While it’s not impossible, it’s unlikely that many of us in Murfreesboro will ever meet Rema Faour.
In the midst of all the debate about whether the United States should launch a limited assault against Syria because of its government’s use of chemical weapons, however, Rema Faour offered a true flesh-and-blood example of what is happening every day in Syria.
Rema Faour and her family in Syria have been among the victims of the ongoing violence there. She personally has sustained injuries as have other members of her family. Members of the family also have died.
Syria may seem quite far away, but thanks to Rema Faour’s brother, Louai, who lives in Murfreesboro and was willing to share her story and reporter Christopher Merchant who was able to tell her story, those of us in Murfreesboro got a much better understanding of the pain and frustration of this civil war.
Rema Faour’s story puts a face on the many column inches that we have published about the dire situation in Syria and the many hours of television time that is has occupied. Her story has given life to the many dry statistics about deaths, injuries and displacements in the war-torn country.
Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, one-time House speaker, receives credit for the observation that “All politics is local,” but most world events also are local, particularly as Rutherford County has grown to provide home for a diverse population.
When protesters recently gathered downtown to oppose U.S. military intervention in the Syrian conflict, also present were Syrian nationals who urged the United States to act to help save their families and friends still in Syria.
Those in Syria are not merely numbers, but families with fears and aspirations — just as families who live in Rutherford County.
We only can hope that Rema Faour and her family survive this conflict. They are also part of our family.
-The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, Tenn.