Syria the Carousel of Humanity

Der nachfolgende Text von Haytham Hmeidan ist ein verzweifelter Aufruf zur Unterstützung der Opfer des seit sechs Jahren andauernden Krieges vor dem Hintergrund des jüngsten Giftgasangriffe in Syrien.

CITIZEN DIPLOMATS FOR SYRIA arbeitet als Denkschmiede, um eine nachhaltige Vision zu entwickeln, die alle zusammenbringt, die das Interesse am Aufbau eines demokratischen, friedlichen Syrien durch Aussöhnungs und Vermittlungsinitiativen und aktive Beteiligung der Zivilgesellschaft teilen, und die Handlungsmöglichkeiten durch HOFFNUNG eröffnet. Citizen Diplomats for Syria zielt darauf alle Gruppen und Parteien, die in die Syrische Krise involviert sind, an einem konstruktiven Dialog über diese Vision zu beteiligen. Citizen Diplomats for Syria tritt damit entschieden für die Beilegung einer der schwersten Bedrohungen der internationalen Sicherheit der jüngsten Zeit und die Beendigung der größten humanitären Krise seit dem Völkermord in Ruanda ein. Gleichzeitig baut Citizen Diplomats for Syria Brücken und bereitet den Aufbau eines demokratischen, pluralistischen, von einer aktiven Zivilgesellschaft getragenen Staates nach Beendigung des Konflikts vor.

(…)
But that day, I thought only
of the loneliness of the dying,
of how, when Giordano
climbed to his burning
he could not find
in any human tongue
words for mankind,
mankind who live on.

(…)
Those dying here, the lonely
forgotten by the world,
our tongue becomes for them
the language of an ancient planet.
Until, when all is legend
and many years have passed,
on a new Campo dei Fiori
rage will kindle at a poet’s word.

(Campo dei Fiori. By Czeslaw Milosz, translated by Louis Irbibarnel)

Life was on a full swing in the square of Campo dei Fiori in Rome, baskets of olives and lemons were on display, wine spilled on the stones of the square and the bodies of flowers. Dealers went on with their business selling fresh fish and loads of dark grapes on trestles full of fruits. It is the same square where the inquisitors have burned the poet Giordano Bruno surrounded by a mob as the henchman puts the heap to the torch. The flames did not yet die when the barmen were busy again, and vendors of olives and lemons shouldered their baskets to the square.

This is how the Polish poet CZESLAW MILOSZ thought of Campo dei Fiori in a clear Warsaw spring evening when the carnival melodies reached the sky only to be obscured by blasts from behind the ghetto walls. The Sky carousel was carrying its riders up where they could see the flames, as the blasts lifted those who were burning at the eve of Passover when Nazis attacked the ghetto, sat the life left in it on fire. Easter fell on Sunday 25th of April 1943 – just a few days into the ghetto uprising, just when events where gathering pace. People riding the carousel felt the hot air from the blasts, saw it lifting the skirts of the girls. People on that beautiful Warsaw Sunday laughed at the sight. (Not all, arguably, but such is the image Milosz depicts in his timeless poem).

The people of Rome and Warsaw, the people of the world went on in their daily haggle and giggle even before the fires of the pyre and ghetto went off. Czeslaw Milosz was contemplating Life and Death, where people unmarked yet by disaster – or able to believe so – rode the carousel at Krasinski Square just in front of the walls of the burning ghetto. „Those dying here, the lonely forgotten by the world, our tongue becomes for them the language of an ancient planet. “How long had the Warsaw ghetto waited for mankind? How long has Syria been waiting for mankind?

Syria today was being watched from the carousel of Europe and the international community rising up to watch it burning, only to come down again to its haggle and gaggle, blaming the victims for their plight and labelling those who fled “refugee crisis”. Could the besieged in Aleppo and the gassed children of Idlib find words for those who live outside, for those who live on? Are there words in any human tongue? How is history going to judge those who have been letting the massacre go ahead for 6 years in the 21st century – 4 centuries after the death of Giordano Bruno and only some 70 years after the fires of the ghetto? How are we going to judge ourselves? Do we really need a reminder in the midst of our petty daily news that tell us about our fears of strangers committing crimes more than about our neighbors, our fellow humans, who – as the people of eastern Aleppo and the gassed children of Khan Shihon- came to know the loneliness of dying alone?

Do we need a reminder that while we peddle around our daily trade, we are the very ones who have taken a brief glance and witnessed it all, who are taking a brief glance and witnessing it all? Rwanda, Srebrenica and the horrors of World War II removed just a moment in time – and yet so obscure in memory „as if centuries had passed “! Many did not care from the beginning about what is happening to the Syrians and their uprising. Many were really concerned and even tried to help.

However, for those who died the silent peaceful majority of humanity has proven to be irrelevant. Our words for those who die and those who are dying becoming unintelligible, our deeds becoming shameful, our debates ridiculous.

Is it not time yet for rage? Is it not time now for rage to find a new language, to strike into action, to prevent our neighbors from experiencing the loneliness of death without us stepping in?

Haytham Hmeidan

1 Gedanke zu “Syria the Carousel of Humanity”

Schreibe einen Kommentar