My people are famous.
You see them every day on the news- whether they are being evacuated, bombed, chemically attacked, or drowned.
If you have not guessed yet, I am Syrian.
On the day of the Trump attack on Syria, we call my uncle to make sure that everything is all right. As he tells us everything is fine, we can hear the sounds of the missiles in the background. When we mention this to my uncle, he says, “It’s fine, Trump woke us up for fajr (the morning prayer).” Knowing how unreligious my uncle is, it is at least good to know that his sarcasm is intact.
Fast forward a few days later, and we hear about another attack that was close to where my family lives. Up until now, we are not even sure who administered the attack. I start anxiously making some calls to my family, checking that everyone is all right. After a few nerve-wracking minutes waiting for the phone to connect, I finally get ahold of them and ask if they are okay. At the end of our conversation, my cousin says it was nice to know it takes a bombing for them to hear my voice.
Later that night as our family WhatsApp group chat goes back to its usual light atmosphere, my cousin sends a casual picture of an undetonated bomb. Confused, my sister asks what that is. And so, my extended family kicked off a thorough explanation of the different kinds of weapons used, the effect of each and how to recognize them based on the sounds they make.
That is one of the true talents of a Syrian, they proudly explain. No matter how tough the situation has ever gotten back home, they have never failed to laugh about it and to figure out a way to add a touch of sarcasm.