention to come back again unless a Divine miracle to bring peace for this country happens. I am giving up my dreams, ambitions, and goals just for my family’s safety and mine and I hope that I can start a new life somewhere else. It is so difficult to leave everything I have built, gained, and achieved, but this is the life when man proposes but God disposes. You were and still are my best ever friend and have helped me find my value and integrity. Now, I have to strive to earn my living in wherever I am going to stay. I already started to sell the stuff I own to have some sufficient amount of money, which can help me keep living there.

Again, thank you for your kind support, thank you for implanting that good seed in me, and thank you for treating me as brother. Who knows, one day we might meet again. Take care and be safe. Sincerely, your brother Mohammed.”

After this long statement, I can only say that I shed a tear with each word he said. I wished it were a nightmare rather than being a reality. Mohammed’s situation is the same for thousands of people who had to give up their dreams just because they live in places of violence. This situation and others that were similar pushed me to make the decision to stay and hopefully make some change. Hopefully I can contribute to shaping the future of my country. Hopefully I can draw the smile on the faces of those oppressed people regardless of all the potential risks I might be exposed to. I still have the hope that things will get changed soon. I will never give up my friend Mohammed, I promise you…

Regards, Yousif


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