You hear the news, you couldn't believe it… it's true! Today you'll be able to go and see what happened with your home; it has been almost three years since the last time you sat foot at your own doorstep. You don't know what to expect; all this time you have been hearing the horrifying sounds of falling bombs followed with the crush of sinking buildings. Over those three years, you saw the huge columns of smoke escalating towards the sky; they were coming from where your home is supposed to be, but as a human being you're damned with hope. Anxiously you go down to the street to see it full with others just like you walking, anticipating, and not knowing. Step by step you reach the frontier of what was "forbidden" just few hours ago, feelings of caution and puzzlement starts to take over when you approach your long seen neighborhood, however, walking among the crowds makes it a bit easier.
Finally, the images you used to glimpse at every corner of your city zoom in, and you don't appreciate the mighty of it until you walk right into it. Every roaring sound, every burnt smell, and every eye-soring image you have experienced along those years becomes so close to you as if you see them for the first time. Here's where used to stop and talk with your friend, here's the remains of the shop you used to buy your grocery from, here's what used to be your neighbors building. You're coming close, nevertheless, you are not able to realize it; your mind can't process these enormous differences on such a huge scale. Just around the corner is the location of your home; will you find it, is it still there, what will you find in it, is it all gone, did they find the money you stashed? May be they forget to loot it, may be you'll find one of your sweaters or your photos, may be even find your certificates and papers, may be you won't meet the same destiny your friends and family have met.
You have to be very careful though, they said there might be hidden land mines, or buildings might fall on their own once you step into. You don't care; or rather you don't think; you're drawn hypnotized with so much adrenaline and so much hope. The big surprise - it is there! It is really there! Your building still standing! You only have to find the interior. As you walk up the stairs you see the doors of your neighbors are gone along with wires, tiles, … literally "nothing is left". Your hope starts to fade away, nonetheless, you continue to go up with chills, you reach your doorstep, it's a good sign; your door is here! You go in closing your eyes as if you're coming into a surprise party, you open them slowly to see at first all is dusty gray; for a moment you don't recognize it, but then you know you're finally home! Although it's missed up but it's still here, all is here! How lucky you are! Now it's the moment of truth; what to do with all this? You can't just stay in! How are you going to move all this?! Remember you have to take apart every bit; from window frames to taps and pipes. None of these good quality materials is available any more, plus they worth a fortune nowadays. But where to move them? You are considered homeless now; you live with other families in one rented place. And who will disassemble all this, and how much will they charge you?
It doesn't matter; you won't leave it after you found it. All you have to do is come tomorrow with the right people. Indeed, this is exactly what you have done; the only surprise is that looters have beat you to it. One day is more than enough for those locusts. Your heartbreak is unmatched; even the stories of people racing with looters at the same room; steeling their own stuff from their own home, under the horror of being killed, still don’t ease your pain. Stories of others blown up with mines also didn't come with condolences; because you wish if you just die now.
Our homes don't just hold our life earnings; they hold in our memories and dreams, they stands for what we are. To kill one's home should be taken as an equal crime to kill one's soul. In that case, the pyramids of Egypt should no longer be considered the biggest tombs in history; Syrian cities should be in place.
All images have been collected by WSI