I've been reading your stories late at night when all is quiet and my mind is active. I've been admiring your courage. I've been shocked by your situation. I've shed tears reading about your hardships. I've been scared with and for you. I have no idea how you are feeling; I do not understand what you are going through. But your story has been on my heart for days on end. You are heroic.
A little bit about me: I have lived a comfortable life surrounded by peace. My world is easily frustrated when the wifi doesn't work fast enough, where happiness is measured in material things, and a small house seems to determine a person's worth. Priorities are vastly different; I'm not stressed about my means of survival. In my world my parents provide me with the resources needed to follow my dreams and pursue education- a gift I will be forever grateful for. I live in a country where shootings are scary; you lived in a country where neighbors and family disappear in the middle of the night. You woke up and half, if not all of your house was in pieces. I've never thought twice about waking up with half my home being blown to pieces. War stole pieces of your treasured and cherished life that you worked very hard for. I cannot understand your pain because I've never endured something as excruciating as what you are experiencing, but my heart aches deeply for you.
There are a lot of people scared of you coming to the United States, friend. People forget that you too are human. They don't know your story, and they don't know what you've done to survive. What you must remember is that these people don't hate you, they hate terrorism, they fear it. Americans similar to myself are fearful of their peace being disrupted. They are afraid that if we welcome you, we welcome terrorism. If people hate you, they are in the wrong; you must remain strong and disregard any hateful commentary.
There are also many people welcoming you. They too are possibly afraid, but they are putting themselves and their fears aside for you. These people see your stories, they empathize. They know we can never understand your pain, but we can help rebuild and restore a broken past. We respect your journey and applaud your strength, courage, and drive to overcome challenges. Many of your fellow survivors will bring skills that will forever change our lives as Americans, thank you. We will welcome you with open arms and do all that we can to make this new, foreign place comfortable. It's not home- your hearts will forever be grounded in Syria, but this won't be another stopping point for you, this is where you will stay and live. Know that a lot of us are eager to offer you a hand as you make this transition.
Friend, I hope you know what I mean when I say I do not understand? I want to understand, but I can only empathize. I cannot try and relate to your stories, they are personal and much too hard for me to ever imagine. I am recognizing you as a human, as a friend, as somebody I want to stand by. Many will not be like that, but here I am writing on behalf of those that will that help you in making this, the United States of America, your new home.
Someday we will meet, and we will get a coffee so I can hear the beautiful, terrifying, and powerful details of your journey.
If you want to read their stories go to the Humans of New York blog and continue reading about their journey.