Day 2: Madness

I feel mad.

Another inner conflict that makes me mad. All the volunteers here, at this point, are white-skinned kind people who walked out of their way to come and spend some time here, on their own expenses. They do not speak Arabic, and so I do not understand how they are supposed to run a camp for 150 families that they do not speak their language.

The orientalist-allergic part inside me is mad at those white-skinned hard-working kind-hearted kids. Who do they think they are to assume, on behalf of some very authentic and real human beings, how they want their lives (temporarily) to be like? Why do they think that a “fitness class” followed by dancing bit is such a brilliant idea? I despise them, pity their helplessness, but also admire their attempts. Some women show up to class, but I cannot help but feel bad for them. How desperate do you need to be in order to show up to a “fitness class” given by some European nice girl when your family is quarter dead and one third in another country waiting for a decision for reunification? Don’t they know that fitness classes are such a westernized modern and trendy piece of shit? It is not evil though. It is just not their thing.

But why am I, in turn, assuming on their behalf? Why am I so mad at some nice attempts? Maybe because I feel they are attempts to “civilize” or rather “westernize” people who are very authentic and autonomous in their culture. Apparently, I am so sensitive about cultural invasion.

Some of the children were speaking to each other in English. Syrian kids are speaking to one another in English! They seem to have very quickly picked up on the language, having to spend most of their time around white-skinned volunteers who don’t speak Arabic. Smart kids they are. But speaking to one another in a language other than their mother tongue so quickly was scary. I am mad.

I am mad at the way the place be being run, but I know the volunteers are doing their best. They walked out of their way to do this. I am mad at the very ugly reality. I am mad at every Arabic-speaking useless ass who has not thought of coming here to help. Even this, we managed to be useless at. I am impressed.

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