Syrian Native Worries About Future Of Homeland

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Marina Hachwa says she has been living a nightmare for the past two-and-a-half years, a nightmare that never goes away.

"I feel depressed, I cry, I pray - I don't know what to do," Marina says.

The Syrian native resides in Dublin with her husband and two daughters.

But she is racked by guilt for being safe here; while her other family members and friends are living in danger every minute of every day, thousands of miles away in Syria.

“It’s is very hard, very, very hard,” she says.

Marina says she is glued to news reports 24 hours a day, wondering what will happen next in her native country.

She says it's been a daily struggle since the civil war began, and it is only getting worse for her family living there.

"We lost everything - so, money-wise, we lost a lot, and actually one of my sisters, she lost her home," Marina says.

Though nobody from her immediate family has been killed, she says the son of a close friend was shot and killed just this month.

She says other friends have been kidnapped right off the street.

"They took them, since April, and we don't know anything about them," she says.

Marina says the government, the rebel fighters and now foreigners are all a potential enemy to them, especially now since hundreds were killed by the alleged use of sarin gas.

"No, I'm not surprised, I was expecting that," Marina laments.

The United Nations is still trying to verify who is behind the gas attack.

Marina says at first she welcomed the possibility of military intervention in her country, but she’s worried that even more innocent people would be killed if that happens.

"I'm really scared, I'm really scared now," she says.  "I want to be there, I want to be with them, actually."

But now, she can only watch, and wait.

Marina grew up in the city of Homs. She says the old town section is now about 90 percent destroyed.

She also has family in Damascus, Aleppo and Tartus.

She says she tries to talk to one of her sisters every day, whenever the communication lines are up and working.

Her wish is that she lives long enough to see democracy and positive change in her country, when it is safe to live and do business there again.

"My hope is for peace, I want my country back, I want my family back, I want to see them, I want to go there, I want my kids to go there and see my culture,” Marina says as she chokes back tears.  “I want them to see every street, every moment I spent over there. I miss everyone there... I wish I could do something, but I can't."

"I'm helping where I can, but still it's nothing compared to their suffering, so…I'm praying for them," she whispers as her voice trails off.

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