There are now over 1.2 million Syrian refugees living in Lebanon in camps waiting for a better home under the care of humanitarian organizations and NGOs. The children carry the hope and strength of their whole nation.
This post is in honor of George Kheir, my departed young brother, a wonderfully warm, humorous, bursting with life and generous man who left a kind and beautiful family behind. May his soul rest in peace and go to where it was destined to be.
In the streets of old Kashgar I met so many children, playful, joyful, running here and there, but not this little boy. I had some candy in my pocket that I offered him and he just stood there looking at me then down at his shoes, then at me again until he summoned the courage to extend his had for the sweet candy only to drop his eyes back again to his feet. He looked so innocent and fragile with his borrowed woman’s shoe that I almost reached out to hug him… but I did not. He walked slowly away down the alley to found the door to his house and disappear into it.
As beautiful as the old city of Kashgar is, it is also heartbreaking to visit. The charming old architecture is being demolished systematically by the authorities section by section for the last few years. The reason given: a possible danger from earthquakes the real reason, I leave for you to research. The locals are horrified as they are moved family by family outside the city and in place of their neighborhoods, malls, plazas, and fancy holiday housing is being planned and erected. Every year less and less of this historical city is left to admire and its traditions diluted slowly into the new characterless architecture. Yes, it is most definitely painful to see and to know about.
photo taken: a little family in front of a neighborhood condemned to be demolished in the old city of Kashgar
As I come close to the end of the month’s posts about Cambodia, I realize that my thoughts and contemplations throughout this process have been with children, the future, and next steps towards a better world. What would it take to make this world a place safe enough and healthy enough for the children of the world? Who has the answers? What can each one of us do to ensure the unlocking of our children’s best potential? … and so many more questions…
One of the most precious gifts we humans receive upon our birth is the gift of choice and free will…
We have the faculties that allow us to think, evaluate, compare, investigate, evaluate and then based upon our findings make an informed decision. It is a the first and most important principle for our freedom.
But when this gift is stolen, taken away, then we are forced to live in oppression and to become the involuntary players in the games of others.
This boy was destined to become a player in a game of war, not by choice, he is far too young and far too vulnerable to make his way towards his freedom. He is a prisoner in one ugly scheme and it has drawn the old man out of the little boy.
And the game is till being played…
“May the odds be in his favor”… the quote that still haunts me from the recent movie “the hunger games”
Images can tell stories so much better than words. When I look back at an image like this of a refugee child, I feel so much more than what can be put into words. So I will leave the words to you this time, to form your own.
I have been thinking a lot lately about children and the process of growing up. My daughter is 7 and she is a dreamer, a total believer in the magic of life, in fairies, in angels, in the unusual and special things about life. As she gets schooled and gradually grows older, some of her beliefs will get beaten to the ground and deemed silly, childish and unreal. I dread that day that is sure to come to at least some parts of her magical life and I pray that she may gather some of this sparkle to keep for herself in a special place somewhere, because how dull is a life without magic?