My mother thought that her son would be shot in front of her eyes.
“Al-Nusra will come to attack the neighborhood tomorrow morning, take your parents somewhere else,” a friend told me seven years ago. He was a vigilante in our Kurdish neighborhood in Aleppo. Al-Nusra is one of many parties to the war in Syria. They had a list of two hundred people who they wanted to pick up from our neighborhood. It would be people who worked for the Assad regime, the enemy of Al-Nusra.
When my friend gave the warning, it was already too late. It was not allowed to go from neighborhood to neighborhood in the dark, so we would also be in danger. We woke up early in the morning from shots. It was announced that people should stay at home. My mother panicked. The neighbors wanted to flee the neighborhood with us. Once on the street we came across a heavily armed vehicle that had its weapon aimed at us, because “don’t stay home despite the orders, makes you suspicious.”
A few people were picked from the pack to compare their names with the names on the list. My brother was one of them, he turned out to be on the list. My mother collapsed, she could no longer stand on her feet. She thought her son would be shot in front of her eyes. I approached the man and begged him to release my brother. Then everyone heard planes come over. Planes of Assad. The men affiliated with Al-Nusra knew they were in acute danger. They ran away. We also ran away from the men of Al-Nusra and from the bombs of Assad. On the edge of the district was a barrier with checkpoint from Al-Nusra. 100 meters away one of the Kurds and 100 meters further one of Assad’s regime. At each checkpoint, we declared our loyalty to this group to be passed. We looked back and saw the bombs falling on our neighborhood. Seven years ago, when I became homeless in my home country.