He is three

He is three.

My eyes are reflected in his. People say he has my face, and I wonder if I still have one left.

He is three.

I taught him how to count and how to walk. He taught me how to smile.

Every day, we leave the house before sunset. We turn right and walk within our two-kilometre radius. We read the houses numbers out loud, and we run, and we laugh like there is nothing wrong with this world. We return home knowing that the next day we can go left.

He is three.

I order a new…

In her cramped little kitchen, I learnt many secrets: how to stuff aubergine with nuts and chilli, how to steer the yoghurt on the stove until it boiled and how to repurpose the kitchen items and never throw anything away.

Despite my regular arguments with her about the amount of fat she sneaks into her dishes, I loved to eat at her place. The aroma of her cooking could be smelled three floors down her building and through the entrance in the middle of Al-Midan neighbourhood in the south of Damascus, where she lived her whole life.

On boring days…

For a long time, life felt unfair for me, especially after settling in Europe and leaving my tribe behind. I was angry and frustrated most of the time and I couldn’t move on until I decided to take control of my life. I admitted what was out of my control, but most importantly, I fueled my anger into a positive thing — I became a storyteller.

Words helped me find peace and heal in a way therapy couldn’t. I dived into stories of migrants and refugees who lost their worlds and had to adapt to new unfamiliar worlds. I started…

Unorthodox Netflix

Watching Netflix’s latest mini-series “Unorthodox” opened many doors I thought I shut behind me.

“God expected too much of me”

I came from an astonishingly similar community to the one portrayed in the series but from a different Religion. I was born in Saudi Arabia for Syrian parents and lived there for 17 years before moving back to my hometown Damascus. This gave me the illusion that life in Syria was liberated, compared to Saudi Arabia.

I lived my life in shame and guilt. I wore a headscarf at the age of 12 as I left my childhood behind. No one “forced” me to do so…

After living and working in Ireland for five years, I was finally eligible to apply for Irish citizenship through naturalisation. Something that is intended to make my life less complicated and more humane, especially after surviving on the third worst passport in the world according to the Passport index; the Syrian passport.

Unfortunately, the process that would normally take up to 6 months has been ongoing for over a year now. The unforeseen ramifications of the Brexit vote made thousands of British with Irish heritage rush to apply for Irish citizenship in order to keep leveraging the benefits of the…

I had the honour to meet King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima in a round table discussion held by Dogpatch Labs. The topics revolved around Immigration and Entrepreneurship in Ireland.

Why Ireland?

I am a migrant. A forced migrant who fled the war in Syria in 2012. I moved to what I thought would be a new life in Egypt but ended up getting stuck in a country torn apart between revolutions and coups. I found myself shortly being identified as an “illegal migrant” just because Egypt stopped issuing visas for Syrians. Countries started turning us down, one after the other.

It was 7 am on a lazy cold Sunday. I got into my taxi who already knew my name and destination thanks to the new technologies that makes our dialogues shorter with the price of less privacy. I didn’t mind. I never liked to talk anyway. I preferred to write. But it wasn’t enough for the old driver who wanted to engage in more.

” Hi, Where are you from?”

“I am from Syria”

He glanced a look at me from the mirror to make sure he didn’t hear me wrong or maybe to match my looks with the location…

Facebook’s Social Network Graph

I don’t remember when exactly I took the decision of deactivating my Facebook account but I remember feeling the urge to close the door in the face of all the dark, disastrous, hopeless, and helpless news feed that was spreading slowly into my out-of-control everyday thoughts.

The Arab Spring

In 2010, Facebook became one of the major portals for the revolution in the Middle East. It was the spark that spread the Arab Spring to Egypt and later Syria among other countries. I remember the first invitation I got to participate in the Syrian revolution on the ground. I couldn’t believe the growing…

I got the chance recently to watch this inspiring TED talk by Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, where she talked about how the society raises girls to be perfect and boys to be brave. How boys are allowed to try, fail, break stuff and build it again, while girls were expected to be perfect, and that ends up affecting their skills and behaviours in their future life.

Coding, it’s an endless process of trial and error, of trying to get the right command in the right place, with sometimes just a semicolon making the difference between success and…

“Soft gates, hard paper” by Prof. Henk Van Houtum

When I left Syria during the harsh winter of 2012, I packed all my memories in two big bags and left what I couldn’t carry due to flights’ restrictions on luggage weight. I used to think a lot about the leftovers; my fluffy cat, my tidy books, my grandmother, and my piano, but after things got worse, I didn’t have the luxury to think about all that. I was just concentrating on surviving, so I blocked all the memories coming from Syria. …

Suad Al Darra

Syrian Storyteller interested in Data with untold stories | “I Don’t Want to Talk about Home” by Doubleday PRH 2022 | Support me at https://ko-fi.com/suadarra

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