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From roses to guns but hope remains

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Assuming that nothing drastic happens between now and then, Donald Trump is scheduled to take office as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017.

Amidst the controversy that swirled around him like a Midwest tornado during his campaign, and continues to engulf him since his election, there are many mixed emotions resonating from people all over the world as they wait to see what kind of president he will be for one of the world’s largest and most powerful nations.

One of the issues during Trump’s presidential election campaign that drew a lot of support from the far right in the U.S. was that of restricting the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the country.

Although not much has been said in this regard since his election, it continues to be a matter of concern for Syrians as well as those who support them.

But one young Syrian artist currently waiting in Greece has a heart full of optimism about what President-elect Trump may be willing to do to bring an end to the misery of millions of his countrymen.

In a letter that he told Orient Net was originally addressed to the “new US president,” 18 year old graphic artist Abdulazez Dukhan wrote;

“Dear Donald,

My name is Abdulazez Dukhan. I am 18 years old I am one of the four million people who have fled Syria. We left behind our hearts and the people that we lost - both buried somewhere along the road.

I am sending you this message to congratulate you on the presidency. But also to remind you how much your words matter in deciding our future.

We started the revolution holding roses and hoping for support from the international community.

Years passed; the roses turned into guns but the hope for support continues. Still, neither roses nor hope helped.

Could your predecessor have done anything to change our fate? I don’t know. But we will continue to have faith. Your words matter to us. You might be able to change our future.

I left Syria with my family four years after the revolution started. Nobody wanted to leave. But what can we do against the tanks? What can we do when death is falling from the sky?

Like many others, we went to Turkey and from there to Greece. We travelled, looking back at our cities, streets and houses being destroyed.

We are weak. We wanted the international community’s support and we know that it will come. Faith is what moved us and faith is what is keeping us going.

Now I am a refugee. The hardest thing about living in a refugee camp is the isolation. People build walls around us and countries build walls around those walls.

Dear future president, borders kill dreams. I’ve seen dreams die before their body - it leaves that person with no soul. For those of us who still have faith, please don’t build walls in front of us.

Maybe today is my last day as a refugee and tomorrow I will be safe somewhere in the world. Maybe I will go back to my beloved Syria and start rebuilding. Maybe I can still dream for one more day.

Dear future president, we hope that someone can hear our words. 

We hope that you do.”

By way of a project called “Through Refugee Eyes”, Dukhan is using photography to raise awareness about the many difficulties being faced by refugees. 

Dukhan told Orient Net that after making the difficult and dangerous boat trip from Turkey he found himself living in a refugee camp in Greece for five months before moving into a house where he now waits for the process of being granted asylum in Belgium to be completed. 

When asked by Orient Net about his plans for the future, Dukhan said, “As for my ambition: I will keep working with all free Syrians to reach our goals to have freedom and live in dignity. 

“I will concentrate on design, photography and information technology. 

“My biggest ambition is to spread love among all refugees and for Syrians particularly to be united in conveying our message to the whole world of what is going on in our homeland.” 

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