Today is Eid al-Fitr.
Today is an important religious holiday for Muslims all around the world. The holiday celebrates the end of the dawn-to-sunset fast during the entire month of Ramadan. Today is a time for reflection, forgiveness and charity. Today, all Muslims worldwide show a common goal of unity.
But today, instead of waking up and expressing my happiness for the celebration of Eid to all my Muslim and Syrian friends, I received horrible news. One of my closest friends, Ahmed (who I was fortunate to meet on my first trip to Syria) almost lost one of his younger brothers. Ahmed is a volunteer at Watan organization in Reyhanli, Turkey and he commits every single day doing a variety of work to help Syria and the Syrian people. He risks his own life going in and out of Syria multiple times a week. His mother and three brothers are in a small village a few hours from Latakia. His father must work in the city for weeks at a time. Today, his younger brother, Anis was hurt from the shelling of a missile that was launched into his village. Today, a young boy who I was fortunate to meet and know is suffering. I can not express the pain I feel inside right now. As I write this for you all, I continue to cry.
Though he is alive, the pain and devastation that he is experiencing is horrendous and unimagineable to myself as well as anyone else! His mother and two brothers are surely suffering because of this. And to make matters worse, Ahmed is currently in Reyhanli and unable to get to his brother because the border is closed for Eid. As if it wasn’t enough that Ahmed is alone and without his family during this holiday….. now this. What do I say to him? How can mend his pain? There is nothing… All I can do is spread awareness and continue my humanitarian work as best as I can. All I can do is fundraise and find more ways to help. All I can do is pray and express my love to him, his family and all the other Syrians who are and have suffered from this heartbreaking war.
Here are some photos of Anis. I spent three days with him during my last trip. He has the kindest eyes and the sweetest smile. I was very impressed with how well he understood me when I would speak to him. He is incredibly smart. We played together, we laughed, and we colored. We shared our mutual love for rainbows and nature.
I hope that his pain subsides.
I pray for his healing.
“O Thou kind Lord! These lovely children are the handiwork of the fingers of Thy might and the wondrous signs of They greatness. O God! Protect these children, graciously assist them to be educated and enable them to render service to the world of humanity. O God! These children are pearls, cause them to be nurtured within the shell of Thy loving-kindness. Thou are the Bountiful, the All-Loving.”
– Prayer for Children from the Baha’i Faith