Every kid dreams big. Maybe they’ll dream of being an astronaut setting out to explore new worlds. Or perhaps they want to be a superhero setting out to save ours. Inside of every child, there is an inherent ability to dream without limitations. Sara is no different. She’s a fiery 17-year-old from Damascus, and she has her heart set on only one spot. Or more accurately, on one seat: President of Syria.
Nothing lasts and things change, we will rebuild Syria together.
In March of 2011, anti-government demonstrations began in Daraa with a group of teens and children being arrested after expressing their pro-democracy opinions through political graffiti. “It was the flame of the revolution,” said Omar Almuqdad, a journalist from Daraa—now living in Turkey. What started as peaceful protests quickly escalated after the government responded with a violent crackdown. This assumed “isolated incident,” sent a ripple effect nationwide.
Sara—along with her mother, sister, and 4 younger brothers—fled Syria to Lebanon in 2012, where her family faced heavy discrimination. In 2014, her family resettled to Australia—the place she has called “home” ever since.
It is a powerful thing to see time and time again how the voice of youth can change history. With raw emotion and no ability to hide behind filtered words, young people are rising up all across the world to stand up for what they believe in. And among the more than 4.5 million people who have fled Syria since the start of the conflict, Sara is one of them.
“I want democracy, I don’t want dictatorship. I want people to live [with] justice and peace,” but coming from a country where these things are just out of reach, Sara told me of her dreams to change the direction of her nation. “We’re always told, we have to follow the party, and we have to obey the orders. We don’t ask why.” she said, “[but] my parents grow up scared because their parents grow up scared. I never knew anything else. [But after being here, I want to] take everything I’ve learned, all my experience, back with me to Syria.”
So, why be the president? Sara wants to change not only the way the world sees Syria, but “also change the [way people think] about muslims, they are not terrorists, but they are people who want others to be happy.”
Sara believes the youth of her nation will be the ones to make a change. “Nothing lasts [and] things change, we will rebuild Syria together.”