Memories of Syria
My heart cries for you, Syria. When I was traveling the world during my youth, the people of Syria welcomed me with open arms. Although nearly four decades have passed since I visited that beautiful country, memories of kindness remain clear.
The keeper of our bed and breakfast was a happy, middle-aged woman with whom I connected without a word. Images of charming Aleppo and its ancient bazaar remain.
As I walked around, enjoying the atmosphere, not one shopkeeper sought me out — unlike in other countries, where they aggressively demanded that I make a purchase. I was neither harassed nor treated with disrespect while in Syria. That was a rare experience for a young American woman.
If you and I look closely enough at our roots, we will find family members who long ago fled violence and persecution. Centuries ago, my French Huguenot ancestors fled their homeland, wandering generation after generation from Holland to Cornwall to America.
In our generation, the Syrians are trying to escape persecution and violence. Now it is our turn to welcome with open arms the innocent people who have lost everything but their lives.
Martha Childers of Kansas City grew up on a farm near Union Star, Mo. She lived and traveled extensively in Europe, Asia and Africa and on the East and West coasts before moving back to Missouri. She is a multicultural psychotherapist and has lived in the area 22 years.