The Story of Abeer

The following is a letter I received from a girl I named Abeer. She wrote to me in Arabic and asked for my help. After her permission, we agreed that I should translate her words into English and post her letter on my blog for every single reader to have an open discussion. Whatever you might think, please feel free to join in through your comments. I might at any point butt in but I'd rather keep my peace for as long as I can.
Abeer, thank you for trusting me with your story. I wish you the best.

Dear Abufares

I hesitated before I chose how to address you “Azizi: Dear” or “Ammo: Uncle” but then decided that you are so young at heart, I'd better drop the “Ammo” least I make you upset.

You see you are about my father's age and I'm young enough to be your daughter. I'm a 21 years old girl from Damascus. I can write in English but prefer to express myself in Arabic, especially now. I have been reading your blog for almost a year. My boyfriend, and let's call him Jad, introduced me to your writing. I think I have read everything you wrote but I particularly like your posts about love, women and life in general.

The reason I'm writing this private email to you is because I'm seeking your advice. You might find it ridiculous that a total stranger asks for your help. But you wrote that you are a fool with a lantern and I so hope that the light you are shedding can show me the way.

I come from a good family. I am a very pretty girl and I'm not saying that out of vanity. My beauty, however, doesn't bear directly on my “tragedy”. I grew up with Jad, our neighbors' son. We played and studied together. There was no beginning to our love story. We were in love ever since I can remember. We kissed on the stairs and the balcony. We made promises to each other and kept them. Our lives evolved around each other. He never made me sad. He never said a harsh word to me. In turn, I never gave another boy a second look.

My father is a very wealthy man. He is highly educated and had lived a good part of his life abroad. My mother too (was) a very open minded woman and studied at the university of Damascus. We moved to the suburbs a few years ago and live in a very nice villa. Through the years my parents always knew about Jad and me. They never openly talked about him but his father was a good friend of mine. That is until my father became too important (in his own opinion) and too busy with making more money and their friendship withered with time. My mother was a normal intelligent, attractive, educated and entertaining Damascene woman until she turned into a self-righteous one who attends religious lessons and hosts them in the villa once a week. Her “friends”, I think, brainwashed her and made her such a boring and meaningless woman. Suddenly, the most important part of her life became her Hijab. Shopping and acquiring weird “Islamic” fashion became her obsession. The whole universe, suddenly, became centered around her hair. She has regular hair like everybody else but it has become such a precious asset it needed to be hidden from everyone because that is what Allah wants.

She removed her wedding pictures from the salon and living room. Her photo holding me and my brother on the beach in Lattakia was the centerpiece of the entire wall. It disappeared. Beautiful memories wiped out because her hair showed. My brother, one year younger than me also became what I like to describe as a Muslim Crusader. Life is defined around his going back and forth to the mosque for prayers. My father apparently didn't change that much, or so I thought at first.

Slowly, I became the focal point of my mother's and brother's attention. Who am I talking to over the phone? Where was I? No, I can't spend time with my friends in Damascus. Yes, I should wear the Hijab. Certainly I must pray five times a day. How did my mother change from being a compassionate woman to a ruthless robotic idiot is something I will never understand. I succumbed to their whims for about one year and wore the Hijab. I just kept thinking how stupid I was. How stupid my mom is. Didn't she grow up in a regular family? How I dress, whether I have nail polish, the perfume I wear became the nightly dinner conversation. My father was updated on my situation and he constantly frowned and expressed his disbelief at my unacceptable behavior.

Only Jad kept me sane with these crazy people. He told me to take it easy and that my parents only want the best for me. But deep inside, I knew him better than that. He is a very smart and sensitive guy. He has crossed the line of being a puppet to the ingrained traditional and religious mores of our society. His father is a wonderful man, intelligent and well read. I remember when I was a little girl how much both my parents enjoyed his enlightening company.

