I recently watched the movie A Private War, which chronicles the last 11 years of war correspondent Marie Colvin’s life. Colvin dedicated her life to “telling people what really happens in wars.” She was killed February 22, 2012, while in Homs, Syria, reporting on the Syrian Civil War.
This movie is not for the faint of heart or the young. In fact, I am hesitant to recommend it. (It is rated R for disturbing violent images, language throughout, and brief sexuality/nudity.) I watched it because I wanted to be able to empathize with the Syrian refugees I meet when I am in Lebanon. Colvin said, “War is the quiet bravery of civilians who will endure far more than I ever will, of those asked to fight and those who are just trying to survive. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, traumatized families, bereft and inconsolable.” She tells the stories of a wife whose husband went out to gather food and never returned, and a mother whose five-year-old daughter was buried under a pile of rubble from a bombing, and the sexual abuse that always comes with war. I’ve sat in tents and listened to similar sad stories. I have wept with them and continue to weep for them. This movie helped me see even more clearly what these people have lived through. And it is traumatizing.
It helped me understand visually why some have vacant stares or can’t speak or why mothers wail when they talk about their daughters whom they have lost to ISIS.
The movie was about Marie Colvin, but for me, the movie was about the refugees that I am endeavoring to help.
Colvin said, “I care about the experience of those most directly affected by war. . .The real difficulty is having enough faith in humanity to believe that someone will care.” I want to be that someone who cares.
At the end of the movie, shortly before Colvin is killed in Homs, Syria, she is interviewed live on CNN and states, “And the words on everybody’s lips here are, ‘Why have we been abandoned? Why?’” Colvin answers, “I don’t know why.”
Thank you, friends, that you have not abandoned the refugees. So many of you have given generously to tyingvineshumanitarian.org. We are accomplishing great things together. Every penny counts and goes towards providing medicine, education, vocational training, and trauma counseling to Syrian refugees. Let’s continue to strive together to care for these people and show them that they are not alone.