By Amir Darwish
I do not want to unshackle myself. Instead, I want to melt shackles and reforge them into words. The book is the first of a three -volume autobiography. It has three main parts, to mirror the number of houses I inhabited in Aleppo. On main chapter for each house. In Al Mashhad house part, I choose events that are connected to me and to people who influenced and will damage my life later. These scenes are told by family members. To sit in the lap of reality, I have asked several members to confirm each incident. Although young at the time, I still recall many glimpses, words, fixtures and small details, particular the scene of Baba’s death, I remember it in fine details.
I never write to avenge. I have used the actual names, because humans with these names were there when such horrific incident took place. So, if it was John or Ahmed instead of Hussein& Marwan, then I would use John& Ahmed. Nor is it my desire to attack any religious, society, culture, beliefs or whatever you inner impulses push you to title the book. I write because my sisters Shaza, Rana and Layla and whoever else identifies themselves in the book are hurt keeps me and my sisters awake, persistently visit us, causing flashbacks, nightmares and fear inside our bodies.
It would be mad to think that Shaza, Rana, Layla and I concocted events in this autobiography to present them publicly. I do not write to embellish . Instead, I recount what the five senses witnessed , attempt to strip the truth naked, bring if forth, the rape it with naked eyes. There they be those who disagree about the facts in here. Sure, they can, but they cannot determine how I felt then or feel now about the abuse episode, as I remember and chew them over and over again. All said it is about feelings, not traceable facts.
I have only written down scenes that come to me the most, as flashbacks of the dark past. Though I experienced much more of what is told here, it is these senses I want to be out of my brain the most. Plus, it is impossible to fit many years of daily abuse in single book. Why these scenes and not others? I ma not sure. Perhaps a psychologist would know.
Lastly, there might be someone in the world who reads autobiography and then says, “ Amir did that but does not mention it here . “ To those I say: why shall I be fearful to share my story? Whatever you know cannot scare to hurt me more. Between suicide and a confessional autobiography, I chose the second. So, if what know is greater than death, then tell it please.
*My autobiography now available for sale on amazon.