If you’ve watched the television, logged onto social media or frankly been alive the last two weeks, you will know Aleppo is on fire.
You’ll be sad. But then you’ll move on with your day to more pressing issues like what to get the kids for Christmas, how expensive cashews are this time of year and whether it will rain for the barbecue you’re hosting tomorrow night.
I’ve spent the last 12 months working very closely with Syrian people in my job as a journalist at Turkey’s state broadcaster TRT World. Before I moved here for work I sweated all that small stuff. M7 traffic jams would drive me bananas. Now I’m just glad there isn’t a pipe bomb on the bus. When I used to go to dinner, I’d get frustrated with poor service. Now I’m too busy checking for random backpacks under tables in case they’re a bomb. Shopping centres still give me the creeps. I avoided them in Turkey because they’re such an attractive venue for terror attacks.
When I first moved home from Turkey my mother asked me why the hell I was going jogging with my handbag. I explained it’s because the security laws in Turkey allow a soldier to stop you at any time, search your bag and demand ID. If you don’t have it, they can take you away.
I was at a wedding on Hamilton Island last month. It was a great day, but it sparked memories of the last wedding I was at on the Syrian border. It ended with a 14-year-old suicide bomber killing 56 people at the reception. One moment people were celebrating with their loved ones, the next they were burying them. United by love and eviscerated by hate.