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The day the owl flew away.

Bikram Vohra

On July, 11 Syrian born Welsh resident Alisar Iram wrote: They think if we kill us we die.

Famed for her incisive writing and the way she was able to connect with her readers all over the world and bring into focus the killing fields of Syria and now Gaza and the West bank brought her thousands of followers. She was a poet, a writer, an artist a painter and a revolutionary of the most positive sort. She loved her country and her people. She stood by the children of the world, the ones so facilely sacrificed. In her own way, she had conquered the heart of social media with her poignant commentary, largely on the evasiveness of peace for mankind.

Her website has an owl as mascot, wise and full of hope, hooting its way through the maze that is the human experience, some of it absurd, some lit by the sun, even darkened by the clouds, always on the branch of hope, looking for a way out.

On July 25, she wrote: The worst of times and the best of times

in the Tale of Two Cities the protagonist describes the French Revolution as the best of times and the worst of times. For us of the Syrian Revolution, I would say that although it has been definitely the worst of times but it has also been definitely the best of times that is if we continue to survive. Why do I say this? Have I lost all sense of reality? What about the terror of dearth and the unredeemed victims? No, I have not. Judging from my own personal experience, I have never been so rent and torn beyond my experience, beyond my ability to withstand pain, beyond my endurance and courage, beyond my experience, beyond my hold on sanity as I have been while living the Syrian Revolution, though at a distance. Nevertheless, I have never been so fully awake before as I am now. I have never been so aware, so alert, so all encompassing and so infinitely compassionate as I am now. The floodgates opened and I was submerged and eaten by the beast, but I rose up again into consciousness spanning time and uniting time. In being swallowed by the whale and scattered into pieces I knew a kind of unity of being I have never known before. Thus it is with me and thus it is with countless others, I believe. We can, if we wish, describe it as the best of times, as in retrospect it will doubtlessly be.

An exponent of truth and justice for all, she had begun writing for and was very supportive of our content.

We never knew her but we knew her. We had never met but it was like a warm affection and closeness existed between her and her reading audience.

On July 27, she wrote with deep feeling: I know what it is now to be choking and not being able to breathe, I know what it is to be buried under the rubble and feel your chest exploding, your heart pounding because you air has been devoured. A medical mistake has rendered me unable to breathe but with great difficulty. It is happening to our people in Syria and our people in Gaza. They are choking, their chests are exploding and the children are entombed deep, deep in the airless graves.

They are killing the poor, they are killing the children, they are killing the old people. They are killing me.

Two days after, the owl, her symbol of wisdom and her muse, flapped its wings and flew away.

Alisar Iram died quietly in Wales, her pen capped forever but her words still vibrant and alive. She died as she had lived, with grace and dignity.

Her legacy for peace must endure.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Aug 8, 2014
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