There are many families living in the monastery, many children. Most of them come from places in Iraq and Syria they can’t return to because of the war that broke out in 2011 and the rise of ISIL which gained control of most of the cities in the region in 2014. For the time being, the monastery remains their only home.
“You miss your dad, hm? I missed my dad too. He came here two years before us, for work. Me, Rachel, mama – at home. In my mind, I thought… I couldn’t sleep, go to school, all I thought about was how my dad is, what he’s doing. On the phone, a lot.
Now he’s changed. Before, he and Rachel, and me – he played with us, a lot. Now he goes to work and his room. His room is dark and evil. Mama is the best mother. My family, I don’t know what to do to change it for better. My family is finished, chalas.
We don’t know whether we will live tomorrow. We don’t know anything.
In my mind, life is like a walk. It’s short, and it’s not a game, there is no game over – and start again. It’s just one walk. You just start walking from one point and finish at another one and that’s it. I think it’s short, life. And sometimes you don’t know where you walk, sometimes you have to go around. But everybody needs to learn how to walk. I don’t like this house. Everything, the walls, they are from glass. One bullet and we’re all dead.
You know, everything is from glass. Everything in life.” – Yousef, 12