The most dangerous thing I did was being smuggled into the rebel area of Homs. The smugglers met me in front of a lake, which we had to cross by boat. In the middle of the lake they told me that on the surrounding hilltops, government snipers were watching out for people like us, ready to shoot us. We were lucky that the government bombed an hour before, so that they were on a break when we were there.
'We have so many friends, dead in the lake,’ the smugglers told me. At first I was angry. Why didn’t they tell me earlier that it was this dangerous? Then it dawned on me. We are dealing with so many different levels of perception of risks. They live there day in day out. They cross that lake two or three times a day. For them it isn’t dangerous anymore. But for me, it was the one time that I really felt I had no control over the situation.
Rasha Elass is a Syrian-American journalist and writer.
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