I am in my third year in the university (Economics) and 2 months ago over lunch, very casually my mother announced with pride and satisfaction that a certain young man, the son of a certain old man has asked for my hand in marriage. His mother, a friend of one my mother's inner circle of religious women was the matchmaker. I couldn't believe the ensuing discussion between my father, my mother and my brother about me, about my future, about the need to wear the Hijab again because it is not open to discussion with the suitor's family. My father. My own father, the one who taught me how to ride a bicycle and how to swim on his back, the one who bought me all these little dainty miniskirts from his travels, the intellectual who sat by my bed and explained the importance of education and work when I get older and the same man who held my hand and looked straight in my eyes one day and said that I should not live to need to be married has been transformed into a mere shadow. A hypocrite parrot bargaining and debating my future with my mindless mother and my fanatic brother.

I told them that when I decide to get married I will never consider anyone but Jad. Since then, my life has turned into a living hell. I'm no longer allowed out of the house. My family has taken away my liberties and my humanity and turned me into a 21 years old slave. They are going ahead with their planning and scheming and the engagement/Kitab/marriage ceremony is looming inevitably closer. Did I mention that the idiot who wants to marry me already made several remarks about what he likes and doesn't like about me, what I should keep and change in my character and personality. He came over for several visits with his family. Although I would probably spit in his face if he asks to be alone with me he has shown no interest at all in talking to me in private so far.

It's becoming harder and harder to sneak a talk with Jad who would be leaving to Canada by the end of the summer. He has asked me to go with him and there is more than one way I can do that. I already have an open visa and he is a Canadian citizen. I'm certain that I don't want to waste my life with someone I cannot even look at. I'm also convinced that I will never love anyone but Jad. At 21, I'm forced to make the decision of leaving Syria never to return.

What do you think Abufares?



Diana said…
Wow. This is right out of a musalsal.

Abeer,there is only one answer: Do whatever you feel is right. You most likely know what you want to do; you just have to do it.

I have always firmly believed in (and practiced) doing what I want, and I've never regretted a single thing.
Screw traditions that treat women like furniture; there is no room for such idiocy in 2009. Abeer is an adult who can and should make her own choices. Given her family's behavior, I don't know that she has much choice but to leave.
Anonymous said…
I am not marrid, have no childen, no expirence of family, I have no riligion, I am atheist,I am not moralist but with huge moral,

only in arabic we can find two words of the meaning onscience,DAMIR and WEJDAN , WEJDAN is the deapest of consience, and the highest human feeling, WEJDAN has no race, no color no religin,
WEJDAN is my guide

Choose freedom, love and fly. There simply is no other way. It is a tragedy that at such a young age a choice like this must be made. But Canada ... I vote for Canada. Choose life. Please choose life.
saint said…
Abeer, respect your feeling, respect your thoughts and respect your own conscious and do what comes only out of yourself. You are hearing this advice from the opposite side of your situation. I married my wife when she was dressing the micro, we have our first son she was still liberal; by the time she got our first daughter she started to turn religious. She raised our two young ladies (who are grown ups now) similar to her way of life, on my side I never changed. At one point of time I thought my mother in law was responsible for this change, went down to Damascus wanting to kill her (metaphorically) but I realized that it is not a social issue, it is a political one and history is making its marks on the nation. Although we live in the State, my two daughters and my wife wear the Hijab, I had hard time to accept that first but it was their own decision, I made sure to establish that. I’m not against that but I’m against anyone who forces others not to follow his own decisions.
Yazan said…

I can't tell you what you should do. I can tell you what you shouldn't do. You shouldn't let them break that beautiful aspiring lady in you. You can't let your life slip from your hands, and if I were you, I would do anything in my power to step over such fate. If it means leaving your family behind and breaking your parents hearts (some shock treatment could in order), then be it.

Either choice is almost too painful to think of. But one, leaves you with an entire life and one without one.

Let me say one thing though, these are not your only choices. You're an adult now, and your parents have no legal bearing on you. If you should decide that you want to leave the house, take a little apartment in Damascus until you finish your studies and until you feel ready to leave, they can't do anything about it. It could be the most difficult of all 3 choices, but it is the one where you really take back your life into your own hands.

