Happy Mother’s Day, Mom! Are They Bombing Nearby Today?

05/14/2017 06:09 pm ET Updated May 15, 2017
My mother Laila, has survived in Damascus during the horrendous civil war going for seven years.
Mimi Shamsi-Basha
My mother Laila, has survived in Damascus during the horrendous civil war going for seven years.

My mother lives in Damascus

And I live here in the United States of America.

While I try to decide on a cappuccino or a latte at my favorite coffee shop, my mother opens the window for ten minutes and listens before deciding to go the grocery store.

The war in Syria has gone on for seven years, and nearly half a million people are dead. What will it take for a worldwide intervention? What will it take for someone to do something?

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom, as you sit in your condo in the Dummar neighborhood in Damascus, which thankfully hasn’t seen much action. Other places are completely wiped out. Your place is still there. How is it today? Are they shooting at each other nearby? Are bombs falling from the sky? Has anyone we know died?

I am sitting at a Starbucks writing this and wishing you were here with me. Where I am, there is no bombing, shooting, or killing. The worst that could happen is for me to park at the end of creation in the hot parking lot.

It’s Mother’s Day.

Many will take their moms out to lunch today. Many will give them gifts, make them breakfast, take them shopping. A decision has to be made when you ask: “Would you like this yellow shirt or these blue shoes?”

Mom, you have to decide whether you will stay inside today and increase your chances of being alive. A month ago, a bomb fell on a building where people we know lived. They no longer live there, or anywhere. They are dead. Will you stay alive today?

We are witnessing another Holocaust.

This one regards people of different faiths ― Muslims, Christians, and other minorities in turmoil. They are dying at a high and scary rate, while the citizens of the free and peaceful world are watching.

When did religion come to justify killing those who are different from you? I was under the impression it meant to love others. My religion has become “Love.” The religious labels in the world today are not practicing that virtue. When religion justifies killing someone, its not religion, its evil.

I will go to Yoga today

What will you do, Mom? Other than staying indoors scared for your life? Or dreaming of a peaceful world? Or remembering when you could walk the streets of Damascus without a worry?

What will you do today? Will you go shopping? Doubtful. Will you be invited to lunch at your favorite restaurant? Is your favorite restaurant even still there? That place in Bloudan we used to go to and order a hefty feast and laugh and love each other. Last I heard, Bloudan was wiped out.

Why can’t someone do something?

Why? We have solved world problems before, peacefully. Where is the United Nations? Where are the world leaders who have guts? Where are they? The ones who can talk the fighting factions into sitting around a table and solving the problem of Syria peacefully. What happened that we could turn our face away from the television showing little kids mutilated, or in body bags? When did we become so numb?

If you are a United States congressman or senator, please read the following paragraph.

I beg you to do something. Get a committee started, talk to your fellow congressmen and senators, take a group to visit Syria and see the carnage mounting. I am worn out saying the same thing over and over. Is anyone listening? Please do not just click for the next page. Make that phone call that can start the process of ending the war in Syria. Make that move. You will be a hero, for me, for my mother, and for millions of Syrian refugees who have lost everything.

I remember, Mom.

I remember the birthday cake you made me when I was ten years old. It was ten layers on top of each other, with ten candles. When I blew them, I made a wish. You know what that wish was? For my upstairs neighbor, Heather, to fall in love with me, like I was with her. People all over the world have no idea that we have love also, in the middle of Damascus. We love each other, we love others, and we just want to live in peace.

I wish you a peaceful Mother’s Day, Mom, please stay alive.

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