Monday, October 14, 2013

My Syrian Babies

Now that most of my kids are out of the house, I had to fill a void. So I rescued a street kitten who met me at a Jerusalem bus stop and began licking my toes. We were definitely meant for each other. And now my heart and soul have adopted several Syrian young adults over the past couple of years - all fans of Israeli metal band Orphaned Land. I mean, like the kitten who kissed my feet, I couldn't help loving this young crowd. Despite our countries being officially "at war", these young people were intelligent enough to recognize their government's hate propaganda against Israel and the Israeli people and maybe even Jews themselves. Yes, they all said they wanted to get to know Israelis and were so happy to expand their circle of friends to include us, quite a few Israelis, including the band themselves.

I'm not a big fan of heavy metal music. That and improv jazz gives me headaches. But because of the band's oriental bent and publicity in the Israeli press that they have an unusually large following of fans from Arab countries, this piqued my interest.

But getting back to my Syrian babies, and the crisis in that country, I was worried sick over them on a daily basis and wished there was a way to whisk them from there to here. There were wounded Syrians being treated in Israel, so why can't a few healthy ones be let in? Besides, the Islamist extremists most probably hate them because of the music they like and the way they look. So isn't an enemy of an enemy a friend?

I felt great relief as one of them safely made his way to the US in the midst of heavy fighting and another one, more dramatically, made her way into Turkey. But are they happy? They miss their family terribly and I seem to think they feel quite isolated in their strange surroundings. Safe but lonely and empty. It's a tough choice, to flee to safety and feel horrible or to be chronically in fear of your life.

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