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On 8 July 2012 Maya Naser wrote:

To begin my article, I’d like to ask my readers to examine the following paragraph quoted from the National newspaper.

“CAIRO // An Egyptian university student was fatally stabbed as his girlfriend looked on after three suspected Islamic militants confronted the couple in a park and said they should not be together if they were not married, security officials said yesterday.”

Syria; the Cradle of Contradictions

In Syria we are the result of a Maroni marriage of a Mediterranean cultures, our society can be described as anything except being one color community, or even two… we have the Muslims of all cults and factions (Sunni with at least 4 factions, Shiia, Alawites with at least 3 factions, Ismaili, Murchidis, Druze…), Christians are no exception when it comes to Syria, (Maronites, Jacobins, Nestorians, Protestant. Catholics, Romans…)

In my country, you can’t kill two people for walking in the street under Sharia law, unless of course you divided the state into cantons and separated communities, the same as the west did in Lebanon; or displace all the Christians and other Muslim minorities into other states, similar to the Iraqi case.
In my country; most of us still enjoy dancing, singing, gatherings, and discussing life matters of all kinds without killing each other or expiation each other.

So far; all attempts to transform Syria to another Iraq, or Libya or even Saudi Arabia have failed, and no matter how much the west sends Al Qaeda fighter to my country, apparently we will continue enjoying our life and I will keep holding my girlfriend’s hands in the streets, I will not be anyone but this Syrian Man who shares his life with Syrians no matter what gender or religion they are.

A few days ago, my friend passed by me asking me to go to a charity party, I answered, “we are mourning our fellow Syrian lives every day, and you are asking me for a party?!!!”
She smiled at me saying, “We will not die sad, and we will not be imprisoned by terror, I am going and you will be my date whither you like it or not”.

Frankly; I admit I was honored to be invited for this ballet party for kids, I had the opportunity to watch the beauty of Syrian boys and girls dancing, singing and laughing, reminding me that I am the citizen of a 7000 year old state who will never accept Wahhabism, or K.K.K or any other radical name to control my life.
This small party was just another example of true Syrians, Syrians who want to escape the fundamental killings, and the sectarian cleansing.

The kids were not only rich; they were middle class from different religious backgrounds, all coming to a Catholic Church to perform for the public.

I don’t know what the kids where thinking, But I know they were not trying to dazzle the Syrian administration, or to express their support to this political party or that militia’s fighter.
The kids were dancing like flying angels, I don’t know or maybe don’t care that local or international media isn’t covering them, because they are too busy raging wars and killings.

Those beautiful angels were dancing on a theater which belongs to the Catholic Patriarchate “Olive Church” in Damascus.

The church lies in the folds of the oldest inhabited city in the history of mankind.

You walk into the Church main gate, a big yard with beautiful view ahead of you; a smiley man is waiting, directing you to go the theater location.
Wide stairs, lead you to the second floor, too many people are going upstairs, a man with his wife laughing about their little kid’s nervousness, and how they tried to calm her down.
A veiled lady tells her friend how hard her daughter worked on the dress, a dress with a Syrian flag on it, she described the little girl’s passion for the colors of the Syrian flag.
While my friend and I were going upstairs, step by step, enjoying those small talks and smiles, every time we hear a father or a mother speaking about their child.

A few seconds passed, we are at the second floor, the theater was crowded, kids were training on the great Tchaikovsky music the “Swan lake”
The theater was living action, you wouldn’t be able to stop smiling, stop sensing the beauty of each corner, stop watching kids making mistake after mistake but they wouldn’t give up, they’d rise again and try again and again until they got it right.

For a moment I thought, this is how we all should be, perhaps I should bring the fighting parties here, and maybe, just maybe they can learn what it means to be a real human.
Two Hours passed by, the party was over; but that sense of beauty would never be over, nobody on earth can take from those kids their happiness.
The Saudis can keep sending their radical killers here, the west can keep threatening Syrians with sanctions but no one will ever be able to touch those kids’ spirit.

And as for me, those kids have taught me the meaning of being Syrian, the meaning of being human and the meaning of being God’s Children, believers name them the way you want my dear reader, that will not change the fact.


Posted 8th July 2012 by Maya Naser
via http://syriapolitics.blogspot.com/2012/07/syria-cradle-of-contradictions.html

“O my Lord, the stars glitter
and the eyes of men are closed.
Kings have locked their doors
and each lover is alone with his beloved.
Here, I am alone with You.”
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“Beware of confining yourself to a particular conception and denying all else for much good would elude you. Indeed the knowledge of reality would elude you. Be in yourself a substance for all forms, for God is too vast and tremendous to be restricted to one form of belief rather than another.”

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(as quoted by Pir Zia Inayat Khan Sufi Conference 2005

via https://goldensufi.org/audioarchives.html#sc )

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Water
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I was born in a drouth year. That summer

my mother waited in the house, enclosed

in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,

for the men to come back in the evenings,

bringing water from a distant spring.

Veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.

And all my life I have dreaded the return

of that year, sure that it still is

somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul.

Fear of dust in my mouth is always with me,

and I am the faithful husband of the rain,

I love the water of wells and springs

and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.

I am a dry man whose thirst is praise

of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.

My sweetness is to wake in the night

after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.
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(from “Farming: A Handbook” by Wendell Berry)
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Chapter Forty-seven

Without going outside, you may know the whole world.

Without looking through the window, you may see the ways of heaven.

The farther you go, the less you know.

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Thus the sage knows without traveling;

He sees without looking;

He works without doing.

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(from Lao Tsu’s – “Tao Te Ching”, translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)

Chapter Fifteen
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The ancient masters were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive.

The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable.

Because it is unfathomable,

All we can do is describe their appearance.

Watchful, like men crossing a winter stream.

Alert, like men aware of danger.

Courteous, like visiting guests.

Yielding, like ice about to melt.

Simple, like uncarved blocks of wood.

Hollow, like caves.

Opaque, like muddy pools.

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Who can wait quietly while the mud settles?

Who can remain still until the moment of action?

Observers of the Tao do not seek fulfillment.

Not seeking fulfillment, they are not swayed by desire for change.

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(Lao Tsu – Tao Te Ching – Translated by Gia-Fu Feng and Jane English)
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In the beginning I was mistaken in four respects.
I concerned myself to remember God, to know Him,
to love Him, and to seek Him.
When I had come to the end I saw that He had remembered me
before I remembered Him.
That His knowledge of me, had preceded my knowledge of Him.
That His love towards me had existed before my love to Him,
and He had sought me before I sought Him
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(as quoted by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, 2006 Sufi Conference, Opening Talk Part A
https://goldensufi.org/audioarchives.html#sc
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