Anwar’s column-NL

Silence from outside

Whenever I call my mother in Aleppo, she’s home. Outside it is unsafe. When they speak, I have to use Syrian first say a few things. I’m glad I’m her son, that I will make her proud, and so on. This week I called her and just when I was working on all those greetings, I heard in the background outside noises. I asked what she was doing. “I sit with the neighbors in the park, in the sun,” she said. I almost fell off my chair in surprise. This was not possible in five years. The cease-fire in force in Syria, perhaps is already over again as this column in the newspaper, is a relief for everyone. If there is an advertising brochure in the bus with an offer. “One week of rest for the price of five years of war!” Even my brother, who dives into home, just went outside. Soldiers are just not as active with the detection of potential soldiers. It seems as if they are tired, tired of the war. My mother told me about the atmosphere. There’s suddenly time to talk with people on the street. It is equally no need to be in back home as soon as possible. Everyone looks around, the buildings are still there, which neighborhoods have been spared? Friends, neighbors and acquaintances are not all been the same. They have become thin from lack of food or have lost their zest for life. Some are very quiet as they used to be nice and busy. The pause is used by residents to assess the damage, to talk, but also to prepare for what is coming. Men climbing the roof to put walls around plates. If then bullets flying through the air, the dishes would not break up and remains in touch with the outside world. While residents catch his breath, his troops engaged in completely different things. I know my country. They use the time to collect ammo to get overview and strategise. So that they can significantly again against it.

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