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by Janice Kortkamp

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On our way out of Damascus to journey into Syria’s heartland, our bus went past Jobbar/eastern Ghouta, the huge suburb of the city that had been held by terrorist groups for years and was liberated by the Syrian Army and its allies in the spring of 2017.

I was snapping photos through the window, trying to capture the other worldliness of the destruction of war, as we passed this young man on his bicycle.

His look says so much. All the people here have PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) except the trauma is ongoing and they are so tired. Resolute still, hardworking always, hospitable beyond measure … but so freaking tired.

It’s easier in many ways – or so it seems to me anyway – when the wolf is right at your door and life gets reduced to surviving one day at a time. The wolves are gone from around Damascus and much of Syria, but now is the reality of facing the coming winter, the next year … the future.

Syria has won this war but it is forbidden by the US and Israel and Europe for it to be over for the people here.

Instead they continue to be kicked in the stomach, while trying to rise up off the ground and rebuild, by sanctions and prohibitions that can only be described as cruel and unusual punishment.

They are still pariahs in most of the world – or seen as pitiable victims. Can you imagine being treated that way? When I came over the border there was a small SNAFU (look it up if you don’t know the term) about my visa. Nothing major but was there for a few hours getting it sorted. While I was waiting, the officials were giving me coffee, herb tea, and chocolates while welcoming me 100 times to their country.

In Palmyra the soldiers guarding that precious site came out and gave us all sodas.

All this while the US steals their oil with the help of some Kurdish traitors; Turkey invades their borders as it’s done for almost 9 years; and terrorists continue to hold Idlib province because the US and Turkey keep protecting what remains of their terrorist-assets.

All Syria is asking is for unwanted, illegal militaries to leave, and to be allowed to get investments and rejoin the world to rebuild their lives, economy and infrastructure. Over a million refugees have returned to the country. What is stopping most of the others – and also the cause of people still leaving or wanting to – is primarily the damn sanctions. They’re not asking for handouts – though the US and all the instigators of this monstrous war should be paying hundreds of billions in reparations – they’re only asking to be treated as human beings. Syria still doesn’t have any foreign debt – another of its terrible “crimes” against the US/globalists’ empire.

What really brings people like me coming back again and again are these human beings. It doesn’t mean Syria doesn’t have its fair share of creeps and criminals but from cosmopolitan philosophers to farmers who are sons of sons of sons of farmers, the friends we meet here are unforgettable and worthy of any and all efforts on their behalf.