“We had a beautiful life, beautiful house, beautiful big family,” Noor tells me about her life in Syria. She, her husband and four daughters left Damascus in 2012 soon after the war started and went to Darra, near the Jordanian border; then lived in Jordan for four years. “It’s a long story, and sad,” she says.
They came to the U.S. in 2016, first to Arizona, and last year to Maryland. “Arizona was very quiet, no people; here more life, more excitement,” Noor says. They’ve invited some of their friends from Tucson to join them here, and KindWorks has set up some of these apartments.
Noor remembers a wisdom from her mother, when she was 16 and in high school in Damascus. “My mother told me, be strong. She said, please Noor, study, study; I want to see you be something in future.”
“Be strong. Be lovely with people. Study.”
Noor is taking courses in hair and makeup at a beauty school in Virginia; her mom is very happy she’s learning a skill that she enjoys. She takes out her phone to show us photos of her parents and brothers and sisters.
“I speak to my parents every day by Facetime; I pray for them every time.”
Day 12 Wisdom 12: Be strong. Be lovely with people. Study.
PS: Noor and her daughter Zain and friend Basma came over to teach us Syrian cooking as a gesture of gratitude to KindWorks for helping set up their apartments. We cooked kabsa, fattoush salad and baklava together – then feasted under a beautiful sky sharing stories, building friendships – and giving expression to the sentiment, build a longer table not a higher fence.