"Change is Good" or is it now?
Most people never think of how different they've become over the years. We grow, and change, and our needs and wants change too. Our dreams and wishes take completely different paths from their starting routes. Looking back at my earlier days and what I wanted in life, I'm amazed at how different I've become, and how my dreams have turned around to the oppsoite direction. I have achieved most of my earlier dreams and wishes, and now I'm running back to where I started. Whoever said "Be careful what you wish for, it might come true" must've been through the same stage I'm going through in my life now.

Back in my teens and twenties, I used to think I was the skinniest person alive. I used to eat like a horse and never gain a pound. I used to pray to gain a few pounds, but to no avail. Now, I want to lose ten pounds and get back that flat stomach I used to have for a long time. It took me a few weeks to lose 5 of those pounds, and I'm still working on the rest.

Before I started my twenties, my greatest dream was coming to America. The idea used to consume my day and night dreams alike. My dream came to life when I got my visa. When I left the embassy that morning, I felt like I was seeing the world with a new set of eyes. I was on a plane for the first time a month later. Two decades have passed since that day, and my dream has turned around to coming back to where I started. We humans are funny creatures. We keep going around in circles. Our lives can only be understood going backwords, but we can only live it going forward.

I watch movies every now and then. I love a good movie with a touching story. The other day I watched The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. After travelling and being away for a while, Benjamin comes back home. He says: "It's a funny thing about coming home... Looks the same, smells the same, feels the same.....You'll realize what's changed is you" . That could be mostly true. Things that seemed normal when I lived at home now seem odd. Simple behaviours such as driving, crossing a street, or smoking inside a public building never bothered me when I lived there. Now, they are constant reminders of how lagging behind we still are as a nation. Oddly, in the last couple of years, I feel our society and morality have taken many steps backwards. I'm an avid reader of Syrian news websites. Lately, I've been reading about crimes that were unheard of before. A brother killing his sister with the encouragement of the mother, a group of 4 young men taking turns raping a 10 year old child, bastards selling meat and food that's not fit for animal consumption to the public, so many murders and theft stories that compete with the level of ugliness known to crimes in the western world. Are we just aware of those crimes now because of the explosion of the internet use? I doubt it.

Change is good if it mostly means going forward. Positive change is what everyone looks for. I long for the day that I see us picking up good habits and using them to further ourseleves and society. It always seems we are evolving backwards in changing for the worst without gaining any grounds in technology, science, morals....etc. I hope we wake up and tackle imporant issues that plagued us like pollution, lack of good planning, and securing a better future for our children. At the rate we're going now, they are standing to inherit a hell of a mess that will keep us from going forward for decades.

I hope.

" The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" Franklin D Roosevelt


مترجم سوري said...

i think these crimes have always been there, but it just the new channels of transporting the news made them come on the surface faster.

beside , one of our lecturers once said : a hungry man would only think of filling his stomach. so picking up good habits need a mind not exhausted with thinking of picking up the money to get the bread and the meat for the next day.
i believe that we are on the route to become a second egypt.


Abufares said...

That's one article I wholly agree with.

From a personal perspective you cannot be more right than this. We change indeed. Whether we make left turns or take right curves down the road it is in the dynamics of our living. I only feel sorry for those who insist that there's virtue in not changing their minds.

Socially, Syria has witnessed plenty of change in the time-frame of my own existence, mostly toward negative trends, I might add. If I had to isolate one element, only one factor which I think is most detrimental to our social/political/economic health I would single out the sky-rocketing population growth rate (one of the highest in the world) to be behind almost all the ills we suffer. My generation and those before are responsible for a propagating frenzy befit of rabbits. I hope that, before it's too late, we realize that we're not going anywhere with numbers, that we're only turning into excess and totally unnecessary luggage.

saint said...

Hi neighbor, you have described the feelings of many here in North America and around the world, be it a Syrian or other nationality.
btw, I love your collection of old pictures, but when I click on to see larger size, it takes me to Picasa website AAYounis’s Gallery, and there is no access to? Is there a way that I can see those pictures?

Isobel said...

I love this: Our lives can only be understood going backwords, but we can only live it going forward. Excellent observation and so true.

Although I can't comment on Syria, I would say that the problem the world has is the definition of progress. There is a push forward toward what is perceived as "progress" without considering or balancing every other important aspect of society and environment.

"Everything in moderation." including change on a personal and global level I think is key for adaptability. Acknowledging and heeding the good and bad of the past can bring about positive change - like losing 5 pounds. :) Congratulations! Great post, Ana Sourie!

Anonymous said...

From Syria!
طلب أستاذ الصف السادس الابتدائي من تلاميذه كتابة موضوع تعبير حيث كان النص على الشكل التالي:

” لي عم مهاجر أكتب إليه رسالة أحثه فيها على العودة والتحرر من آلام الغربة, وأعلمه فيها بالتطور الذي طرأ على الوطن بعد رحيله, وزوال الأسباب التي دفعته إلى الهجرة.”

نظر الطلاب إلى الأستاذ وهموا بكتابة الموضوع, لكن صوت التلميذ ديبو المتسائل أوقفهم عن عملية الكتابة.

ديبو: أستاذ شو يعني “أحثه” ؟!

الأستاذ: أحثه يعني بتقله أنو كل شي تمام والوضع عال العال يا بهيم مشان يتحمس ويرجع.

