What is home?

I stopped writing a while ago because the theme of my blog was meant to send my voice from Syria to the rest of the world. I moved to Turkey and had to make myself a new life in a country that was very close to home, but also very far. In Turkey, I always felt that this was not my final destination. I learnt enough Turkish to survive, buy my food, and have enough conversation while having a good pretext to not discuss politics, Syria, and what is happening there. Once I am asked about these things I smile and say “excuse me, I don’t understand Turkish well”.

This September I also have to reinvent myself, the idea of home and relationships. I was lucky to get a scholarship to continue my master’s degree in London. The process took a whole year but I got my visa very late so I had to leave Turkey in two days. I was left alone among all the things I have bought to make my house feel like a home. Around me were The small Christmas lights that I use throughout the whole year, my nice blue carpet, my pink glass light that I bought in one of my trips to Cappadocia, my sticky notes, the love letters (yes I am old fashioned), the toaster which means a lot to me because that was the first kitchen piece I bought to feel home, and etc… I had to pack one suitcase of 30kg including my winter and summer clothes in one night. I didn’t have time to think. I gave away everything and kept my warm clothes because I will need them in London. I tried not to think of the sentimental value of things and be practical otherwise.

In two days here I am, in London. Although I lived in Istanbul before, but London seems to be more daunting, colder, and less welcoming. I get into my room. It has a big window that has a view on a park and a desk near the window. I have been here for a week now, and I didn’t buy any of the essential things I need. I don’t have a mug or a plate. All the little things that we think are little, they matter in the end. The salt and pepper jar, the spoons and forks… I have to start all over again, and make this room be my new home for the next year. What will happen after this? I don’t know where my home will be.

I started with hanging the only artwork I brought with me, which is a calligraphy in Arabic that says “Love is my religion”. I hanged it and looked at the wall, but it still looks empty. Then on another thought, I decided to keep this room as it is; cold, beige and soulless. There is no room for more emotional attachment to things and places. I should focus on doing what I am here to do and think of the room as the physical space that allows me to do what I am doing… Is this right? No. Am I going to really do this? Again, NO. These are just the frustration thoughts of my first week here. In the End, I will fill this room with colors and lights, and then I will leave it with a heart break.

I think my relationship with homes and cities is like love relationships. I always want them to last forever, but they won’t and they can’t. They will break your heart and ask you to leave. There is a piece of my heart in every house I lived in, and in every city I lived in. I hope London will be nice to me when I give her its little piece…a new place to call homelove is my religion

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Architecture school.. no words I can say

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Have you ever asked yourself what does it mean the word “homeland” to you ?

it’s indescribable, inexpressible, if you were born and lived your whole life in the same city, then this city will live in you not only you live in it. Damascus, the city that wrote my diaries and my whole life. Now day after day, the chapters of my story are being destructed.

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school of Architecture-Damascus

Today, my college.. A mortar shell fell in the Damascus School of Architecture today and killed 15 students, more than 25 are injured.. I was watching the photos after I have chosen to kill my emotions.. but how can I !

I spent five years in this college. And it’s not like any other college you may know, it was my home actually.. I spent almost nine hours a day there.

Who wants this to happen in the universities?

The side who wanted in a way or another a strike in all parts of the country?

Or the side that wants people to go to their work and go on with their life?

It doesn’t matter for the mothers of these young guys .. they won’t ask this question now. But soon it will prevent them from closing their eyes a moment at night.

Students of the university of Damascus are now divided into two parts, some of them are asking the management of the university to cancel all the lectures for now until they find a solution for this mortar, the other part refuses to stop going to university, they refuse to obey the will of those who want Syria to die.

In the end, this blood will write a history..

Will tell the world about the students who had to leave so early because the US and its Arab and Turkish allies thought we don’t have democracy..

We had democracy when me and my friends of all sects sat on this table every day, spoke about everything, studied, spent the best times ever.. now .. this blood is not democracy.

in the end I will use a sentence that I heard “when a revolution is made up out of the mosques, it will surely kill students out of university”

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Architecture school- students’ cafeteria – Damascus