Is there anybody out there who wants to take
over the life that I am about to leave? Who wants to wait for customers all day
to cut their hair? Who wants to be surrounded by unemployed, aimless people all
of whom are there only because they had to escape their own cities, running
from drought, a disaster or poverty? Who
wants to live in the country of the most boring, arrogant and hoggish people on
earth: the Estonians?
of the New Syrians formed the
new government a year ago. They had won the elections with our votes, now they
are keeping their promises and calling us: “the children of the country who went
far”. They need us back home. There is a life for us there which we will make
better together. Syria wants to move forward with its people, bringing back
those who had to migrate during the civil war, those who had the opportunity to
go to school, learn languages and a profession. We are the New Syrians who can contribute to the development of our nation. “Syria
is calling its children” That is how the new government is asking for us and I
am looking forward to answer that call.
My mother does not understand any of the things
I am talking about. She has some thoughts in her mind that no one can ever
manage to argue against. It is not the Syria of 35 years ago in the
middle of a civil war. It is also not the Syria of 20 years ago trying to
Syria today wants to make a new step forward and
they want to do it with us, to grow together and to be a new home.
All this time, she has been cutting people’s
hair in her hairdresser – no wonder she cannot understand all that has changed.
My mother never even valued any of my
friends. Whenever she’d see me with a new person when I was young, first thing
she’d always ask was if they were going to school and the first thing she asks
now is if they have a job. I get tense, knowing this question will come me and
seeing the expression on her face: how she silently judges them drives me mad.
It is best if she doesn’t know any of them. No, mother. They don’t have a job
because none of them were actually meant to be here in the first place! Look at
Kariem, when his parents left Sudan with him because of the water crisis, they
had no other aim than leaving and were dropped here by whomever they don’t even
know, almost as an arranged marriage. Have you ever seen a Sudanese in Estonia who’s
become successful and respected? Who is Kariem supposed to be like? Who am I
supposed to be like?
Syria is calling us and this time we are moving
because we want to.
I will work and I will work on what I
studied, not cutting hair. I have a lot of ideas. We have learned in school how
to treat the earth during the post-drought process. How to heal it and what
type of agriculture has to be done now. I have a lot of ideas, I believe that
new Syria has to invent a new agriculture for its land and create new products.
There is so much space for improvements in agricultural processes, ways of increasing
productivity. I will set all of them to work. I am thinking of working for state
institutions where I can apply my ideas, I think that would be best. As an
alternative I may borrow money, start buying land and run my farms. That is
also not a bad idea. Perhaps it is better to be involved in politics and shape
things from the top of the places. I will think about these questions once I am
I believe there is a place for me in Syria,
which I could never find amongst the big buildings with big streets that we are
occupying here in Tallinn.
I will go there because never in my life has somebody
other than my mother asked for me or called for me.
I will go there, because when somebody calls
for you and they want you nearby, that’s what you do.