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The Syrian War Has Taken Us Prematurely to Hell!

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Father Massouh

by Father George Massouh. The crimes committed in Syria have surpassed what the human mind can imagine in terms of horrors and atrocities. Undoubtedly, in our cruel East, we have become accustomed to living with this reality, which plunges us down to the depths of hell. This horror lies in our acceptance of what occurs in our countries while we continue our daily lives as if nothing is happening, and justify the violence as a defense of central causes or as wars against terrorism. As if some want to convince us that terrorism can be defeated by “counter” terrorism.

The fertile imaginations of artists, novelists and poets have excelled in portraying Hell in their paintings and writings. Similarly, religious texts have offered horrific descriptions of the hell and its fires, from its worms to its venomous snakes, while illustrators of icons and murals have painted visions of unbearable suffering. However, no one’s imagination has achieved the level of creativity reached by the criminals in Syria, who came from all corners of the world, to make Syria into the reality--not the fiction--a real Hell surpassing any imagined inferno.

We would not have reached this terrible inferno had we not accepted the many atrocities committed throughout the years. What takes place these days remains a direct consequence of years of silence over crimes committed by dictatorial regimes, and totalitarian parties, “secular,” “religious,” or “sectarian.” It remains the product of years of silence over wars waged in the name of God, Sharia or in the name of defending this or that minority. We all participate in feeding this raging inferno.

We would not have arrived at this inferno had we not made excuses for stabbings, murders, displacement, and barrel bombing… Whoever becomes accustomed to justifying one crime will become accustomed to justifying all crimes. We have become addicted to crime and thus have become “desensitized”…

How can someone who prays, fasts, and invokes the name of God daily, remain silent, not to say complicit, as he watches people starve to death before him?...

Hell has come to us; we don’t have to wait until the end of the world to face it. It has arrived prematurely. Had we wished, we possessed the ability to bring paradise to our present world instead of waiting until the final day. We chose Hell over paradise. Thus, fires consume us, we perish from starvation, tremble in the cold, and fall victim to oppression.

We have witnessed walking skeletons hovering between life and death, skeletons without flesh, covered with withered, dry skin. We have witnessed skeletons whose bulging eyes still carry a spark of hope and promise, refusing to die. That flame of light will restore life to such skeletons before they decay. No one can quench the wonderful sparkle, the longing for life in those eyes. Instead, those eyes will quench the fires of the Syrian hell.

This article appeared in Arabic in and Father George Massouh’s Facebook page. An edited translation from the Arabic is by Elie Chalala.

This essay will appear in Al Jadid, Vol. 20, No. 70, 2016

Copyright 2016 AL JADID MAGAZINE©

4 Comments on The Syrian War Has Taken Us Prematurely to Hell!

  1. So true. War doesn’t end war. Nonviolent resistance is the only thing that “might” work or we may be doomed to continue to live in this hell.

    • I hope so since that is the thought process, attack for peace. I do not wish to offend you. I believe you are right in this context, however overwhelming peaceful boots on the ground would really change the scenario

  2. True. No screaming doesn’t work. My response is just for a small voice to worm its way into the mental landscape of the current human condition. Believing doesn’t make me naive nor does it mean I live under a rock. We have a price to pay for our torturous treatment of children and we haven’t begun to pay that price. Much more pain is in store for the world. We have a long way to go. Drop the bombs, apply surgical air strikes the innocent and the children will continue to be maimed and die along with the guilty. It’s our hell we’ve imposed and it’s where we shall spend the next few generations. Our nature is to kill the stranger.

    • I agree with you. Hell is an easy tern to convey my point. We will pay, as humanity, for our hyper-aggression. We are insects. I’d say we are amoebas eating everything and leaving shit. But that doesn’t mean we cannot evolve. We will suffer. We will thrive and love. In our own greedy way. I hope someday we will understand empathy and experience compassion. That is weakness to some and therefore should be destroyed. That all has to do with the process of our evolution. I believe in evolution. We ain’t done yet. Thanks for the engaging thoughts.

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