I was born in Syria. My parents, sisters and brothers still live there. I miss them. I will never be able to go back home. We lived in mountains where sometimes it snows like here in Connecticut. Damascus is a beautiful city. It is the oldest capital city in the world. The first alphabet was from Damascus. It is a gift from Syria to the world.
These are the words of Thanaa, a 33-year-old mother of three young children who has lived in Milford for the past year and a half. She is studying English in Woodmont, with a volunteer tutor at the Literacy Volunteers of Southern Connecticut.
“I went to Damascus University,” she wrote in an essay that was highlighted at a recent literacy event. “I received my degree in journalism. When I went to the university it was safe to walk on the street, even at night. No one would stop you. It is different now. Police arrested my younger sister for two hours as she was walking to the university to take an exam. There were people fighting in the street; my sister and her friend hid in a vault in a cemetery until it was safe to come out.”