March 20, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – “How many years have you been living in Beirut?” I asked my barber, Eyad, after he told me, beaming, that in three months from now, he will be returning home, to Damascus.
Even one year ago, such conversations would not be easy to commence. But now, everything has been changing, rapidly and, one wants to believe, irreversibly.
Although nothing is truly irreversible, the better things are on the ground in Syria, the more threatening the West is becoming, particularly the United States. Now it is, once again, intimidating Damascus, ready to attack the Syrian army, something that could easily drag Russia and others into a lethal confrontation. The war! The West is clearly obsessed with perpetual war in Syria, while most of the Syrian people are passionate about bringing back an everlasting peace.
“6 years,” replied my barber, preparing his razor. I detected sadness and indignation in his voice, “6 years too many!”
“After you go back, then what? Are you going to open your own salon in Damascus?” I was curious. He is the best barber I have ever had, a real master of his trade, quick and confident, precise.
“No,” he smiled. “I never told you, but I’m a mechanical engineer… About being a barber; I learned the trade from my grandfather. In the Arab world now, millions are doing something that is not their main profession… But I want to return home and help to rebuild my country.”
I knew nothing about Eyad’s political affiliations. I used to consider it impolite to ask. Now I sensed that I could, but I didn’t. He was going back, returning home, eager to help his country, and that was all that mattered.
“Come visit me in Damascus,” he smiled, as we were parting. “Syria is a small country, but it is enormous!”
On February 24 2017, The New York Times, unleashed its usual vitriolic sarcasm towards the country which hosts enormous number of Syrian refugees – Lebanon…