An Identity Crisis, or rather Identity of Crisis
Everytime I talk about our identity crisis, as Middle Easterns, Levantines, Arabs, or particularly Syrians, everytime I tell them about all the psychological burden that we carry around excellently -The one we call our History- to almost, everyone... I get a look, of, understanding, they understand "me", but, behind that, I see a thousand question marks, of, irrelevance. and I don't blame them, they might never understand that, unless they are fortunate enough -or unfortunate for that matter- to actually live in that hub, The Middle East.
How, can u present the full depth, of a personality, an Identity shaped with an extreme feeling of superiority, the feeling of superiority we've been fed, by the monuments, by the streets, books, sights and smells… by the sheer names of our cities.
A superiority, that soon begins a never-ending fight with another complex. A complex of inferiority, towards a winner West a brutally developed and civilized West.
I don't understand it neither, I can just feel it, I try to put it to words… I try to explain the power of symbolism in area that has nothing left but symbols anymore. The wealth, the philosophy, the greatness, the pride… they're all long gone… what's left, is us, the people, who will still cling on to life, they all have all these things inside [as any other human, for that matter…], at least I hope we still do… and monuments, ruins, memoirs, of a past… What's also left? The bitter truth, that we might never catch up, the bitter feeling of humiliation, of victimization, of being stepped on every single day, by our fathers, our policemen, our presidents, and everybody else…
I try to write, about the Crusades, How they still live inside every Levantine, how u can see them in the family names of people. The Crusades, probably were the absolute turning point, where we went down, towards a West that ascended on a way up… the absolute feeling of victimization that we've felt since then… towards those barbaric, monsters of darkness and witch hunting, who disrupted the wealthy, sophisticated, civilization of ours… and, drove it… here.
It goes way beyond that, further than that. It's way before Muhammad [PBUH], before we even discovered that the poems of "Omro' al-Kais" are masterpieces. Before that, even before, Princess Europe of Phoenicia sailed from Byblos, to give Europe its name… before that…
When I write about, my Human Identity, when I write about my Syrian Identity, when I write about me, the sum of all these little things, what I eat, what I write, what I do, who am I… where did I grow up, and where am living… when I try to un-define myself, rather than define it with a single identity… I'm only trying to loosen up, this burden, this history. But the only way I can ever seem to do that, is through that very same history.
This Middle East needs people who are willing to forsake an unbeaten vicious circle. Willing to put off our complexes, to read the History, as a book… as a text book that is. And even more, He needs Faith in these people… all the faith that we've given to all the gods who were born here, to all of them who passed and stayed here…
I, for one, have not yet been able to. Not Yet, that is.