Translated by ; Aishah Barazi
Ahmad Kousa has left indeed. His friends confirm it, expressions that mourn him are everywhere, his page is out of naughty words and his “Skype” account no longer lights up every morning with these words “Hey sister, how are you today?”
All of his friends affirm that he is in heaven now while I find myself like a little kid trying to mentally repaint heaven’s features to make sure that he’s in some place up there. If he has left for sure, then why his departure was so quiet. Ahmad was more like a “lemon tree” as his friends prefer to describe him; he used to blossom, fragrant and dance with every breeze of freedom. His presence used to fill out all the place much more than what his slim body actually occupied. He used to leave a thing of his lovely presence in everywhere he went so he would never be forgotten. Then, why he has left so quietly? Why we didn’t have the chance to bid farewell to him in his very last moments? Why we didn’t get to meet the vicious bullet that left a whole in his heart? Why he left so quietly without a funeral befitting his past utter presence and without anyone to mourn by his grave? Who has given Ahmad the permission to leave as if he were invisible?!
Ahmad was handsome, weird and could not just leave. He was in the first demonstration in Hamediyeh, then in besieged Daraa, in Yarmook Camp and in Hajar AlAswad. His soul was in a continuous struggle between Syria and Palestine but he chose to keep looking for a country to call home. One day, he was so tired and thought about leaving to Idlib! He thought that the revolution over there might be closer to his imaginary homeland. However, as always Ahmad could not just leave and stayed in the camp where everyone else has left. He harshly criticized the Free Syrian Army and the Palestinian movement then, he was so tired from all of those accumulating mistakes and got exhausted from staying there yet he stood in his place like a lemon tree. He was standing in some place at the borders between Syria and Palestine, could not reach any of them and could not just leave!
The road to heaven is clear unlike the one to homeland, this is what I always wanted to tell Ahmad also that the death of some people leaves a hole in your heart similar to the one of a sniper’s bullet and leaves an empty place in the bases of our imaginary homeland. I wish that Ahmad had actually left for one day he would have come back to rebuild this country not to be murdered in it.
Two days before his death, I was complaining from his complaints and I said “Stop whining Ahmad”, he replied “I’m not whining, you asked me and I answered your question.” He was worried about the camp; angry and sad at the same time; and I was worried about him but I couldn’t just say it. I wanted him to leave me for my fatigue and so he did. Why I have not learned through the course of two years in this revolution that I should not get tired and I should tell the people I love how much I do. I should have learned not to upset them while they are on the way to be shot dead by a heartless sniper. Ahmad punished me with his quiet death that doesn’t hold any resemblance to his rollicking self.
Everyday, an old woman from bygone times awakens inside of me. She frightens me by her wail, removes her headscarf and rubs her hair in the dirt while weeping and saying “I am mourning Ahmad and just like him I have no home.” Nonetheless, I’m still unable to write about him, one day, I will tell you more about my friend Ahmad.