Monday, January 19, 2015
Beauty and the Beast
At last, the Levant is under the spell of a conventional Mediterranean winter. Conventional in the sense that it's raining hard and snowing as it should, and that the temperatures are down to single digits at night in the coastal plains and below zero in the mountains and inland.
The earth was parched and the subterranean water reserves were all but gone. Had this winter been as benign as the previous one, Syria would’ve gone thirsty this coming summer. We were in dire need for Ghayth, rescue from the sky, to permit the lucky ones among us to live under worsening socioeconomic conditions for one more year.
But with the beautiful sight of white snow and the latent promise of a better tomorrow we shouldn’t overlook the true nature of the beast, the homeless, the orphans, the wailing mothers and grieving fathers, those who lost everything while the onslaught of war continues. We should remember our refugees, now scattered all over the world, freezing to death in the outback of neighboring countries or keeping warm in distant, Nordic lands. We need to honor the memory of those who died because they had no place to go to and those who were lost at sea trying to make it to safer shores.
Although the war in Syria has reached an unprecedented magnitude of baseness and cruelty, let us never forget how it all started so we can, or our descendants, breathe the fragrant air of the coming spring. No matter how calm it was before the storm, the cruel heat oppressed us. It’s always after the storm that beauty prevails.