I found angels in the crowds

It’s  complicated – this thing that’s happening in Middle East.  What with the brothers al Assad and their one General prompting the whole wide world to put eyes on our region and the consequent magnet- pulling and pushing of America and Russia and Israel and Egypt and France and the UN and Iraq (or is it Iran?) into the mix – it’s a wee bit confusing.  Perhaps this letter to the editor of a UK newspaper titled  “A short guide to the Middle East” by K N Al Sabah may shed some light. I quote word for word….

“ Iran is backing Assad, Gulf States are against Assad, Assad is against Muslim Brotherhood, Muslim Brotherhood  and Obama against General Sisi, but Gulf States are pro Sisi, which means they are against Muslim Brotherhood, Iran is pro Hamas but Hamas is backing Muslim brotherhood, Obama is backing  Muslim Brotherhood yet Hamas is against the US.  Gulf States are pro US but Turkey is with the Gulf states against Assad yet Turkey is pro Muslim brotherhood against General Sisi and General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf States. Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day!”  

Yes, indeed, welcome to the Middle East and I will have a nice day, thank you.

 But WHAAAT?   I’m sure this is enough to prompt even Jesus into a brain relieving chocolate stupor!

 Me thinks it will take more than the workings of anti-chemical-weapon-red-line-rocket scientist to work this lot out.  And rocket scientist I am not.  And neither, it seems, is Obama, Cameron, the Russian dude or anyone else.

I’m certainly not a politician.   Running my own life properly is a constant challenge, forget anyone else’s. But the very sad Syrian situation sucked me in.   And that is why my celebratory dinner for my 53rd birthday was a plastic covered egg sandwich and a bottle of water on a budget airline en route to Jordan. With seven other like minded people wishing simply to try and make a difference in the lives of one, two or a few of the three, four, five million peoples so rudely tossed from a normal everyday peace filled life and into the horrors of war, death and destruction.

We’ve all been exposed to the endless hours of TV coverage. We’ve seen the bombs exploding and the people running.  The children crying and sarin gas osmosing through the walls. The body bags, the funerals, the mass graves.  Once vibrant  life, shattered and death forever more.  Tragedy in epic proportion. Ugly.

And in the midst of all this ugliness – angels in the crowds.  Our American hosts, themselves refugees having fled Syria in the nick of time with their two small kids are quietly and humbly going about their daily duties amidst the hurting and broken in a Jordanian town close to the Syrian border.  Their  compassion and empathy – immense.   Their creativity in helping women reclaim some dignity and worth by setting up community and teaching skills that will bring in small amounts of money – moving. The food and clothing distribution – practical. Their love and selflessness – Godly.  And more angels – another young couple who have dedicated their lives to setting up and running a school for refugee children, so traumatized in their small short lives that the most common word amongst them is “slaughter”.  They’ve seen it all, fathers beheaded, mothers beaten, brothers shot and sisters taken captive. The innocence of childhood so sadly shattered. The school provides a safe and gentle sanctuary  of  life, love and learning for little people, undergirded in play therapy and gentle counsel.  And jobs for the Syrian teachers who guide as best they can through their own tears.

The status of Arch-angels must belong to the refugees themselves.  Looking deep within the eyes, behind the dull sadness and through the windows to the souls of these beautiful Muslim women, lies a steadfast tenacity to just keep going, one breath, one minute, one day at a time.  Accompanied by an overriding determination to keep the remaining family together until such time that they can return home to their beloved mother country. Each had a story to tell through broken hearts of hardship and loss.  And yet from nothing, in furniture free sitting rooms and appliance absent kitchens we were treated to superabundant meals in true Syrian hospitality. Wonderful, warmhearted, welcoming angels housing the indestructible  human spirit that just keeps on keeping on.

Who knows when this will all end? I pray sooner rather than later. Please God; change the hearts of this ruthless regime. Have mercy and let your love so shine before men that this carnage can come to an abrupt end.  In the meanwhile I’ll be on my knees for the region, for world peace, for a miracle.  I trust it comes timeously – otherwise my bruised knees will manifest –  probablyinpurple!</p>

PS:  Could it be that at this moment in time, a miracle is in the making and American meddling is about to cease?  If so, Amen and Amen.







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  1. You’re very brave and it’s good to be able to read a first-hand, subjective account of what’s happening over there. Thank you.

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