A letter to the border Gods

Dear Gods,

I am the lucky Syrian named, Zaina Erhaim, I might not have a valid photo ID to prove this, but I can bring hundreds of relatives, neighbors, and friends to prove so to your highness.

My mother, as most of our local women, gave birth to me at home, still, our house was full of the congratulating people for a week, they all can confirm my allegations, and swear to you that I am actually me!

But as I know you won’t get them visas to come to the UK, so I am passing this suggestion. Maybe even if you allow them in you will take their passports too then whom will prove their identities?! No, no I definitely not suggesting this.

So, what else? You know your highness, I would have brought the pictures of my childhood to prove that I am an actual person with a name and history, but the angry thugs of Assad burned them down 4 years ago. They were so bothered that my mother along with her sisters were participating in the demonstrations against our “legitimate” president, so they kicked them out, burnt their home down, then they actually offered it for a thug to live in it with his family.

Within hours everything was turned into ashes, including all the family pictures, the government servants 2didn’t allow any one to turn the fire off; they made a scene of our memories, savings and home. I am sure the smell bothered them so much though as our home was full of printed pictures, thus I can’t get you any of them, I am sorry.

Can you imagine your highness? Respected teachers demanding freedom, democracy and basic human rights for their country get such a “legitimate” reward! Yes sure this is their mistake because they decided to oppose “The system”.

A third suggestion, Ok, forget about my old pictures, there are many big poster-style ones hanged on the wall of my house in the eastern side of Aleppo city, I am sure I can get you those when the complete sieged applied by the regime on the 250 thousands Syrians living there is lifted, when food and medical aid trucks can finally get in I will go with them to get you the posters.

But to be frank, I am not sure whether any survived the latest barrel bomb attack 2 months ago, when it fell meters away from the house, they destroyed a wall, opened a hole in another one and even shattered my husband’s wedding ring while in his figure! So, I am not optimistic that I can get you any of them either.

Let’s speak logically then, why would I impersonate such a troubled character?

Imagine a British diplomat claiming that he/she is a Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian or Pakistani in Heathrow or J.F Kennedy airport? Why would anyone put himself or herself in such a misfortune if they were not really there since birth?

Do you want me to admit that I impersonated myself? Ok, I have committed this crime, here is a list of the attached distresses offered with is:

Insanity, anger, disappointment, lack of believe in anything and everything, hunting memory of friends and 1loved ones shattered between Assad prisons, ISIL basements, slaughtered, killed under torture, shot, shelled by Assad, bombed by Russia, turning into pieces by an ISIL car bomb, drawn in the Mediterranean while trying to reach your heaven of human rights and peace, name it your highness, I have it all, do you really still think that someone might cautiously decide to impersonate me?

I am sorry that I was accidently born in a frightening country as Syria; It wasn’t so bad before you let its “legitimate president massacring its people”, anyway I didn’t have the choice as you know your highness.

I am the war criminal, and I am sorry for bombing the UN convey trying to get aid to the sieged city of Aleppo with my privet purble fight jet.

I am sorry for committing the chemical massacre when I killed 1500 people in one day! How heroism and legitimate!

I am sorry too because I turned my country apart, violated every single human right stated in the laws you signed on, and created “your” refugee crisis.

Finally, to be clear your highness, if you think turning me into a stateless person would sadden me, let me tell you this, it’s surely not, like at all!

Last year I saw a dusty man collecting the body parts of his little daughter putting them in a torn dress of his dead wife, they were a family in a home 5 minutes before my arrival. I saw the brown-hair puny tail   in his hand, he was putting it carefully in the cloth. Then he walked away while carrying the package as a baby.

I saw kids in elementary school being rescued from the wreckage on the final exam day with their pens in their hands and other parts of their little bodies, one “ligetamite” barrel bomb can do it all .

Do you really think I will bother if you took my passport? If you torn it apart, burn or drawn it in front of my eyes! My same eyes? Nope 🙂 !

However, there is one thing I need to thank you for, because of you I have met great people who shares this land with you, have the same blessed passports but different huge hearts, they dedicated their time and efforts to help me getting out of this madness, they over reacted though, it’s just a passport and I am not but a Syrian!

I am sorry to trouble you Mr. Highness, forget all what I have written above. I am now no one thanks to “you and my “legitimate government.

So at last, dear Mr. Highness let me tell you: go to hell!

PS:I am not cursing you God forbidden, I am just inviting you to come over to for a warm meal in my homeland, Syria, in our tradition, it’s impolite not to do so. But who I am to be judged?


The Syrian No one

اظهر المزيد

Zaina Erhaim

صحفية سوريّة٫ أعمل منذ سبع سنوات مع معهد صحافة السلم والحرب IWPR كمستشارة ومدرّبة ثم كمديرة تواصل، درست الإعلام في جامعة دمشق والترجمة في جامعة التعليم المفتوح بدمشق أيضاً. بدأت عملي الصحفي مع موقع “سيريانيوز” عام ٢٠٠٤ قبل أن انتقل للعمل مع قناة المشرق “الأورينت” منذ تأسيس مكتبهم في دمشق إلى أن أغلقته المخابرات السورية عام ٢٠٠٨. بدأت عندها بالعمل مع جريدة الحياة. عام ٢٠١٠ حصلت على منحة من وزارة الخارجية البريطانية لدراسة الماجستير في المملكة المتحدة (تشيفنيغ)٫ ودرست الماجستير في مجال الإعلام الدولي (المرئي والمسموع) من جامعة سيتي في لندن، عملت بعدها في تلفزيون بي بي سي العربي لعام٫ قبل أن أعود لسوريا لأدرب أكثر من مئة ناشط وناشطة إعلامية. Award winning Syrian journalist, has been working with the with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting for the last 7 years, as Syria Project Coordinator then Communications Manager. Has trained more than 100 media activists on journalism basics and made 2 series of short films about Syrian women, and participated in four books about journalism and women. Zaina was named among the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2016 by Arabian Business and Unsung heroes of 2016 by Reuters Thomson. ٍReceived Index on Censorship, Freedom of Expression award in 2016, Press Freedom Prize by Reporters Without Borders and Peter Mackler Award for Ethical and Courageous Journalism in 2015 beside Mustafa Al Husaine award for the best article written by a young journalist.

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