We did not know the young doctor and his wife.
We were sailing down the Nile and having dinner together on the upper deck twenty-two years ago. There was a warm breeze and an atmosphere of relaxed pleasure. Falucas in the distance glowed from the sun setting over their bows.
We had spent the day at Edfu with the God Horus in his temple.
Today as Syria is disintegrating, ordinary people are being bombed, raped and murdered. I think about the young doctor and his wife with whom we had dinner low those many years ago. Are they alive? Are they all right? Where are their children? She had been pregnant on that trip down the Nile.
We enjoyed one another’s company, dining together, socializing, just being. He was a good man.
In the Tomb of the Kings he was responsible for saving the life of an old man in near cardiac arrest, an old Jew.
We all played together, enriching one another’s lives taking pleasure in each other’s company for days. These were European Jews, Israelis originally from Yugoslavia, France, Italia and other countries, Jewish children, refugees of WWII and the Holocaust.
Two young Americans, two Syrians and about 6-8 old Israelis hanging out on a boat going down the Nile visiting the ancients.
Not long after awaking the next morning our boat sank. We were hung up in a series of locks while navigating a dam. When we finally pushed through, there was a gaping hole in the hull, the boat filling up with water very quickly. We were rescued by the Egyptian Navy and never saw each other again.
But I think of them today. I know that most if not all of the Israelis are gone. Then I think of the doctor as his country is in ruins. I wonder if he is alive – does he practice medicine today?
Is he an enemy of the state or a part of Bashar al Assad’s inner circle? I am sad when I think of him and his family. He gives to Syria a very real face of war in a way that the nightly news cannot do.
Two years now and 70,000 dead. Stirring and poignant headlines daily:
The Guardian: Syria: Bashar al Assad interview to be broadcast – live updates.
Milwaukee (AP): Parents talk about journalist kidnapped in Syria.
India Today: Armed and Courageous: Meet Syria’s women rebels.
Philadelphia Enquirer: The hopes and fears of secular Syrians.
USA Today: Obama warns of extremist threat in Syria.
Two years into the war and 70,000 dead. War again taking its toll on a people on its children. One man destroying an entire country, greed and power at the core of his soul.
Many have become refugees on the borders of neighboring countries, living in squalid conditions with some but little water and food.
Some have left bombed out homes and towns taking refuge in ancient forsaken cities that look bombed out themselves. They live underground in caves with dank air and little food.
They took with them remnants of their possessions; a torn blanket, a doll without her left foot, one large bent aluminum pot, a fork and spoon, glass jars and two pillows.
What will become of these people? Will the massive and significant government armed forces intent upon their destruction destroy them?
I think of the doctor, is he still alive? What side is he on? Sadness fills me yet again. Tears fall yet again for another war.
Syria, Syria another war, another loss.
This poem is posted at dVerse