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"Every night is a date with loneliness": Arab migrants and the quest for love

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Opinion Homeless Arab Migrants

Monday 29 May 202304:30 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

"كلّ مساء في ألمانيا هو موعد مع الوحدة"... عن الحُب في الغربة


Love breaks down pain into small wounds that can be healed or into superficial scars that a person can live with. It is not the duty of love to erase the tragedies of life or stop feeling them, and it will never be able to do so alone. However, it is capable of giving us hope, the desire to endure and wait, and add details that make this wait worthwhile.

Human beings are supposed to receive love from multiple sources, starting with the embrace of family, the homeland, and the community they belong to, followed by a partner or others. But if one loses his/her primary sources of love all at once, searching for love often becomes a painful and oppressive act, and the potential source of love becomes burdened with a heavy weight that makes it difficult to remain under.

If our cities do not love us, then who will?

I try to refrain from involving the homeland in my writings for fear of sounding repetitive, hopeless and and, but my "Syrian-ness" has roots in everything around me and within me. We lost the loving face for our homeland with the beginning of the war. We do not know if it is sadness for us or anger against us, but we have not been able to regain it to this day. Consequently, we have lost other forms of love and the emotions associated with it.

Cities are like mothers, they know their children. No city is capable of filling the void that estrangement causes in the spaces of love. Since Aleppo stopped embracing me, I have become homeless. Here, we live with scattered souls burdened with attempts at integration and nightmares of the past. The reality may appear normal from the outside, but nothing in it is natural. We dream of a love like the land that our roots grew in, a love that will revive us with embracing souls.

In exile, as a migrant living far from home, you fear being forgotten, being excluded from the social circle you were accustomed to. Every evening in Germany is a date with loneliness, a date with solitude

In exile, as a migrant living far from home, you fear being forgotten, being excluded from the social circle you were accustomed to. Every evening in Germany is a date with loneliness, a date with solitude. You choose your path to escape from it with all the freedom this country gives you and all your tired emotions justify. Who will care about that short night you shared a bed with a stranger in a hotel? Who will object to your use of Tinder to get a single date or conversation? Who will blame you for abandoning your partner in an unethical manner in a life where ethical matters rarely occur? When your goal is to save yourself from death in the dungeons of loneliness, describing moral decay or selfishness holds no value.

Despite this, loneliness is not an absolute death sentence. It can be accepted, reconciled with, or at least escaped from into healthy and secure relationships.

"We don't have the energy to support anyone, we can barely support ourselves." That's what my friend once said while we were speaking about the ability to support the people we love


When considering entering a relationship with an emotional person who has lost their homeland, security, belonging, and freedom, think about your ability to provide them with all of the above based solely on love, your ability to stay by their side in their mental distress and the continuous efforts to overcome them together, and your ability to prove the invalidity of the saying, "The one who lacks something cannot provide it to others". Before any expression of love slips from your mouth, learn how to build a safe haven where its inhabitants can be free from all restrictions and masks. It won't be easy to give what we lack and desperately need, waiting for our partners to get it before we do. At the same time, it is not easy for our partners to understand our needs when they do not share the same depth and type of pain. I don't know which one of us, after experiencing so much loss, can achieve such a feat and how we can prevent the relationships we seek help from draining the remaining energy within us.

Love is nothing but a new lifeboat that Syrians board, paying the price of the adventure with their lives. It is nothing but a final attempt by migrants living far from home to find an alternative homeland

"We don't have the energy to support anyone, we can barely support ourselves." That's what my friend once said while we were speaking about the ability to support the people we love, and because of this psychological pressure, many relationships end and others that are more fragile than before, begin. Searching for emotionally healthy partners within the Syrian community is like searching for a needle in a haystack, not to mention the other difficulties that confront expatriates in getting to know new people from the same environment.

Love is just another item added to our search list as expatriates. It is a list with items we never imagined we would need to search for, things that we used to take for granted because they were common sense in our homeland, like the details of our daily lives that require double the effort to do. Love is nothing but a new lifeboat that Syrians board, paying the price of the adventure with their lives. It is nothing but a final attempt to find an alternative homeland.

I used to be afraid of love because I thought humans were incapable of healthy relationships before healing their traumas. I now believe that love is all we need to heal. And we who understand the pain of the absence of love, are the most capable of giving it

I used to be afraid of falling in love because I believed that humans were incapable of building a healthy relationship before healing from the traumas that had affected them and caused internal devastation. I was also afraid of being the toxic party in any relationship. But today, I believe that love is all we need to heal. And we, who suffer and understand the pain of the absence of love, are the most capable of giving it. Today, I, like many others, am running away from loneliness and fear on a boat driven by love towards safety in the face of all adverse circumstances. One day, I will have a new homeland, represented in a small home shared with another heart, a home that we will fill with a love that equals the pains and loneliness of Syrians, a homeland that embraces me until the war ends and all its traces and effects are erased.



* The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Raseef22



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