Tales of Fear: From Shadows of Spaces and the Recesses of Memory
The year 2016 marked a watershed moment for me, a pivot where my world turned upside down. This was when I was detained by Syrian regime security forces. My life pre-2016 contrasts sharply with the years that have followed. I had been a confident, joyful young woman, taking pride in my achievements and the strides I had made toward self-fulfillment. I completed my university studies, entered marriage, began a career, and welcomed my first son into the world.
As I received my university diploma, the Syrian revolution was already underway. Despite residing in a predominantly pro-regime area, my husband, his siblings, and other relatives actively engaged in protests and sit-ins. The tension escalated when Bashar al-Assad gave his first address post-revolution onset. Our neighborhood was soon engulfed by armed individuals—we had no idea if they were police, security personnel, or gangsters, we couldn’t ascertain. That moment signaled the ominous perils that lay ahead. Gruesome scenes unfolded—checkpoints were established, civilians apprehended, and bodies littered the streets post-attacks, only to be whisked away by trucks as though they were mere trash. My husband became a target, labeled a “terrorist” by the regime. I was stigmatized as “The terrorist’s wife,” later evolving to “the wife of an absconding terrorist” after he fled to Turkey—a journey I couldn’t make due to travel ban imposed on me.
But my husband came back, reinstating my original label: “The terrorist’s wife.” Shortly after his return, he was captured in a sting operation. Soon, we heard he was being held in Seydnayah prison, where visits were restricted to once every three months. He had yet to meet our daughter, born just six days after his incarceration. I took her with me during visits, sparing our son the sight of his imprisoned father.
Caution: The following narrative includes war-related details that might be unsettling to some.
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