What Is a Homeland?

Leaving My Country of Syria


Bernard Gagnon, fair use via Wikimedia Commons,

Al-Hamidiyah Souq in Damascus on 31 March, 2010.

Adam Naser, Contributor

I am here to tell you about my terrifying experiences that I have encountered in my home country.  My home country is Syria in the Middle East.

My country was beautiful. Ever since I was born. Unfortunately, conflicts arose between two groups. The two groups were the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army, or as we call them “shabiha”.  A terrifying Civil War began.  

I’m about to tell you things that you will not believe would happen anywhere in the world. The fighting started when I was about eight years young, which was around 2012, but late 2012. 

Pullquote Photo

I stayed living in the war until I was 11 years young, and then I came to America. But I could not bring the whole family with me.

— Adam Naser

The Free Syrian Army opposed the government. They wanted a free country because Syria is not a free country. Some of the rights we wanted were Freedom of Speech. Also we wanted to stop soldiers from coming into our house without a search warrant and searching our house and sometimes dragging people out without permission.

Those opposing the government would revolt everyday of the week shouting “Free Syria!” in the streets. More people would join. My country’s government got a little upset with The Free Syrian Army and the protesters. The Syrian government then attacked the opposing group with its military force.

It was very terrifying as a child to experience a war; to live in one. I would have to wake up at 4 AM just to evacuate the building and go to the basement to be safe. In Syria, there were no individual houses for each family; it was all apartment buildings.

I stayed living in the war until I was 11 years young, and then I came to America. But I could not bring the whole family with me. I had to leave my aunts and uncles, my niece, and my sister and her husband.  

I miss my niece a lot. She was only five months young when I left her. I also miss my sister a lot. It was very hard leaving them and I think about them everyday, which make things a lot harder. I have not seen my family in almost six years and I miss them very much every day; I regret leaving them.  

Syria’s current state is “good,” but not really. Syria still gets attacked frequently and Syrians only get electricity for six hours per day.

Although America is a beautiful country, I will always prefer Syria because it’s my home country and it raised me since I was a child. In Syria, it is always alive no matter what time it is. The streets were always full of life. The streets were always lit up with lights and cars and people everywhere, Food stands that sold corn and other delicious Middle Eastern treats were everywhere. It could be 6 AM and there would be so much life in the street. An undying life; it’s the most beautiful and lively country I have ever seen.

In every corner of the world there are problems. Some are facing racism. Some are living in a country with a civil war. I have lived through a time period where there are problems like death, rape, bombs, bullets, and more. That’s what living in a war zone is like. I tend to get a little irritated when some of my American friends complain about having their phones taken away by their parents or not having their cup of coffee. There are much bigger problems.