SYRIA — Everything happened within one day. That day changed my life forever. It was the last week of the spring semester. At this point we were done with most of the subjects, but my friends still insisted on attending classes for the whole week. My best friend asked me: “Eenas, are you coming tomorrow? Please come, okay?”
Although I had a feeling of uncertainty, I answered: “Yeah sure.”
The next day when I came back home from school, I had my lunch, chatted with my mom, and everything seemed to be normal like any regular day. Until some shocking news broke out: “We can no longer stay here!”
Those were the most horrific four hours of my life. Everyone was packing, and I was steeped in my tears. I didn’t want to leave, I begged them not to make me leave. I saw my entire life collapsing in front of me, and I was standing helplessly in the corner watching 15 years slip through my fingers. I couldn’t help but to think about the future, and my present life which was about to become a memory.
It was 6pm, time to leave. My cousins and other family members came to say goodbye. I was barely able to see anything, because of the four hours I spent crying prior to them coming. We soon left for another city.
The next day my best friend called me to wake me up to go to school. It was that surprising, that I couldn’t even tell my best my friend that I was leaving. I wasn’t able to do it. My mom grabbed the phone from me and she told her, “We’re leaving the country.”
Two days later, we left home.
Two days later I opened my eyes to a different place, a different house, a new different and blurred chapter of my life.
But I was so lucky, because I had a house to sleep in rather than a tent.
I left behind my friends, my diary, my books, and the gifts from the people whom I love. Certificates of academic excellency that I used to be proud of, and my childhood photographs. I left what made me Eenas.
You might wonder what was the news that caused all of this?
But that is not the point, because there are millions of reasons why my people are fleeing our country and why they are becoming refugees, why they would choose this uncertain future over the present.
The point is to see more than a refugee next time you look in their eyes.