Due to the dangerous situation in Syria, especially for journalists, Youth Journalism International is taking the extremely rare step of withholding the name of this writer, who is a teenager in a Syrian city. We are grateful for the bravery this writer shows by speaking out and we are glad to be a platform for these words. We know who this young journalist is, but we cannot justify putting our student in harm’s way by publishing identifying information such as name, gender, age or address.
By A Young Syrian Citizen
SYRIA – When people hear the name Syria, what is the first thing that comes to their minds?
Do they think about the start of the revolution that people thought was their path to freedom or do they think it's a country inhabited by nothing but terrorists or that it's just another Iraqi scenario waiting to happen?
Before the fighting here began, I used to get so excited thinking maybe I would get a chance to go abroad, because I've always been an outsider who never fit in. Though I hate to admit it now, l used to really hate my country.
That was all before the whole thing began.
Once people started dying and getting kicked out of their homes, I began to remember the heaven we the Syrians were in before – how life was so carefree, how I wanted to be a journalist, how food and water were available and nobody died from hunger, how everyone had those dreams of becoming something great and of turning Syria into something wonderful.
Now, though, the highest hope for me and other students is to go live in another country because we are a lost cause.
We always had high hopes, but now everything is gone.
We can't dream any further. We just stopped.
Over time, our fears have taken off.
We used to worry that Syrians would never go back to the way we were.
But it grew into a fear of never seeing our loved ones who got arrested or kidnapped or just fled the country.
Then it became a fear of leaving our houses.And then, finally, we feared death.
This is the second story this young reporter has written for YJI. You can read this young reporter's first piece from Syria here.