How can this be? (Silent prayer of a doctor in Syria.)
The headline of this article is a lonely thought. I have never explained what I have seen, felt here in Syria since it all began so long ago.
Rouhani, Putin, Trump, Erdogan and Bashar al-Assad…
…the men in this story have no feelings about real people. It’s not that they don’t care, it’s that they are unable to care. They do not have any sense of any sentient beings. And if there is a world created wherein these men run a large part of it, the things I have seen which horrify me the most will become normal for you, I fear. How can this be?
“What is it like?” FPMag had asked. This is the answer. Our guest author is a medical professional who has worked in various communities of Syria since the beginning of 2013. In Syria today, Russian and Syrian forces are deliberately bombing schools, hospitals and ambulances. FPMag exercises some identification cautions requested by the woman author of this report. She seeks to tell other women what is happening in Syria that they might try to stop the inhumanity in Syria by voting differently.
The elements of fire heat, fuel, and an oxidizing agent are what is needed to create fire.
If the fuel is chemicals and gasoline is added, the fire rages. Adding additional inflamables and increasing the concentration of the oxidizing agent (oxygen), creates a hotter fire.
Add an explosive mixture of these ingredients to many kilograms of sharp nails, ball bearings, iron nuts/bolts, and it is the most terrifying weapon anyone can imagine. Bashar al-Assad’s infamous Barrel Bombs dropped from helicopters. That’s one of the horrors innocent people in Syria experience regularly.
When that fire besets residential civilian areas it leads to broken humans, the cries of the wounded, and the repeated plaintiff haunting, alarming screams of babies and small children.
Only those who feel nought, could do this terror. Only those who feel their pain can stay to help the victims.
As I sat with my face buried in my palms in the basement of a building that had been converted to a makeshift medical clinic, I heard the nearby explosion with dread. Soon the locals would be pouring in the door, friends I had made since three weeks of building another temporary medical facility; and I would be sawing the bones of children, trying to save their lives by amputating mangled limbs.
The terrible anxiety that comes before another stream of badly injured families is what I remember most. A clean amputation of a limb and the following months of treatment getting that child back on their feet is a rejuvenating thought of some value I added to their lives. What happened to them is not and it is unforgivable. I feel blame for what other adults have done to these babies.
What I remember the most is their baby eyes staring into mine.
I cannot forget one pair of little eyes. Never. They are all remembered. It is like a wire is connected between their tiny brain and mine and along that wire is the transmission of their pure pain, anguish, fright and incredulity. How can this be?
Hours later as nurses and volunteers finish cleaning up and once every bandage is clean, white in a row of beds crowding this temporarily safe place, the exhaustion is felt and the anxiety strikes again.
Several mothers kneeling beside their babies were drifting into tortured sleep.
Several children crowded the bed of an injured mom, and slept, each sibling reaching and touching the other by the hand or arm.
Some men with sad faces were solemnly removing the bodies of those patients who did not survive their injuries.
I walk the row of beds checking vitals until the numbness of my brain became inflicted with a glimpse of humanity—a child whose arm I removed.
I had sent her to an induced sleep I suddenly realized, 12 hours ago! and I had not eaten or rested since. She opened her eyes, faintly smiled at me with recognition, and went back to sleep.
I reached my arms out to try and regain that connection then stopped myself. I mustn’t disturb her. The hug I wanted was for me, not her. Perhaps nothing would fix what pain was inside of me.
How can this be?
Suddenly as one more child, a student at the school that was near the blast, was carried out by men who had no more tears, I saw, I felt the mother; my friend was on the floor overcome with sobs, then screams of anguish.
I realized the tears were now pouring down from my eyes too, salty on my lips. Then the emotions scrinched my whole body. Within seconds I was on the floor at first clutching my stomach but as the sobs worsened I was curling up tighter and tighter into a ball until my fetal position was so tight my knees were almost choking me. I sobbed uncontrollably until I thought I had lost control and could not stop.
How can this be?