Adra: Where death was defeated (By Aliaa Mahfouz Ali)

2 Jan

Adra: Where death was defeated

Maybe “cold” was the only thing she remebered from that catastrophe more than stories about kids holding clovers or monsters slaughtering people or shoving them into oven.


We gathered in that small cozy room . Everyone of us belonged to a different city that was repeatedly classified by the crisis media as either the birthplace of the so-called revolution or a place that should be punished for not supporting that madness called “Arab Spring”. There, she came along like a four-year old angel. I asked about her name, she whispered “Mariam”. That whispering was not a sign of politeness. It was rather a style of talking imposed over them during days of besiege so hyenas will not find out their hiding place. With a bashful smile ,she sat next to her injured mum who has recently escaped from a hell known as “Adra”. The mother started to document the saga they went through ” they had lists of inhabitants’ names, they asked about people’s religious sect and their political stance.They were foreigners speaking formal Arabic “

I was listening to the brave woman and waiting for any natural reaction from Mariam that would match the horror being told. Yet, Mariam only held the blanket tight to her tiny body . Maybe “cold” was the only thing she remebered from that catastrophe more than stories about kids holding clovers or monsters slaughtering people or shoving them into oven . Mariam is still too young to realize the meaning of life and death. After a while, the saviour of Mariam’s family entered the room . He did not match the stereotypical image of his “rebellious” city painted by the shameless media channels. Inspite the overwhelming atmosphere of death, the saviour’s laughing face was the first clue of how death was defeated in Adra.” I was standing on a small hill distracting snipers from you”. That Syrian man realized that this hill was nothing but dead bodies stacked on top of each other. That revelation did not turn him into a monster like his enemy nor a weak opponent to the death. That death spread everywhere motivated the saviour to help his neighbour beat death too by escaping from the city stormed by the so-called freedom fighters ” I decided to run away with my famiy, I will never wait for them to slaughter me or my kids. Monsters will not impose death over us”. While sipping coffee, I heard Mariam saying ” I’m not hungry” .I am not sure whether she was not really hungry or days of besiege have trained her to different nutrition habits based on sharing food with neighbours so hunger will not be another reason for death besides slaughtering . On their way out of hell, an old lady could not make it and she died. Her daughter decided to beat death her way. She buried her mother on the side of the road and went on to reach the life her late mother was trying to live. Mariam kept looking at us to assure herself that we were not the same strangers harbouring treachery for her and many in the shelter during their saga. It was a rainy cold night, yet that warm room was full of stories about how death was defeated. Heroes of these stories were either telling us about their victory or they had reached heavens to celebrate it. It was the last day of 2013, I was closing the door and looking at Mariam . She was brushing her golden hair and her beautiful blue eyes were shining of a thousand words ” we are safe now” .


Original source:  Kharej Alserb;

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