Silas Ola Abayomi

Syria: on “The Road to Damascus”

My heart bleeds,
just as my tear-soaked eyes, and
keep asking:
why Syria-the Levant-
the rising land
in rubbles and ruins?
Why Damascus-
the City of Jasmine of
shrubs and vines,
now turn to vineyard
of locoweed and poison ivy?
Aleppo-the bridge between
past and present civilization-
why now a theater of war?

Syria-the Ebla Kingdom of
four millennial ago,
Syria-the center of ancient
a geographical location
that has given
so much to mankind.

The bedrock and
confluence of cultures,
a continuously inhabited
geographical location;
an actor and a victim under
seventeen different dominant
powers-from Phoenicians
to French and United Nations
in modern times.
Syria-why the rumbles and
tumults in you?
Syria-the land of Seleucids,
in you-Damascus resides-
in you is Antioch-
the birth place of Christianity.

Syria-in you-Umayyad-
ruled and  reigned,
Syria-the once called
“East of Europe.”
Syria-where are your
former glorious lights?
Syria-what happen to your
fountains-where you dispense
knowledge and understand
to enlighten the world?

Sad to say, you have
become a  slaughter house-
that spill innocent blood,
a land where biological weapons
turn toys, offer as gifts to her

Instead of light-
darkness-you give,
instead of clear day sky-
billow-we see always,
instead of twinkling-night sky-
mushroom clouds  from
conventional weapons
darken the night more.

Instead of joyful cries and laughter
on streets, at schools, in offices,
homes, and entire land;
painful cries and elegies-
people are reciting.

Daily, people are turned to
strangers in the only  land
they know;
daily, people become
destitute-not by
natural cause or fault of theirs,
but through greed  and
lust for power by a few.

Daily, thousands are
dying without end in sight,
daily, children orphaned,
women turned widows.

A Forgotten Past by Forgetful
Elite and Leaders:

Syria-a country with long
historical journey,
now forgotten by its own-
for selfish interest;
began as Ebla Kingdom
millennial ago, but conquered by

Sargon of Akkad-
later trampled by Canaanites,
Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians,
Chaldeans, or Babylonians.

Subdued by Media and Persia-
tyrannized by Alexander the Great,
subjugated by Seleucids for centuries;
tasted Roman iron rule-
after 64 B.C.E humiliating
defeat by Pompey.

Middle Ages-a period of
ten centuries recreated-
Middle East with a new religion-
from Umayyad through Abbasid,
to Mamluks, and Ottoman,
Syria undergone varied
socio-political transformation.

With the fall of Ottoman-
a new Syria through Sykes-Picot
or Asia Minor Agreement created-
a Syria under French through-
United Nations mandate.

From independence in
1946 to 1970-
a quarter of century-
Syria faced upheavals-
very un-usual in history.

Even as part of the union-
United Arab Republic,
no peace in the land,
neither was Ba’ath Party’s
political therapy healed
Syrian’s festering gangrene.

Post 1970 Hafez al-Assad
might have stabilized Syria,
but created more problems
than solutions;
the Alawi Sect ascendancy,
suppression of opposition,
self-perpetuation through
became future time bomb-
that will certainly detonate
now the day is HERE.

The Future of Syria;

Today, Syria is a shadow of
former self –
a failed state in hands of
various interests that
carved out fiefdoms
from once thriving state.
Interestingly, Arab Spring
had given SYRIA a new name:
Safeguard Your Rights
In face (of) Assaults.
As Syrians home and abroad
keep thinking about the land-
the land they love so much-
all men and women of goodwill
should shout in unison:

Silas Ola Abayomi


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