Syria: On “The Road To Damascus”

Syria: On The Road To Damascus elegy

Photo by upyernoz

My heart bleeds,
just as my tear-soaked eyes, and
anguish-filled-mouth
keep asking:
why Syria – the Levant –
the rising land
Why Damascus –
the City of Jasmine of
shrubs and vines,
now turn to vineyard
of locoweed and poison ivy?
Aleppo-the bridge between
past and present civilization –
why now a theater of war?

Syria – the Ebla Kingdom of
four millennial ago,
Syria – the center of ancient
civilization –
a geographical location
that has given
so much to mankind.

The bedrock and
confluence of cultures,
a continuously inhabited
geographical location;
an actor and a victim under
seventeen different dominant
powers – from Phoenicians
to French and United Nations
in modern times.
Syria – why the rumbles and
tumults in you?
Syria – the land of Seleucid,
in you – Damascus resides –
in you is Antioch –
the birth place of Christianity.

Syria – in you –
Umayyad – ruled and reigned,
Syria – the once called
“East of Europe.”
Syria – where are your
former glorious lights?
Syria – what happened to your
fountains – where you dispensed
knowledge and understanding
to enlighten the world?

Sad to say, you have
become a slaughter house –
that spills innocent blood,
a land where biological weapons
turn toys, offered as gifts to her
citizens.

Instead of light –
darkness – you give,
instead of clear day sky –
billow – we see always,
instead of twinkling – night sky –
mushroom clouds from
conventional weapons
darken the night more.

Instead of joyful cries and laughter
on streets, at schools, in offices,
homes, and entire land;
painful cries and elegies-
people recite.

Daily, people are turned to
strangers in the only land
they know;
daily, people become
destitute – not by
natural cause or fault of theirs,
but through greed and
lust for power by a few.

Daily, thousands are
dying without end in sight,
daily, children orphaned,
women turned widows.

A Forgotten Past by Forgetful
Elite and Leaders:

Syria – a country with long
historical journey,
now forgotten by its own –
for selfish interest;
began as Ebla Kingdom
millennial ago, but conquered by
Sargon of Akkad –
later trampled by Canaanites,
Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians,
Chaldeans, or Babylonians.

Subdued by Media and Persia –
tyrannized by Alexander the Great,
subjugated by Seleucids for centuries;
tasted Roman iron rule –
after 64 B.C.E humiliating
defeat by Pompey.

Middle Ages – a period of
ten centuries recreated –
Middle East with a new religion –
Islam;
from Umayyad through Abbasid,
to Mamluks, and Ottoman,
Syria underwent varied
socio-political transformation.

With the fall of Ottoman –
a new Syria through Sykes-Picot
or Asia Minor Agreement
created – a Syria under French
through – United Nations
mandate.

From independence in
1946 to 1970 –
a quarter of century –
Syria faced upheavals –
very unusual in history.

Even as part of the union –
United Arab Republic,
no peace in the land,
neither did Ba’ath Party’s
political therapy heal
Syrian’s festering gangrene.

Post 1970 Hafez al-Assad
might have stabilized Syria,
but created more problems
than solutions;
the Alawi Sect ascendancy,
suppression of opposition,
self-perpetuation through
autocracy –
became future time bomb –
that will certainly detonate
someday;
now the day is HERE.

The Future of Syria;

Today, Syria is a shadow of
former self –
a failed state in hands of
various interests that
carved out fiefdoms
from once thriving state.

Interestingly, Arab Spring
had given SYRIA a new name:
Safeguard
Your
Rights (inalienable)
In (face of)
Assaults.

As Syrians home and abroad
keep thinking about the land –
the land they love so much –
all men and women of goodwill
should shout in unison:
SHED BLOOD NO MORE,
LEAVE SYRIA ALONE AND
LET SYRIA BE.

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Silas O. Abayomi

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Communication expert, education researcher, pollster, gender/physically challenged advocacy, linguist, poet, and a writer.
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