With tears falling down her cheeks, Haya Qalla said goodbye to her parents and brothers, as she was ready to travel back to Germany.
For the 37-year-old physician, Syria is like a memory box, containing all memories of her childhood sweet times before the 10-year-long war.
“In every corner, I have a memory. Syria is like my whole world. Whenever I come here, I get energized and charged,” she told Xinhua.
Eight years ago, Qalla immigrated to Germany along with her husband, who is also a physician, and pursued higher medical education at prestigious hospitals there.
During these times, she visited Syria regularly and wished she could come back for good. However, it was not easy for her as the situation in the country wasn’t stable with war fire raging in many places.
In her last visit this year, Syria was calm. No battles, no mortar shells or explosions, just tranquility and peace.
However, due to the tough Western economic sanctions on the Syrian government, the country is facing a harsh economic crisis with soaring prices and a lack of imports of key necessities.
“I see people waiting in long queues to get bread and fuel for their cars. The electricity outages last for long hours and there are some things that I cannot find in the market,” she told Xinhua.
She couldn’t even make bank transactions from Syria or open some websites due to the sanctions.
“Many emigrants are wishing to return but the economic situation is making them postpone the idea,” she said.
Even though she lives in Germany for many years, her family home in Damascus is a place where she feels most safe.
People thought that the emigrants forget about their original countries, but that is totally untrue, she said.
“Syria is like a cradle of my sweet memories. Whenever I come, I feel so happy and plan my trip so that I could visit all the places that I love,” she said.
Still, every time she is about to leave, sadness takes over her and she becomes despondent.
“I am really looking forward to the day when I can return with my family to Syria just to save me the goodbye tears because they are bitter,” she said.
Her brother, Shady, also felt sad every time his sister was about to leave.
“We, the Syrians, said too many goodbyes. I think we deserve to be reunited with our family members and we deserve to live in our country without having to deal with the impact of sanctions,” he said.
He hoped that the situation in the country would continue to be improved and that one day, Syrian emigrants could return to their own country and rebuild it.
“The world should help Syrians to return to their country and they should start by easing the sanctions, so that the economic situation gets better,” he added.
by Hummam Sheikh Ali