I wish you a wonderful life.

Shamz said…
I came here today seeking Abu Fare's words to transport me to another world and instead got you Abeer :)

Ah escapism is so tempting, the chance to leave behind this bullshit and go with this man who loves you, on ecan almost make it into a movie.

BUt movies are far removed from reality and perhaps you are not seeing reality and perhaps you are. I don't think it's fair that anyone forces you to do anything or makes you live the way they want. i disagree with this.

But, I think you need to think clearly about how you change your life. Jad must love you, and must want to care for you but what does that really mean for you. If you leave with him then he is your saviour and he is your provider and so in a way you will now have to answer to him and dance to his tune and the tune might be sweet, I don't disagree.

But at which point Abeer will you take responsibility for your own life, at which oint will you live your life on your own terms, where you will figure out who you are and what you believe in?

Jad loves you, your parents love you and everyone thinks they are doing their best for you but maybe Abeer, you need to do the best for you and work out your own plan in life.

Try not to hurt them but at the the end of the day do what you must.

Perhaps this doesn't help you at all but I hope it gets you thinking about what you going to do for your own future and how you going to do it.

Make sure you know what is expected from you for Jad being the hero and saving you.

Good Luck habibti
Allah M3ak
Haifaa said…
Leave NOW. Please don't get married to Jad, not yet. Wait it out because you will find yourself entrapped in another relation. Find your independence, have your control over your life, make your destiny yours and then and only then marry Jad. This does not mean you can't be with him and make wild love. But do not committ yourself in a marriage until you are independent emotionally, financially and spiritually.

I have done something similar.

Wish you the best and you sound really smart.

MJ said…
I don't understand the ill advised comments some people are giving. seriously now?

After i read that, i remembered a friend of mine, who did actually runaway with her boyfriend fiancee watever she likes to call him, they knew each other since she was 11. She ran away with him after a similar dilemma, and he promised her to get married and all that jazz. 6 months went by and she was back in her parents house, she was completely shattered and was admitted to hospital suffering from a nervous breakdown.

On a flip side, another friend of mine, who got married to a guy by force by her parents, 1 and a half years later she was back at her parents' house with a child.

The moral of the two stories, don't do something you will regret, stick to what you believe and keep fighting for it.

I think if I learnt anything it is that talking and communicating is the best way to resolve problems, running away wont help abeer resolve anything and might make things worse for her. She should show them how wrong they are for forcing her into something she is not willing to do, especially from an Islamic perspective (getting married to a guy with no consent of the girl is not islamic) uncovering their hypocrisy, where they use islam not for religious reasons but to improve their own social status which is actually a disease in the Syrian society.

Finally, i don't think anyone should run away from challenges or problems that they face. Confront your challenges, be strong and don't give up, once you decide to give up and runaway you are going to be running away from problems and challenges all your life. It will be really tough to get your parents to listen to you, but family problems are always tough you have to persevere.

P.S. Az3ar's Fan: your over excitement has lead you to saying something that would offend many people. i dont think insulting a way people choose to live as being very wise.

P.S.S Abu fares hope your feeling better after that dreadful suicide attack you suffered from a while ago.

All the best to Abeer.. Salam 3alykom !! :)
with all my respect to every one who has suggested leaving, you do have plenty of choices to stop this marriage,which i think is your main problem now, but never "running away "never " leavign your parents's house".
1- did you try looking into your parents' eyes every time you see them, and saying"No i do not want to marry now." ?
2- did you try speaking to them their way, even if it had to bring the holy Quraan and showing them the verses which show so clearly that , no marriage is legitimate without the girl's approval?
even if you have to make up a story of seeing bad dreams after praying الاستخارة .?!
3 - did you try calling the guy and telling him: look for another girl?i don't think any man would still want to marry a girl who would tell him so clearly: i do not want to marry you.
you could even ask for his help and tell him to tell his mother that he doesn't like you.
4- if this jad was serious about you and mature enough as you're seeing him , he would so simply send his mother to ask for your hand , and speak to whoever he knows has influnce on your father to change his mind, but not telling you , "come with me to canada!!" your life is not a Turkish series!
you know quite well that he has nothing to lose by you, with this option of running away with him, but you will lose everything.
i don't understand why you didn't tell him to go to your father and ask for your hand instead of even taking this option of running away into your consideration.
5- where are your uncles , your aunts, your grandparents?all these people can interfere to stop the marriage.
6- since your mother is hosting religious lessons, you can contact her shikhia.
7- if non of the above choices work, alshaikh and the clercks who will come to يكتبوا الكتاب they have to call the girl to hear her saying "YES, i want marry this man." and to sign the papers.
you can say "NO" and no marriage will take place!

