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“I can’t stop thinking of my memories,” Talar says wistfully. “But I thank God we are alive. We have to open a new page every day and not look back.”

While she hopes her family may one day resettle in the West, she is happy that they have found some stability in the present — especially for their children.

“Everything from the past is gone, but for the sake of our kids we have to be strong. My dream is for my sons to have a good future, doing something that they love.”

Elizabeth, too, expresses quiet resolve. “I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow,” she says.

“The future looks dark. But because I have faith in God, I know that he will help me to cross through these times.”

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Doreen Abi Raad is a freelance writer in Beirut. She has written for Catholic News Service and the National Catholic Register.

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