humansofnewyork:

(2/4) “While they were searching the basement, some shooting began on the streets outside, and the soldiers grew very nervous. I tried to make friendly conversation. I wasn’t worried because there was nothing in our house to find. But they grew very cold. They said: ‘We can’t trust you.’ They grabbed me and led me to a van. I told them: ‘I’m an old man. I’m not a threat.’ But they didn’t listen. On our way to the prison, they kept stopping on the street and collecting more people. They blindfolded me when we arrived and they beat me very badly. Then they put me with seventy other people in a room smaller than this one. It was very cold because it was December, and I was barefoot because I’d lost my slippers. There was nothing but a hole in the ground for a toilet. We all had to face the wall. Anyone who looked toward the door would be shot. We stayed there for ten days. I barely slept or ate. There was no room to even sit down. Occasionally a guard would throw bread through the window for people to grab. I thought I’d eventually be executed. But on the eleventh day, they called my name, and released me out into the cold to find my way home.”

(Amman, Jordan)


humansofnewyork:

(¾) “Ten days passed and we hadn’t heard anything. So we were starting to lose hope. Then one night there was a knock on the door. We didn’t have electricity in the house so it was very dark. I was very scared. I thought the soldiers were coming back for me. When I opened the door, I didn’t even recognize him at first. He was very dirty and barefoot. I thought he was from the street. Finally I realized that it was him and I started crying and screaming: ‘My father is home! My father is home!’ But he didn’t say a word. He didn’t want to talk for a long time.”

(Amman, Jordan)


humansofnewyork:

(4/4) “We even tried to stay in our home after my father was arrested. I wanted to go right away, but my father was too afraid because he thought we’d be stopped at a checkpoint and he’d be taken again. But two months later, my son was hit by a motorcycle outside of our house. His face was burned and bruised and his leg was broken. There were no more ambulances in our town, so I had to bring him to the hospital myself. When I got there, it was empty. There were no doctors left. I had to wrap his leg myself with the help of an anesthesiologist, but I messed it up. I knew then that we had to leave. When we get to America, the leg will need to be broken again.”

(Amman, Jordan)


humansofnewyork:

(1/3) “Sometimes I sit by myself and I blame myself for leaving Syria. I used to own my own business. Now I’m working as an employee in a dairy shop. I have nothing here. When I feel nostalgic about Syria, I remember the smell of jasmine in my back garden. I remember my four best friends. We were always laughing and joking together. On Friday mornings during the summer, we’d wake up early to drive to the lake and swim. In the winter we’d play cards and smoke the water pipe. But I have to remind myself that Syria isn’t there anymore. Our old town doesn’t even have any food. A bag of salt costs $50 now. And all my friends are gone. One of them is in Egypt, one is in Turkey, one is in Lebanon, and the other was killed by a sniper.”

(Amman, Jordan)


humansofnewyork:

“Seven years ago, I was sitting on the ledge of a thirteenth floor window. I’d tried to quit drinking so many times but I couldn’t do it, and I’d finally given up. My mind was racing through all the shameful things I’d done, and I kept hearing this voice saying: ‘Jump you piece of shit. Jump you piece of shit.’ So I put my hands over my ears and started rocking back and forth on the window ledge. Suddenly I heard this small, still voice: ‘Say a prayer,’ it said. And I didn’t want to hear it. It was kind of like your mother knocking on the door while you’re watching porn. But then I heard it again: ‘Say a prayer.’ So I started praying, and I totally surrendered, and I felt an evil presence leave me. And I just kept saying: ‘I can’t believe you still love me. I can’t believe you still love me.’ Then I cleaned up my room, threw away my baggies of coke, took a shower, and went to work.”