Once you enter his workshop you will notice a memory of what was once a home, standing there on the pale empty wall.
“We used to be one of the most prosperous workshops in Homs city,” said the carpenter Aun Akhras. Inside the shop a red sign reads ” Akhras Tombs- Obituaries, Funeral Sprays, Chairs for Funerals”, lying there on the ground waiting to be hung outside.
He continues, “We used to work in furniture, doors, windows, tombs, and everything to do with wood.” His career was suspended for two years, like most residents of areas that were battle fields in Homs between 2012 & 2014.
But he returned, with hundreds of other families who refused to give up on their neighborhood and leave it to ghosts.
Going around his shop we could see that the work is so humble now, number of employees is not as it used to be, tools have been stolen, others destroyed. And sadly enough, tombs now are first in demand; you can see it once you enter that humble workshop. With absence of electricity and water most of the time, due to the huge damage in the city’s infrastructure, work conditions are too difficult. However, he still has that positive tone as he said that “at least now we are home and we get to work.. and we hope that things will get better..
He told us about the picture on the wall of his family house. “Before war, it was brought down to be modernized, and then war brought it down once again…”
He goes to his shop early in the morning and spends most of his day there because every minute counts when you barely have electricity during the day.
This workshop used to be a source of income for many families, but now recruitment is not the same as before.
This strong man never looks for sympathy or pity, despite his age and loss, he stands there, looking at his shop, knowing that no one on earth will rebuild his home, his neighborhood, his city, his country, but him and other Syrians.
The loss of people like Aun and other craftsmen in Syria is not only personal; it is a loss to culture and identity in entire cities and towns. People like Aun inherited their crafts from generations before them; damage done to their careers is damage to the heritage of at least three or four generations of hard work and tradition. Such people are not looking for pity, nor compassion, they are looking for real action to stop the slaughter of life and beauty by war machine. His story does not go viral, does not go on news channels, does not make a hit, because it is not sparkling and glittering, because it is not part of the propaganda of either party. And like him, are millions in Syria.
Do not pray for Syria
Do not change your profile pictures
Do not bother with useless hash tags
Do not send humanitarian aid
Go and stop those who make Syrians in need of aid
Go and stop those who use your taxes to destroy Syrian cultural heritage in all its forms