Enab Baladi Issue # 78 – Sunday August 18, 2013
Ahmad, a Syrian boy, has grown up to find himself suddenly an adult living his adolescence after an early lost childhood. Yet he no longer spends time in front of the mirror doing his hair, nor does he specifically choose a perfume to wear; his appearance and how attractive he looks are not his biggest concerns anymore.
His way of life no longer involves yelling at every one in the house, ignoring others’ feelings, and refusing to listen to his parents, taking offence at any criticism. No more thoughts about changing his hair style or going to dermatology and aesthetic surgeries to get a shiny face or to get rid of skin problems. For him, no more excitement comes from hanging out with friends, messing out and hanging around girls’ schools, waiting for one, stalking another or flirting with a third. He no longer takes interest in spending too much money on going to the cinema or in buying movies to satisfy his sexual needs. His talks and conversations with friends have become more serious, no more talks about sex, girls, or football matches. Messi is not the idol for him anymore. His room’s walls are not covered with superstars’ photos.
Instead, Ahmad has chosen his own way, to go on a walk to freedom. He has chosen to bring in his entire strength, courage, and wisdom to stand against the brutality of the Syrian regime, against the killing and the atrocities committed against children, women and youth. Like many other Syrian teens, Ahmad’s unique attitude towards the Revolution has defeated all psychologists, sociologists and psychiatrists’ theories about the disordered psyche of teens, their violent behavior or irresponsible decisions and attitudes toward others.
A cause to believe in is what inspired Ahmad and many other teenagers. It filled the emptiness in their lives, raised their self-esteem and made them believe in themselves. The invaluable insight that has been brought by calls for freedom has changed their life style. Teenagers have become more caring people who live for others, caring for the families of detainees and martyrs, offering condolence to those who lost their beloved. Adolescents like Ahmad have devoted themselves to ministering to the sick and to the injured until they totally recover. They have become present in all funerals of martyrs despite the constant shelling and the awaiting snipers, supporting the martyrs’ families, talking about how great these martyrs were for sacrificing their lives for the dignity and freedom of others. They have become more responsible towards the displaced; they started to save their pocket money to help them, and became keen on visiting them, listening to the elderly’s stories and learning from their experience, and cheering children up.
Ahmad has made a decision to be a real man when he chose to take the road of Revolution, and a young man he has become indeed. Despite all of its tragedies, the wind of change brought by this war, has made such a great difference. It has awakened Syrians and brought out the goodness in them. It has motivated teenagers to find the potential and strength in themselves. Those young birds who have not yet experienced life properly have been paving the way for victory. Their souls have inspired others to dream of rebuilding a free Syria.
The difficult phase of the road towards freedom has sorted out some social and psychological problems. It proved that teenagers can be effective, independent and responsible. All they need is a cause to believe in, something to live for. Thus, their concerns will be diverted from the changes in their lives which will lessen their stress.
Our understanding of the Revolution should not be limited to toppling Assad regime. It is a test from God, Almighty the Knowing, to make evident those who are truthful and to purify our belief. It is a challenge for ourselves to see how much we are willing to sacrifice, and how we will use our abilities and power to achieve effective change. The revolution has come to awaken and remind us of the forgotten secret of and reasons for our being, to remind us that change should start from inside, from us… and this is the clue.
Ahmad has taught us a lot. Ahmad is still growing up in our souls.