your parents have the right to live their life the way they want,and with all my respect, i do not think it was right from you to talk about your parents or your problems, with people you like their writings.

kinzi said…
Does Abeer even have the ability to spread her wings and fly? Aren't there 300 honor killings in Syria a year? Life for women is a gilded cage there, is it not? she has a free spirit, but is ahead of her time culturally.

I think the last commenter, Umniah, may have the most practical advice. Use the Quran to and the ways your mother understands to keep this other marriage from happening.

Abeer, find your voice, use it in love and honor to your parents, and stand for your rights in that manner.

In spite of the pain your parents have caused you in this, please choose to forgive them. Don't let bitterness harden your heart.

Let Jad pursue you the way your culture approves of.
Anonymous said…
I think if it is possible for a young woman to become independent in Syria, this is what you should do first. Become independent, finish your degree, start your own life and try to be patient with your family. If they truly love you, in the end they will see that what you did was best for you.

If tradition makes it impossible for you to be able to become independent in you own country, then you should look into your other options. Your friend Jad seems very supportive, but rushing into a life with him to get away from the nightmare your parents are planning is not the right choice. You should be able to decide to be together with out all the hang ups. Maybe you can finish your studies in Canada? Could that be an option for you, to transfer as a student? Could you reach your goals first and then decide if life with your friend as a couple is what you both want more than anything else?

Having been raised on the otherside of the world, I do not understand how your society and family traditions work from inside out, and this cuts my advice in half. I wish the best, and hope that you can be able to lead the life that you choose happily.

w.b. yeats
Anonymous said…
Abeer, I agree with the aforementioned comments about not making Jad your saviour. There is a lot of risk in that for you and your relationship with him. The risk I am talking about is not necessarily a physical one, but on a psychologic level as well. I am also questioning if you have exhausted all your options to resolve this problem. Like strongly stating that when asked by the sheikh if you accept this marriage you will say NO. Maybe the horror/ shame of that will change your parents mind to going through with.

Running away is not something to be taken lightly. If you do feel like you must leave your home then consider a sympathetic family member or close family friend. I am not saying this from a religious point of view, like Abufares, I consider myself a secular humanist. My concern is that family ties should not be severed hastily. You should definitely not agree to marry the man your parents are forcing you to marry, but running away should not be the immediate other option. You should stay and try as hard as you can to stand up for your rights, especially since you have only one year left to finish your degree!

I know I can't fully grasp your situation from one letter, but with the information provided that is my take on it.

Haifaa said…

Who put you in the role of lecturing and not offending. Stick to your posts and stop offending.
Angie Nader said…
i hope you and your jad will be able to have a life together...
you deserve a life of free will. no matter what is wrong or right, god gave you free will to make your decisions in life. when you are married, your parents and brother wont be living your will be you all alone, with someone you love or someone you despise.
good luck!
Anonymous said…
Abeer i think you are smart enough to choose the best for you... take time for yourself ,advices from friends were wise and some are really practical...i guess
Umniah said it is unwise to share your problem withsomeone you like his is not his writnig it is his mind
this virtual friend is so real for all of us...we are all dreamers...
all the best brave syrian young girl.

