04/13/2018, 11.35
SYRIA
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Letter to Trump from Damascus: the mutilated young Rabee and the 'nice and smart' missiles

by Sandra Awad*

An open letter to the US president from a member of Caritas Syria. The story of a young man who lost a leg in the explosion of a rocket launched by the rebels in Ghouta. Thanks to the prosthesis he is walking again and wants to participate in the reconstruction of his country. Meanwhile, Moscow and Washington continue their war of words. The UN Security Council is ready to meet, in the Mediterranean warships and fighters ready to strike.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - He lost a leg in the explosion of a rocket, launched from Eastern Ghouta towards Damascus when the enclave was still in the hands of the rebels. Previously, the war had taken his father, the only source of sustenance for his family. The desire to rise up of the young Rabee and to participate in the reconstruction of Syria is stronger than any missile, any bomb, even the most intelligent and beautiful that US President Donald Trump has promised to launch on Syria. His story is shared with AsiaNews readers thanks to Sandra Awad, head of Communication for Caritas Syria, a 40 year old wife and mother of two children, who lives the drama of war every day. She writes directly to the tenant of the White House, inviting him to see with his own eyes the effects of the conflict on the civilian population.

Meanwhile, the war (thus far of words) continues between the United States and Russia, with Moscow calling for an urgent UN Security Council meeting today to discuss the "threat" launched by Washington, ready to attack Syria. The Russian ambassador Vassily Nebenzia is said to be "concerned" and "does not rule out" any "possibility" given the "warlike" messages from the US. The White House has announced that it has not yet decided the times and methods of military action, pending a more in-depth assessment of intelligence reports on the alleged attack with chemical weapons in Douma by the army of Assad. In this regard, the French president Emmanuel Macron claims to have "proof" of the use "of chemical weapons, at least chlorine".

If, at the moment, the hypothesis of an at least telephone conversation between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump seems remote, the movement of warships and military aircraft of the two superpowers continues in the eastern Mediterranean. Moscow is repositioning military units moored in the Syrian port of Tartus, while the US warship Donald Cook left the Cypriot port of Larnaca to head for Syrian waters. With the winds of war blowing, in Italy the outgoing president Paolo Gentiloni stressed that the country "will not participate in military actions" and while providing logistical support to the allies does not intend to have an "active role".

The Syrian flag is once again waving above the city of Douma, as the last rebels have surrendered their weapons and headed north, to the territories still controlled by the opposition. As the await new developments, the population prays and hopes for peace, in the hope - as Rabee says - of being able to participate and contribute to the reconstruction of their country.

Below, the story shared with us by the Caritas manager.

 

Dear Mr. Trump,

I just came back now after visiting a family, a poor Syrian family who lost all their belongings during this war. When they were telling me about their loss, and explaining about their beautiful house back in their home town, which is totally destroyed now, I just wanted to console them in the way I used to console  hurt people in my country: “Thank God that you are safe. Material damage can be repaired with time in one way or another, but the most important thing is that no one is hurt”

I just wanted to say that, but I couldn’t…  This family lost the father, who was the only breadwinner, and the son Rabee lost his legs from above the knees in a mortar shell thrown on Damascus from Ghouta in 2016.

They escaped from pain and death in their hometown in Ghouta, but it followed them to Damascus to destroy what is kept from their hope in life, dignity and force…

Mr. Trump,

most of the Syrian families have such tragic stories. If one day and you should leave your golden palace in USA and come to visit Syria, every single person walking in the street will tell you a sad story about himself, his family or one of his close relatives.

So, what are you trying to do Mr. Trump? Let us live in more pain? As if seven years of displacement, hunger, bad living conditions, insecurity, blood and loss of beloved ones aren’t enough!!!

Mr. Trump,

do you think Syrian people are afraid or care about your nice, new and smart missiles?

Believe me, no one cares. We have enough pain in our life to carry about rather than waiting for your diabolic missiles.

Anyway Mr. Trump,

I just want to let you know that Rabee is doing well. He gained weight and has pink healthy cheeks now. Good people in Poland raised some money for him, which allowed us to provide him with prosthetics and medical care.  He is training every day for hours to use those prosthetics, smiling again, and full of hope that one day he will return to a normal life, and will go again to school walking on his new feet. He started again to think about his future, when he will participate in rebuilding his Syria, which you participated in destroying with your money, smart missiles and deep hate…

* Caritas Syria Communication Manager

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