My Fairytale Kingdom

March 16, 2012
By Dana Ahdab BRONZE, Burr Ridge, Illinois
Dana Ahdab BRONZE, Burr Ridge, Illinois
1 article 0 photos 1 comment

Like most little girls, I grew up with fairytales. I had a fairytale book that I always devotedly read from, and have seen just about every Disney princess movie out there. The thing that captivated me the most about fairytales weren’t the princesses or the fairy godmothers though. It was always the magic kingdom. It was a place where no wrong could happen; the perfect society set in the most beautiful landscape.

When I visited Syria for the first time at the age of three, I knew that I had found my magic kingdom. To me, it seemed as if Syria was the perfect place. Families all lived together and I could walk from one house to another with ease. Neighbors knew each other and they would exchange greetings from opposite sides of the street. I could run out with my cousins to buy gum, chips, and soda bottles from the vendor next door. My grandfather worked in the mornings and returned for lunch and an afternoon nap. In the evenings, the adults would sit outside in the garden enjoying the sweet summer night while we played tag. Perhaps what captivated me the most about Syria was how it seemed to be stuck in the past. It looked just like I imagined where a fairytale would take place. In fact, when I was asked what my favorite part of Syria was, I remember replying, “I like how they put the laundry out on the balcony to dry instead of using drying machines.”

I was young. I didn’t realize that Syria was under a dictatorship. I didn’t hear my grandparents’ fevered whispers about rice prices rising. I didn’t notice that voices were always lowered when talking about politics. I did however, notice the posters of the president that hung from every store window. I saw the huge statue of his father on the side of the road, saluting the passersby. I was deceived. I assumed that Syria had the best leader. Because that was how the people always talked about him. I even thought that they had a better government; they loved their leader. We, on the other hand, were always complaining about George Bush and every other politician in America.

I think that I finally realized that Syria wasn’t really a democracy about five years ago. We were in the car and I overheard a whispered conversation between my grandmother and my mother about the recent election. My grandmother was saying how only 0.17% had voted against Bashar Al-Assad. This surprised me. Even though I thought that the people of Syria loved him, I found it difficult to believe that 99.83% of the people would vote for him. I then remember asking my mother who was running against him. Surely it was somebody horrible. But it turns out, nobody was in the running. You either voted for, or against him. I later learned that this is called a referendum. She told me that nobody dared to say no to him.

It all made sense. Suddenly, I heard those fevered whispers. I saw those angry glares directed at the posters. I realized that Syria wasn’t the fairytale kingdom that I thought it was. I began to realize what a dictatorship really was. Finally, I knew that the people of Syria were scared of their government.

Now, the people of Syria have broken those bonds of fear. They have decided to speak out even though the risk is so clear. They were tired of whispering behind closed doors and spending half of their income on some rice. So they started protesting. In response, the government started killing. At first, it would be anyone who was at the protest. Then, it progressed to the killing of anybody suspicious of going to the protests. Now, everyone is at risk of being murdered. Even looking out your window could result in your death. Eight thousand five hundred people are dead. Countless others are missing, injured, or dead and unidentifiable. The regime shows no sign of stopping.

But stop it must. The world’s attention and outrage should help impose peace. Even if peace doesn’t happen soon, it will eventually. I will have my fairytale kingdom back. Because as every little girl knows, at the end of the story, the good guys always win.

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This article has 6 comments.

on Mar. 27 2012 at 6:57 pm
Lizzie Hamilton BRONZE, Hinsdale, Illinois
3 articles 0 photos 18 comments
That's really good Dana! I especially like the ending :)

on Mar. 27 2012 at 9:48 am
this is really good dana!!

on Mar. 22 2012 at 7:47 pm
brigidm03 SILVER, Hinsdale, Illinois
9 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is so good Dana!!!!!!

taj elahi said...
on Mar. 21 2012 at 7:58 pm

Wonderfully written, from a young girl's perspective. Very moving .

There is no turning back........

SElahi BRONZE said...
on Mar. 21 2012 at 5:30 pm
SElahi BRONZE, Burr Ridge, Illinois
4 articles 1 photo 52 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

So powerful--keep up the good work!

lenadi said...
on Mar. 21 2012 at 12:36 pm
Beautifully written Dana!


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