Imagine Lyrics by Jhon Lennon

Imagine there's no Heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world

You may say that I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

Dania said…
Dear Abeer,
Stand up for what you believe, I know it’s easier said than done but your only way out is to never ever settle for a life controlled by such religious fanatics or by any other.

Please don’t compromise your dignity, you future, your freedom…

Leave them to your independence, whether if it’s by living alone and finish Uni or by traveling with Jad to Canada. This is something that no one could know better than you. But, there’s something you need to be aware of is that you might feel that you own him back, you might be dependant on him –especially if you couldn’t finish your studies there- , and you might lose control of your own life…
So you might wanna remind your self always, that traveling to Canada with Jad how ever doesn’t mean in any way that you own him your future.

You are a girl to be proud of
Keep strong
I hope you get every thing back on track... in control and head for a wonderful future.
Anonymous said…
Abufares, is there any Syrian blogger that writes about (( invaironment))

Abufares said…
Dear Abeer

I want to pitch in like everybody else, so I won't get sidetracked by a very few of the comments that I disagree with.

First and foremost!!!
You are too young to get married to anybody(period).

Stand up for yourself firmly especially in the face of your mother who has, unfortunately, lost her personal, intimate and private role with you and joined the herd with its collective mentality and hypocrite morality.

Your mother, like an increasing number of modern Syrian women, has found refuge in the dangerous minds of an organized movement of women which is bent on changing the social fabric of the Levant and to transform us into Wahabi Zombies. Unfortunately most men, and I'm not talking about the traditional close-minded men but rather those who are supposedly enlightened, are looking from the sidelines as if this over-sweeping current is non of their business. I am sorry to say that about your father but you described him right when you said "a mere shadow".

I am a parent too. I have a daughter barely younger than you and as thus cannot turn you against your mom and dad. Respect and honor them till the end of time but don't feel guilty to disagree with them when you know, deep in your heart, that they are not making any sense.

Your mother, her friends and her Sheikha (in particular her Sheikha) need to be told to bug off and instead listen to the religiously modified songs of Ragheb Alameh and Amr Diab. Parenting is not their business. I'm not implying that you should renounce your beliefs. However, I want you to be particularly wary of these underground, secretive and manipulating organizations. I would hate to see another beautiful soul like yours getting lost.

Give your parents an ultimatum. They need this rude awakening: Butt off or else!!! Continue with your college education until you graduate. Stay at home under your own terms and make certain YOUR BROTHER SHUT HIS MOUTH ONCE AND FOR ALL. Don't even give him a chance to be a factor in your personal life. Ignore him completely and let him know it.

Jad, is too young to get married as well. He goes off to Canada and hopefully starts his new life there. If and when you want to go there do it on your own terms not because you are running away. Keep all your options open. Come next year do what is best for you. If Syria is not big enough for you to soar go to Canada or anywhere else you want. As a matter of fact I suggest you do some traveling before you commit yourself to any predefined future (be sure you have a visa on your passport always)!!!

You are at the right age to start flying on your own. It would be ideal if your parents remain your friends for the rest of your life and provide you with the moral support every son and daughter deserve. It would be even better if you stay by their side for the rest of their lives and give them back a part of the love they have certainly bestowed on you during your growing up years. But don't let them trespass on your individuality, on your right to make your own choices. Parents too need being brought up properly by their children and you just came face to face with your first job to do just that.

Good luck "ammo"... be happy. And, one last thing... can you do this for me??? Call the asshole who wants to marry you after changing what he doesn't like in you and tell him: FUCK OFF MORON AND DON'T LET ME SEE YOUR UGLY FACE AGAIN.
:-) :-) :-)
Bubidu said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dubai Jazz said…
Dear Abeer,

After reading your letter it seems to me that there are three things going on at the same time for you.

First: you want to break free from the restrictions placed upon you by your family.

Second: you do not want to marry the guy your family had chosen for you.

Third: you want to be with Jad.

If I may suggest that you deal with these issues separately. Of course, the first and the second one are interrelated, but they’re not necessarily the same.

