Promises… Places… and a poem of hope

How many promises we make and how many we keep at the end? I wonder why we promise ourselves to do this or that, and when we can’t keep our promises, our best friend “guilt” starts eating in our stomachs. Where theses promises come from? Don’t they come from our wishes, from our souls? Could it be that we feel guilty because somehow we are embarrassed in front of our higher watching self, our loving observing eye, our soul?

Enough analyzing. I set this Blog and promised to write every week. It went well for sometime but here I’m now lamenting the broken promise! Now I promise to write whenever I want to share something, and hopefully it will be more often than the last few months. I’m posting without sending my text for proofreading, hope you bear my poor English, I just feel I want to post spontaneously!


Istanbul this morning, my cup of coffee with my friends the seagulls

Istanbul doesn’t stop to amaze me every day and every second. I still feel it was the perfect choice to live here. There is fullness in it and there is void at the same time. In its fullness I feel at home, it comforts my longing for Syria, for my family and to be embraced by my homeland. And in its void I find a space to be creative; to write, to paint, to translate, or even to decorate my apartment in which I took refuge lately recreating my lost home feeling.


My mom with my sisters having their morning coffee in Syria

Lately things get pretty heated up in my hometown. It troubled my heart. It brought back my guilt . My sisters and their children were living under the bombardment day and night. I am far away, safe and enjoying life. And another guilt would pop up: my hometown was safe for the last five years while other Syrian’s cities lived in hell, people there, lived in real terror, hunger and displacement. And there I am, worried and panicking as soon I heard a few bombs fell on my city! I’m torn out in my mind by my incurable guilt.

A dear friend who works for humanitarian groups told me recently my guilt is well-known; it’s called the survivor guilt. He said all you can do is hope and move forward. He sent me a poem written by the Bulgarian poet Kapka Kassabova, and this is what I want to share today.

One last thing before I leave you with those magical words: I want to thank my dear friend Rossella. During our WhatsApp chat yesterday evening, she told me: “you should keep writing, I’m a fan of you!” It seems I was waiting for this assurance, that someone will read my blog, or someone approves my writing, it’s a crazy mind game. But here I am, thank you Rossella.

There is a verb for when

The madness of a country

Turns against you


There is an epitaph

For being fed to crocodiles

Because they could

There is a sound for being

Unable to forget, yet humming

Small melodies of hope


I know someone who knows them

And translates them

For the world


When the world tires of listening

He wears them on his soul

Tattoos against silence

Diana Atwani


5 thoughts on “Promises… Places… and a poem of hope

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