Syrian Tears in Istanbul

On my way back from   applyinginformation but also the fact that the building was full of Syrians, a babble   of various Syrian dialects grumbling at the 200 Turkish Lira fee, a small   price it may seem for security but still a hefty sum nevertheless for most,   handing over my privileged claret passport cost another 175 TL on top of that,   I also grumbled in various dialects but mostly cockney, the air of   despondency followed me into a shopping mall just down the road, sitting   beside a water fountain performing to orchestral commands beyond my   comprehension, I logged onto Starbucks fading wifi signal while some tourists   from the far east snapped away at the aquatic display.
A more depressing globalized environment would be hard to imagine I thought   as I surveyed my surroundings, once again it’s the Syrians that grab my   attention, this time a young women pushing a child in a buggy, she looks   upset and as though she’s about to burst into tears, she’s followed by a   couple of young lads, aged about seven and eight they all sit down on the   step of the plaza and no sooner sitting she does burst into tears, the boys   are kicking their heals, soon they are joined by who clearly must be her   husband and another son, they are well dressed, not wealthy but typical   Syrian middle class, families like this I would see everyday shopping along   sharia Hamra, her tears could be nothing more serious that the usual marital   trauma brought on by a visit to overpriced shopping mall but I can’t help   feeling it’s another sad Syrian story, he paces around the plaza trying to   call on his phone, he seems agitated and looks as though he is just trying to   do something, anything, he knows it’s his job to solve the situation and he   is making the calls, the look in his eyes show a lack of confidence, the   women is sobbing non-stop and I just want him to go and comfort her, I want to   go and talk with them but I don’t, over the last almost three years I have   witnessed the tears of Syrians sobbing countless times, on occasion I have   tried to console but what you can you say or do, futile reassurance that   everything is going to be okay, they really do seem like a nice family, they   seem lost and out of their depth, I have listened to the conversations before   on what to do for the best, to leave Syria or stay, to go where and do what,   how much money do we have and how long will it last, what country accepts a   Syrian passport, who will give me a job, what about the car and the house,   what about the rest of the family, the decisions to leave are not easy, she   sits there alone tears running down her face, like the nation she has left   behind, alone and broken.

johnwreford

Freelance editorial photographer that has spent the last ten years living in the Syrian capital Damascus. Currently in Istanbul Turkey.

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