“A little bird told me” is a phrase we were all used to hearing when we were young. Our parents would say it whenever we had tried our hardest to hide something from them, and particularly something to do with school. We never imagined that one day we would grow up to discover that the little bird was real and not imaginary at all. With all the people being detained and forcibly ‘disappeared’, I came across many little birds carrying news to the families who were desperate to hear even a single word in order to ease the pain in their hearts. Hind Majalli was one of these little birds.
There is no doubt that local councils have filled a huge gap following the retreat of the state. But there are still many obstacles that challenge their work, some stemming from limited support, others from the lack of experience, and from traditional and anti-democratic patterns of thought.
What happens to your Syrian identity now that you are living in a new country? How is your identity affected by the new country’s respective integration policies? Implicit in each of these questions is the notion of identity as a monolithic concept linked to nationality. The reality is never so simple.