Reflection: Darkness and the Human Conditon

*The following is an open post referencing the effects of the civil war in Syria. Some topics may cause distress. Please be advised. The writer asked to be anonymous as they wanted the focus to be on World Humanitarian Day and the article. *

DarknessAs a child, I remembered being scared of the dark. Something about the darkness made me fear something hiding under my bed or in my closet when my mother turned the lights off. As I grew older, I feared scary monsters like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers, and Chucky. I distinctly remember my sister taking me to the movies with her friends to see “Scream 2”. Five minutes in the movie, I wanted to leave and go somewhere “safe” but seeing a character killed in a movie theater bathroom paralyzed me with fear. After watching the movie, I was scared of someone or something attacking me from behind for two weeks. Corners were my friends.

As an adult, I grew wiser. My perception on what should be feared had changed. I no longer feared the monsters or creatures who “bumped in the night” like when I was child. I knew what real monsters looked like. They look like me and you.

Anyone watching the Olympics this year can attest to humans being capable of great feats. Unfortunately, humans are also capable of dark deeds. Able to inflict more evil than any monster in a movie. See, you can tell if Michael Myers wants to harm you. He carries a large knife and has a scary mask. You don’t know what other people are capable of until they expose their dark side and you become a victim.

Chaos in Syria


As I read articles and reports on how Syrian prisoners are suffering at the hands of their government and fellow citizens, it makes my heart sink. One report estimates 17,723 people have died in Syrian prisons since 2011.  The brutality described by  survivors in an Amnesty International report is sickening. Rape, flogging, electric shock, scaldings, nails removed, and sleep deprivation are among some of the forms of torture used to extract information. This reported behavior is an abomination. It should not be tolerated in Syria or anywhere else in the world.


And then I look at the face of a little Syrian boy named Omran Daqneesh and I can barely contain my emotions. His family was a victim of an airstrike in Aleppo. It is highly probable his own government conducted it. Like the Syrian prisoners, his attackers are fellow citizens. The video of this toddler, a victim of Syria’s civil war, is eerie. To see his little dust-covered body bloodied, his eyes in a state of shock, tears roll down my face. As he wipes blood from over his eye, I can not help but to think, “No person, let alone a child, should endure this much suffering.” This much death, this much horror, is monstrous.

On this World Humanitarian Day, it is clear that more work is needed to protect human rights. The world can not afford to keep looking away from the torment humans continue to inflict on each other.

Video credit: 5 News | Youtube



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