Aleppo.

My mother is a history teacher,
and I was a sixth grader when
she first told me about the World Wars.
Now, as a twelve year old,
blissfully unaware of the crises of the world,
this was a revelation because

I could not understand, however hard I tried,
how anyone could watch and simply see people
killing other people.

Six years later,
desensitized to terrorism
and having learnt the ways of the world,
I realize how wrong I was,
believing that I would never ever be
one of those who could stand see war
tear apart countries.

I have been witnessing a genocide
in Syria for most of my adult life,
and reading the final goodbyes of people
in Aleppo over Twitter today,
never have I been more ashamed
of my own existence.

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2 thoughts on “Aleppo.

  1. This is a particularly dark time for humanity, Akanksha, but you are not accountable for the cruel and inhumane actions of others. You are only one person, remember that. As one person, you can do a lot to influence others and change their perspectives, but you cannot change the actions that have already been done.

    Today, as I was reading the headlines on my morning commute, I felt a particular sense of shame for humanity as a whole–particularly when I read that the citizens of Aleppo were saying goodbye over social media. This war has become so public with social media, yet as public as the interwebs can make our lives, there is still a certain alienation because once we, who are not there, divert our own attentions from our technology, we find ourselves immersed our own realities and all too easily turn a blind eye. I think, this is particularly true with genocide. There is a certain discomfort in openly discussing genocide and how to deal with it. It’s easier to talk about genocide in a historical context because people convince themselves that that was the past and “we know better now.” Acknowledging that genocide is still happening in the present is much more difficult for most people to stomach. Yet, by not acknowledging it–by turning off our technology and immersing ourselves in our own worlds, by turning that blind eye–we are only doing more harm. If we want to learn from our past mistakes, we must acknowledge that we are still capable of making those mistakes–that we are, in fact, making them right now.

    Your words are powerful. Keep writing, no matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

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