Stay or go?

I talked to my cousin yesterday and her daughter- they told me that they were going back to Aleppo. They had been in Turkey for the last couple of months helping another cousin out who had an operation and also lost her husband all at the same time.

I asked “Why would you go back now?  Things are getting worse.” She says her family – mother, brothers, son and grandchildren are still there. Who knows how long this is going to last. How long can she afford to stay out of the country. She is staying with a sister so doesn’t have the expenses like other Syrians that are in Lebanon, or Jordan or Europe etc. Even the people in the different camps are wanting to go back home because they think it will be better to die in their own homes instead of living in the refugee camps that are no good for their children. Especially now with the winter coming and they are only living in tents- how long will the little kids last?

They say what choice do we have? – the international community is not helping us with a “No Fly Zone” and they are still letting the military bomb the civilian areas. Both sides are to blame for the general condition of the innocent civilians. The rebellion started in the forest and the outskirts of town and then it started to move into the cities and the destruction is something that is incomprehensible.

When this first started and people left their homes that were bombed, they thought it would be a few months, but they see it going on for a couple of years. They want to be home even if the place is destroyed they can still take cover in the war torn buildings and instead of being in the desert with the cold weather and the sand and the high winds.

I can’t imagine having to make a decision like this – live in a tent or go back to your country that is still at war and take your chances crossing the street for a loaf of bread or milk for the family. There are snipers on most of the big buildings in the cities and they can be rebels or they can be Assad’s military, who knows who has what part of the city at any given time?

The prices of everything has gone up so high that even the middle class families are having a hard time after 19 months to find the cash they need to pay. The price of bread is up about 4 times what it used to be. The price of fuel is up almost 50 percent . You can still find these items and people are still trying to live their daily lives, but they take a risk every time they set out of their house. Sometimes they do not need to even leave the house to be in danger. Sometimes rebel groups go door to door looking for regime supporters or the Assad’s troops comb through a neighborhood looking for rebels and rebel supporters. In any case, if they think they have found what they are looking for, they take away the young men.

Their are still a lot of Syrians that live outside the country in the US and Europe that are afraid to talk against the regime, thinking that someone is watching and it might effect their families still in Syria, and they might disappear.

Can you make a decision like they have too? Go home to a war or stay in a tent and suffer the elements?

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