Bassel, and My Freedom

Noura Safadi

To get married: that means your man will push you forward or take you backward.

What happened to me is that my husband has been pushing me forward in the best path possible. He makes me go upwards, fly, swim over the clouds, even though the time we’ve spent in love has been spent apart. He is present in all my details... and helped create who I am. I am his pen and colors, and he has always been my life and my Freedom. I’ve lived all my life dreaming of Freedom, and Bassel taught me to embrace it.

I feel overwhelmed when I mention his name. Bassel taught me to master English, even while he’s been in prison. I’ve learned to read, write, and speak English well. He has always shared his knowledge with everyone who asked, and has also taught many prisoners to read, write, and speak English.

Bassel opened the door to technology for me, he taught me to use both computers and smartphones. He taught me the Internet. He also taught other prisoners to use computers theoretically, without having one in their hands.

I never felt our relationship stopped me from being myself: on the contrary he taught me to break the fear and shame of social restrictions. I’ve been a writer for the last 10 years, but only Bassel made me decide to write my first book. I wrote it during his lengthy detention, and we called it “In the Waiting.”

With Bassel, I make my dreams come true, I learn to express my thoughts and feelings, and face my fears... I shout, I resist, I trance... I laugh and I cry...

Bassel made me Free, while he is absent. He is in the regime’s jail, and I am in the jail of waiting for him.