In 1989, as I was teaching in Latakia in Syria, I have met a young woman who was studying French literature and language at the local University. Her name was Saya. At the time, I was send by the French governement to teach graduate students and adults. She was a very beatiful young lady, full of wit, enthusiasm and drive, full of passion for a freedom she did not have because of the Assad 's regime (the father of the sad ad crual clown they have now). I was sitting secretly and sharing some Dharma stuff with some people ( for instance my dear friend Nafez translated Suzuki Zen mind, beginner's mind into Arabic and got it published). At the time she sometimes visited my flat asking questions about Buddhist practice and she sat a few times. Because of the first Gulf war, I had to move out of the country never to return and we did not keep in touch. Two years later, I met her by chance in a sesshin (intensive period of practice), her head was shaved and she was wearing the okesa. She was a priest in training and studying French in Paris. Her determination and will to change something in her country was much alive in her, and she was planning to go back to Syria to make it happen, somehow. She left and I have never heard about her anymore. Since this civil war started, I think of her everyday. I wonder if she is still alive because knowing her, she must have been one of the leaders of the rebellion. I dearly love her. She is my sister in the Dharma. It is heart-breaking to think about these people I left behind, and it is OK.
I would like to ask my closest students and everybody willing to join to sit with Saya and all the people that fell and will fall on both sides. That's all really.