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oliviagiovetti:

It was really nice to see Jon Stewart come back from his summer with a thoughtful interview on the human situation in Syria. When my grandmother was born there 85+ years ago, she was named Mary. She got her name from her dead sister for a very shrewd albeit sadly serendipitous reason: Her family was on a list to emigrate out of Syria, but then her mother discovered that she was pregnant once again. To change the names/numbers of the family would have meant they went to the bottom of the list and start over (ages weren’t recorded). It happened that her older sister, Mary, was killed. So my grandmother was named Mary and their place on the list changed.Before they emigrated, however, my grandmother used to be fond of recounting a story from her Syrian village: She was in a traditional bassinet when the family farm was attacked. Her mother was able to get her (living) older sister, Ossin, out but hadn’t been able to do the same for my grandmother. The village priest ran in and brought her out, but noted that the cat beneath my grandmother’s bassinet was dead. Miraculously, my grandmother had not only survived the ordeal, but had slept through most of it until the priest ran in. That was almost a century ago (her hometown of Saidnaya is pictured above).
As we enter a new year, it’s good to remember where we’ve come from as well as fret over where we’re going. 

oliviagiovetti:

It was really nice to see Jon Stewart come back from his summer with a thoughtful interview on the human situation in Syria. When my grandmother was born there 85+ years ago, she was named Mary. She got her name from her dead sister for a very shrewd albeit sadly serendipitous reason: Her family was on a list to emigrate out of Syria, but then her mother discovered that she was pregnant once again. To change the names/numbers of the family would have meant they went to the bottom of the list and start over (ages weren’t recorded). It happened that her older sister, Mary, was killed. So my grandmother was named Mary and their place on the list changed.

Before they emigrated, however, my grandmother used to be fond of recounting a story from her Syrian village: She was in a traditional bassinet when the family farm was attacked. Her mother was able to get her (living) older sister, Ossin, out but hadn’t been able to do the same for my grandmother. The village priest ran in and brought her out, but noted that the cat beneath my grandmother’s bassinet was dead. Miraculously, my grandmother had not only survived the ordeal, but had slept through most of it until the priest ran in. That was almost a century ago (her hometown of Saidnaya is pictured above).

As we enter a new year, it’s good to remember where we’ve come from as well as fret over where we’re going. 

Filed under Syria reflection rosh hashanah shana tova new year war refugee story bravo