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My City Bosra al-Sham

When the news breaks, my memories of you return, in letters soaked in cold blood. Oh my city.

My thoughts stop at what it was like before the war – the rows of houses and farms, the tree-lined roads, the boys throwing pebbles into the pond in the summer.

My grandfather waters the fig trees and grapevines.  We will eat them when they ripen, on an excursion to the dam, where the valley waters run.

Oh my city.

Roman ruins at Bosra

Where there was laughter and joy. Where we guided the tourist who lost his way with broken English to the Roman Theatre.

Oh my city.

That day of celebration when we left our house, carrying our Eid clothes.  We ran, and when we sang it only amplified the celebration.

Oh my city.

You are not what they say. I remember you as a proud Haurani Woman, carrying a sack of bread on her head, walking with determination towards an honourable living.

Her steps tell the story of that loaf of bread and a dignified life.

My city – I am Bosra al-Sham*.

Roman amphitheatre at Bosra

*City in southern Syria, also known as Bosra

 

Images: Lubna Mekdad, Julia Rampen

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