Anwar’s column-NL

Kalashnikov

That you belong to your country and want to fight for it, is very important in Syria. When I was 15, we got theory about the army once a week at school. Then we learned how to maintain a kalashnikov. Fortunately, I never needed this knowledge. During the training industrial product design at the Highschool of Arnheim and Nimwegen I get lessons about the nature of materials. A few weeks ago a detailed photo was shown during that lesson. I immediately recognized the magazine of a Kalashnikov. When I told my fellow student what it was, he turned his head to see the picture better, but he did not see it. The teacher asked me: do you know the weapon? I felt uncomfortable and thought: is that wrong?

It is not that we used to have a weapon at home. That is prohibited as here. Only in the villages where there is no police station in the area, the head of a large family may own a weapon. This must be a member of the President’s party. Yet all Syrians know the Kalashnikov more than they like. Many people were killed in the war. Everyone knows a relative or neighbor who was killed with a Kalashnikov. Everyone knows the sound of the weapon. The same applies to the sound of rockets and bombers. Every child that comes from Syria knows what sound is part of that and will recognize that sound throughout his life.

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