“The Elephant”

Ahmad Khanshour living in eastern Ghouta

It has been 7 days since my house was destroyed. Seizing the opportunity of Putin “5-hour humanitarian-pause” I decided to go see my house. As safe living in a basement might sound in a relative way, it is just frustrating and you may trade your soul just for a look of what used to be home.

A strange feeling you have when you see your house destroyed. In Syria we have a proverb just about it, an awful feeling.
The strange combination of sadness, anger and frustration. To those who did not know me before, I live in the same house I was born at. A thousand memories invaded my mind at once. Do you remember working on windows 95, and when the computer receives many orders, a blue screen appears? Press any key to restart!

Right there i was told I took my first steps, right there my son took his first steps! Right here I used to imagine how I’m going to make the world a better place. How naively a 7 year-old can dream! Can this damn world ever be a better place?

In a sudden, I saw the jasmine plant. I gave it as a gift to my love -my wife- when we moved into this house 4 years ago. For a moment I did not seem to care that everything is broken in my world, I just care about a broken branch in this jasmine. I lean down hopelessly trying to fix the branch, wishing someone could ever fix my Syria, and its broken branch Ghouta. Suddenly I heard the sound of an “Elephant”. You have 5 seconds when you hear its horrifying sound to run. But i did not.

It seems my life is meaningless without this jasmine branch. It is a symbol of everything I ever loved.

After the dust is gone and my ears stopped buzzing, i could see that another 3 branches are broken. The “Elephant” hit the opposite building, broke the symbol of everything i ever loved. And I’m still alive!

The Elephant is a name we call land-to-land missile because of its launch sound and heavyweight that are slightly similar to the real elephant.

by: Wissam Al Jazairy

paint by: Wissam Al Jazairy