“There’s a song that is played a lot on the Arabic channels and radio stations my parents listen to,” junior Ebla Moussa said. “It pretty much says when you kill, you kill your brother. We all want everyone to realize what they are doing and who is being hurt at the end of it all.”
The news for the past few weeks has focused on Syria, including U.S. involvement in the situation concerning the president, Bashar al-Assad, and the issue of chemical weapons. While international affairs can seem far away, for one student the news hits close to home.
Moussa said that she feels a deep connection with the conflict in Syria because most of her ex- tended family lives there. Both of her parents were born and raised in Syria. Her father lived in the Homs, while her mother lived in Kafaraam. Their siblings and children still live there, and many of her relatives spend holidays visiting.
“There’s a major disconnect,” said Moussa, whose parents stay informed through Arabic radio and news stations. “Some things are the same, but a lot of things are drastically different.”
Moussa said she feels instead of violence, there should be a diplomatic solution. She said that people who watch the news here don’t understand the full story. She’s seen the conflict through her own eyes, and felt its effects within her family.
“My family moved from the city into the village because the city became way too dangerous due to the rebels destroying the city, kidnapping people for money and other things, as well as death occurring for many different reasons,” Moussa said. Some of her cousins couldn’t even attend school because of the high kidnapping risk.
Moussa participated in rallies against U.S. intervention before Obama announced he would not take military action. Her parents attended a march in Washington, D.C. She said that her family supports Assad and has a lot of pride in their country.
“I get really frustrated because I see on Facebook people posting the most ridiculous things, (they) don’t even know the truth of what’s going on… they don’t think of the fact that there are actually people there who love the president and the state, (they) don’t think of the innocence that’s there,” Moussa said.
Moussa added: “If Obama were to bomb Syria, maybe that would send some kind of message, but who are you killing?”
Mary Marshall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.