It's been over two months since I last strewed words onto this blog; seventy one days to be precise. I had quite an engrossing summer, spending most of which in the United States. While there, I was too busy to get a chance to write. Or, again to be precise, my heart and mind were too distracted to fill the abundant free time I had with an endearing pursuit.
I will write, and soon enough, about my travels across that great land, which has become my adoptive home. You will bear with me, however, the prolonged jet lag I'm suffering from. Since I set foot in Tartous, a week ago, I'm still under the influence, more or less.
I need to ease my way back into life in the slow lane, for despite the raging fire that is consuming Syria, Tartous remains an oasis of calm. We are either too cowardly or too peaceful in nature, but most likely we are both. My hometown, for the time being, is a stage set in a twilight zone. Yet on the positive side, Tartous has become a harbor, a safe haven for the masses of homeless refugees from all over the country. For those who didn't have the means to get on a plane and escape beyond the sea to start a new life, and for those who couldn't take the insulting inhospitality of our Arab neighbors in Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan, Tartous was and still is the last resort.
It is quite phenomenal for a city's population to quadruple from roughly a hundred thousands to four hundred thousands in a year. Some of us are taking advantage of the situation and charging premium rates for rent and services rendered to our guests. Others have acted humanely, but more significantly honorably, and have been most gracious hosts to those in need, regardless of the schism that had already split the country apart.
To all of my friends who wanted me to stay away from harm's way I can only say that I have unfinished business in Tartous. Most importantly, I have a family that refuses to call anywhere else home. I might be a man torn between two worlds, but for now I'm needed at the helm of a ship that is stranded in a shallow pond in the middle of a scorched wasteland.