Life Without Peace

I just saw a headline: Syria War Enters its Fourth Year with No End in Sight.

Year four. It’s been three years. Syria has been in a civil war for three years.

Do you even think about Syria anymore?

I don’t think about it very often.

I had a hard time believing the conflict had been going on so long so I clicked through to the article, which began by discussing how the uprising began during the Arab Spring in 2011. Then I remembered that it had started then. The Arab Spring began soon after my first trip to the Arab world and I was at the time writing a paper about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, so I was very interested in what was going on and amazed at how we were witnessing history. Things that will be written in history textbooks (I hope).

I can’t imagine what it would be like to live in a constant state of war.

Just in the past couple days, I went to the grocery store, the post office, went for a walk on a popular nearby trail, took my friend to pick up her car, went for a check-up, had dinner with friends on the other side of town…all without fear for my life or the lives of my friends and family, without fear for my safety, without worry over my next meal – I didn’t just eat at every meal, I had snacks in between – and without worry that fighting would erupt in my neighborhood or that someone would hurt me for my beliefs. I lived in blissful peace, worrying about things like forgetting to buy an item at the grocery store, or why I still have a headache, or how long it will take for something to travel to Texas in the mail.

I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the shocking difference that must exist between life here and life in Syria.

It’s hard to notice peace until there is an absence of it.


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