As a secular person who comes from a conservative family, I can relate to your situation in a way. First and foremost, please bear in mind that your family is your ultimate support system. Unless your parents are abusive to an unbearable point, I’d advice that you try your best to maintain a healthy relationship with them. There are no replacements to a parental relationship. You can make and break friendships, you can get engaged and break up and get engaged again. But rarely you’d see an alternative to a mother or a father, or even a brother for that matter.

I say this to you because I used to be bitter about my parents. But I didn’t realize how precious they are to me until I was away from them. Although I find the way your family trying to coerce you to marry this guy disturbing, I’m sure they are doing this with your best interest in mind. I’m not saying it IS your best interest, I’m saying they view it this way from their perspective. I bet they also believe, regardless of the way you’re feeling about it now, that you will eventually be happy. They’re probably proposing an early marriage for you because they feel you’re ‘slipping away’ from them or something……

The answer to the first dilemma is simple; the few practical steps suggested by Omniya are a start. Ultimately, it’s your call. Just say the word ‘NO’. If you’re thinking about calling this guy to tell him you’re not interested, you may need to be subtle. Because although no MAN would want a girl that dislikes him, many of us have an ego problem and would think “why doesn’t she want to marry me? what’s wrong with me?” ..etc.. what I’m trying to say is, if you want to seek this guy’s help, be considerate to his feelings and I’m sure he’d oblige.

Once the urgent business of getting rid of the bum is taking care of, you should probably try to find a compromise with your parents. Otherwise they’d bring along another candidate. So find a middle ground where their concerns are allayed and your freedom isn’t compromised. Keep an open heart and mind for your parents. Believe me, when push comes to shove, YOU are more important to them than the religious façade they’re putting up. So they will eventually relent. I’ve seen those trends before. Right now your mom is probably under some sort of peer-pressure, she wants her family to be an exact carbon copy of those of the rest of the religious women circle. But this will not last forever. She will probably pick up a fight with one of them and they’ll excommunicate her, or she will excommunicate them.

It’s also important for you, if you want to end up independent and qualified, to finish your study. Then, as Abu Fares suggested, take a deep breath and think over what you want to do next; pursue a career, pursue a post-graduate study, open your own business, marry Jad and leave with him to Canada…etc.. there is a world of options. Please don’t feel entrapped or helpless. It’s not productive, nor it is constructive.

And if all else fails. Then moving along and away isn’t a crime. It’s eventually your life, responsibility and choices.

Best of luck.
Dubai Jazz said…
Hey Abu Fares, what’s up man?

My stupid google reader had only decided to deliver your last two posts yesterday. So I apologize for not visiting as often as I should.

But I see that you’re becoming quite the ‘agony auntie’. Or should I say ‘agony ammo’?! :-)

p.s. also apologies for the long post.
Isobel said…
Abeer, I have nothing to say that hasn't already been said. I would agree with those who would say find your independence first - figure out who you are and what you want most from life without the, what appears to be overwhelming, influence of others - namely your family. If Jad loves you, he will wait for you - the educated, strong, independent you. I wish you all the best.
Anonymous said…
Abeer ya azzizti,
My heart went out for you while reading your terrible dilemma.
it is indeed horrible that fanatic religious of all kinds Christian, Jewish or Muslim blinds people eyes from the misery they cause to their own flesh and blood. I wish you could find a way to your families heart, but sadly I know how fanaticism corrupts the heart.
I hope you make the right decision, and reading between the lines I can tell that you already made it and now you seek support from people outside your once warm home.
My advice to you is to look at the brave people of Iran who refused to kneel down to their oppressors and are standing fast in the name of freedom.
do what you think is right anf Allah will show you the way.
Anonymous said…
Dear abufares, can you please tell me how to reach Facebook from Syria, sorry for asking here but hope to be able to and do not know how....thanks anyway
Ram the Syrian Scot..... said…
Why are you all so astonished? Is this the first time you read or hear such a story!!!!

