Palmyra in Syria is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. The news is reporting that ISIS has massacred children in this ancient capital.

It brought back this memory that I felt compelled to share…

Palmyra. What can one say? The despair I feel is overwhelming. I spent several days alone there when I was writing, researching The Olive Route. I felt no fear, only wonder and joy at finding myself there. It was a magical oasis city with date-palm groves and waving women who always laughed and beckoned me to talk. I remember one evening, climbing up above the city to watch the sunset. Sitting on a big red rock, I looked down upon a group of kids, boys, kicking a football about in and around the ancient ruins glowing in the coppery sunlight. The boys’ cries echoed out into the endless desert. It was memorable. Those boys probably have small brothers and sisters, some might even be young fathers now… they were kids kicking a ball and enjoying downtime after school… And now what? Blood and grief flow through those ancient trading streets. It is unthinkable and I am completely impotent to change it.

I pray for the families of those who have lost their children.


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