DAY 622 - NOVEMBER 22, 2012
American journalist James Foley is just the latest in a string of non-combatant kidnappings, including Austin Tice and Mohamed Al Saeed, that have occurred in Syria within the last six months. Both rebel and regime soldiers are guilty of the abductions. The Syrian opposition has cut off many supply routes for government forces. Furthermore, the FSA has started receiving anti-aircraft weapons from anonymous sources. Though unchecked, many think Qatar is supplying the rebels with the heavy weapons. In addition Syrian opposition leaders meet in Doha to unite different anti-government militias under a moderate cleric, Mouaz Al Khatib, from Damascus. The violence in Syria is beginning to spill into Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan as random spats of gunfire proliferate many of the border crossings surrounding the conflicted nation.
It's two more months before you get to see you children again. It's as if the regime only teased you with them to make sure you didn't die in your cell. However, when they finally run over to you, something special happens. You, Emad and Yara are brought into a white-walled room that is above ground. It is blinding. It is so clear and luminous with the daylight streaming in through the full-sized windows that it is disorienting. It's almost a supernatural experience to see light again after being in darkness for so many months. In the room nearly 20 other people stand around equally as confused as you are. Some of them are prisoners with beards that show lengthy stints of captivity, others are clean cut and just arrived. However, Emad and Yara are the only children in the room. A soldier this time, not a guard, motions for you to come his way with your children. When you get to the kiosk he gives you a thin stack of paperwork to fill out, basic things like name and age. You are hesitant to answer honestly but as long as you don't mention anything about your husband you don't think they can hold you accountable, not any longer at least. Then again, you realize that the Syrian government defiantly seems to break any rule they like and with little to no repercussions. When you hand the paperwork back to the soldier, he tells you that you're going to be getting out of here and then asks you if you knew a prisoner named Aasfa that passed away not too long ago. When you say yes, the soldier makes a hushed phone call. Several minutes later a different soldier appears, walking down the hallway with a small, curly-haired boy over his shoulder. The soldier tells you it is Aasfa's son. He says the boy is very well-behaved. He says the boy's name is Aazim. The soldier looks at the boy and then looks at you and asks if you would like to be Aazim's mother.
- Yes. If it's true that you are getting out, you can take care of one more. You can take care of fifty more if it really means you're getting out here.
- No. You don't have enough Syrian pounds to feed and cloth one more person. Especially a toddler. And why didn't Aasfa tell you she had a son? How do you know it's even hers? You don't know.