Abeer is a case in many... She is not fighting her parents, she is fighting the society... How many of you interfered in a way or another in his/ her sibling marriage or life?

Remember, this is not the place or time to be jolly! Stop giving the girl theoretical advices!!

How can she stand for her own, and belief in her self and ideas before taking decision.. Are you joking me? We are talking about Middle East guys.. Middle East.. Did you all forget? Why?

I am sorry but I disagree with you my dearest Abu Fares for writing this story for public opinions..Who are we to give Abeer advice anyway? Will we help her when her parents kill her? Now tell me that you don't expect such an end to the story.

She only need people to listen. She will go through this storm on her own like so many other girls in our Syrian society. She will either go with Jad and be in exile for sometime or with the other guy and hate him for ever. Two choices, the best of them is very bad.

The real change should be to our rotten society.. Let us stop thinking Alwaii and Sunni, Muslim and Christian, Latakia or Damascus.. Let us really work together to do what we claim to believe ... Then and then only we will help Abeer and others

Sorry, I tried not to express my anger but I couldn't
Bubidu said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
Thank you all
My desire to share my story was to hear independent opinions. I said that I do not want to marry now. My family thought this proposing man is a La2ta. I found this disrespectful of my mother to me. Also I was irritated why she and my father allow my brother to interfere with my life. I made myself clear and put my mother under the light. She has to call her friend and informed the mother of this man and cancel their planning. I want to be independent and hope to be able to be together with Jad when we are both ready. He is 22 only and we do not want to be married now. My mother is not acting like a friend to me anymore she makes me feel I am liability to the family. Thank you again to all and I know I was negative in my approach to my life. I need to be more positive and get my own freedom and I think I am doing the right thing now even if my relationship with my mother is tense. I accept now that it is her fault not mine. She changed for society I remained the same daughter like before. I told my parents all that. They were surprised at my courage to face them but I will do all to protect my freedom from now on.

Yazan said…
Dear Abeer,
As a follow up, I'm glad you had the tough talk with your parents and your courage should be commended.

One thing though. I want to stress what Dubai Jazz said about parents. It's a dangerous road to take for granted that it was solely your mother's fault. While I agree, she is the one who holds the initiative, I think your failure to face her early on, and your silence thus far may have contributed to the gravity of the situation.

There's a lot to think of for you now. And as someone who is barely older than you are, let me tell you, there are many things to look forward to, and many to be frightened by... Good luck.
Unknown said…
My eyes hurt already..!!


Sorry I could not read all the comments and I cannot tell whether someone already told you what I am about to say but I will give it a shot.

Your story is a classic, liberal Mom is growing older, meets a fanatic housewife that turns her into a god-fearing robot (sorry if that came out as offensive but we both know it is true).

My cousin had the exact same problem, very very similar to your, to the smallest of details. Unfortunately, she gave in, she married the man she was supposed to marry and became this dead woman who happens to be breathing and looks like she is alive. When we are alone she tells me that she sometimes wants to leave him and run away but the baby boy they have is keeping her from doing son.

My point is, if you give in, you will lost your soul, your freedom, yourself. If you run away, you lose your family. Trust me, 10 years from now, you will be in Canada wishing you could speak to them again. It is a tricky one, which one are you prepared to lose? I am sorry if this is not very pinky and rosey but it is the reality. Fight for what you have and try not to lose what you will have.

Allie said…
In that position, I would go to Canada. It appears to be the only way she'll be able to live the life she wants. I feel sad that she's forced to choose between life and her family, but ultimately, life is more important than living with a decision that will only affect her adversely, rather than affecting her and her family positively.
Anonymous said…
Dear Abeer,

18 years ago, I was right where you are now, with
"the classical dielemma between the head and the heart"

I'm far far away from Syria since, but echos I recieve from homeland told me that the society goes worse and worse..

What I've learned from my own experience is that : flying away is not a solution,
neither is accepting the absurde will of your familly,

Resistance, is the definitely an option:
Resiste, show that You (both) exist,
it is very hard to start
but it a way to win at last

hope you the best


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