Editors’ Note: Below is the translation of an Arabic text by Syrian playwright, Mohammad Al Attar.
Syrians die ceaselessly, die generously, and die individually and collectively. They experience every manner of death. They die violently, from disease, or simply from despair; they die even of boredom. They fall with a frightening ease. The clamor of their death is gone, replaced by a silent, uninhibited departure, no longer surprising or condemned by others. Syrians die inside their homes, in their cities, in exile, and they die on the roads that are so stingy with safe spaces. Syrians die alone, away from all their loved ones, or with some of them. The dirt is piled atop their graves so quickly that the grave diggers must also be the mourners, and they have no time to mourn, as new death is coming and new graves will be dug around this world, which is tired of Syrians being alive. Quick epitaphs will be written, to last a short time before a second death, and then forgotten. Syrians die every hour, plunging into a tragic world, in a world accustomed to their death, and bored by it. Although their killers are well-known, the necessity of their death calls for this death to be attributed to intrigues, conspiracies–intrigues, fate, and circumstances. Syrians die as women and men, old men, young men and children. In their long maze, they are all standing on the same distance from death. One goes before the other by chance, by mistake, or for no reason. Those who remained alive strive to keep busy by trying to sleep, to love, to wait for a sunny day, to meditate on the meaning of justice and hope, but a new death note quickly brings them to their senses, wondering, how it is that death has missed them?
Mohammad Al Attar
January 2019 Arabic Source: https://www.facebook.com/mohammad.alattar.5/posts/10161943884391337