ديبو: يعني أعمل له البحر طحينة, وأرش له قنبز مشان يرجع..مو هيك أستاذ؟

الأستاذ: اخرس واكتب من تم ساكت.. من وين متعلم هالحكي ولاه؟

ديبو: من المسلسلات أستاذ.

الأستاذ: لا بقى تتفرج عالتلفزيون يا دب.

ديبو: ما بقدر أستاذ..بحب المسلسلات.

الأستاذ: تفرج لكان عالمسلسلات التاريخية.

ديبو: حاضر أستاذ.

سعاد: أستاذ شو يعني تحرر؟!

الأستاذ: تحرر يعني أن نحارب العادات والتقاليد البالية.

سعاد: شو يعني عادات وتقاليد بالية أستاذ؟

الأستاذ: يعني متل ضرب الزوجات والأولاد.

فراس: أستاذ شو يعني آلام الغربة؟!

الأستاذ: يعني أنو عمك بيكون قاعد بالمهجر, وهو عم يتألم كل يوم لأنه حن الى الوطن.

سلوى: أستاذ شو يعني تطور؟!

الأستاذ: يعني متل سويسرا فرد شكل.

ليلى: أستاذ شو يعني زوال الأسباب التي دعته إلى الهجرة؟!

الأستاذ: يعني ما عاد في هم وغم ولعية قلب عالرايحة والجاية..

وكتب التلاميذ موضوعهم كما يلي:

عمي العزيز..بعد التحية والسلام, نحثك على العودة إلى الوطن, فالوطن جميل وفي كل شارع وكل رصيف ستجد كميات من القنبز المرشوش من هنا وهناك, ولكي تصدق فقد ذهبنا في رحلة إلى رأس البسيط وشاهدنا القنبز على طول الطريق, وكان من الخطأ أن نذهب في الرحلة, لأن عمو تبع النشرة الجوية قال إن الطريق غير سالك بسبب تراكم القنبز, ولكننا لم نسمع النشرة لأننا كنا نتفرج على مسلسل باب الحارة.

المهم يا عم مالك بالطويلة وصلنا إلى رأس البسيط بعد عذاب شديد بسبب القنبز, فشاهدنا البحر وركضنا لنسبح فيه, ولكننا لم نستطع لأنه كان كله طحينة, اي عن جد تعا وشوف بعينك صار البحر طحينة.

وعندما عدنا إلى المنزل لم يضرب بابا الماما لأنه بصراحة تجوز عليها وصار يضرب مرته الجديدة, لذلك لا تهتم بالعادات والتقاليد البالية فلقد قضينا عليها.

فإذا خرجت إلى الشارع فستجد السيارات وهي تطاحش على بعضها وعلى المشاة, وستشاهد الشوارع الزفت اللي مو مزفتة بسبب الحفريات تبع التطور, والأرصفة اللي كل سنة لون, وكل شهر شكل بسبب تغيرات التطور, يعني متل سويسرا فرد شكل…بس كل يوم شكل.

كفاك آلاما في الغربة, نعرف انك تتألم عندما تقبض راتبك الكبير, وتتألم عندما تشاهد الشوارع النظيفة في الغربة, والشوفيرية الأكابر اللي ما بيهجموا عليك مشان تركض مرعوب,

نعرف أنك تتألم عندما يقول لك البقال “غود مورنينغ سير” GOOD MORNING SIR , وعندما تدفع شركتك المصاري للطبيب عوضاً عنك, وعندما تساعدك البلدية على فتح شي مشروع, وعندما يعطيك البنك قرضاً مشان تنفذ أفكارك,

نعرف أنك تعاني وتتألم في الغربة, فتعال يا عمي, لأنك إذا لم تأت سنأخذ صفر في التعبير, بقى بيهون عليك نرسب يا عمو؟؟؟؟؟

أنا سوري said...

There's certainly more coverage of crimes now, but the severity and frequency and type of crimes going on today was never like that in the past. Poverty can never be an excuse for bad behaviours and poor upbringing of our children. Most of us grew up very modestly and we turned out ok. It's more like the "I don't care" culture our people live in now. Live for today, and forget about tomorrow. We have so much poverty, but couples still breed 5-10 kids per family. Two people can raise a kid or two properly and make it, but it's impossible with 5 or more kids now.

أنا سوري said...

Abu Fares,
You're absolutely right my friend. When I was home, I used to see two little kids daily in our neighborhood dressed in rags running in the street. I asked my aunt about them and she said they belong to a widow who has 9 of them, and they all live in one room under the stairs of a building nearby. Her late husband was the attendant for that building, and every year she'd have a new kid. They get help from my family and others, but how much can you help a woman with 9 kids? This is one story of thousands like that out there, and you and I know it. The best way to fight poverty is by fighting ignorance at first.

أنا سوري said...

Thank you. I wish we had moderate change in our society back there. Everything explodes over there. 3 years ago, there was almost no cell phones there, now there are 8 million subscribers. Unfortunately, Moderation does not exist in the Syrian dictionary. You'll have to see it to believe it.

أنا سوري said...

الله يخليك خبّرني لمّا يفضّو الطحينة من البحر مشان إرجع. أنا أكره الحمص و الطحينة و مشتقاتهن. أهلا وسهلا فيك

أنا سوري said...

Thank you. I'll see if I can find a way to get you those pics.