Without his bag, my father couldn’t work and we couldn’t eat.
When I miss my family, I think back to the last months we had together. A terrible time, but also one in which the love we feel for each other became clear. When we had to flee from our house in Aleppo, we became homeless as a family. This made my father unemployed. He was an electrician. He had a small bag and went to the people with his bag to make repairs. It was his job and it provided income. When we had to flee, he left his bag in a hurry.
We had a cloth in the new place, and the four of us sat on it. We had each other, and the dress. The bag was gone. It was my father’s right hand. We sat on our clothes in there and had no money and no food. I saw my father suffering, he blamed himself for leaving the bag behind. Without the bag he couldn’t work and we couldn’t eat.
My mother took care of the housework, my brother and I were students. I silently devised a plan. I went to the neighborhood to get the bag. Between me and the neighborhood, nothing was as it once was. Everything was different. I first had to pass through occupied ISIS, past Al Nusra camp, and then through the Kurdish domain. The journey was dangerous. Once arrived, the district was destroyed. The plane bombs had destroyed the houses, they looked like ruins. One big mess. I was looking for the place where our street should be. What I found was bad smell, the smell of dead people. I didn’t find the house. And also the bag, nowhere to be seen. All for nothing.
I returned to my parents. My father cried. “You never want to do this again? He said. Not the bag is my right hand, but that’s you.”