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Rubble Mines "Copper"

Rubble Mines "Copper"


Darwish Laylaky
Since I worked in copper-mining among the rubbles left by the war to my devastated city, I have been sleeping of repeatedly every night for about a month. In the dream, I'm at the vegetable market, with a big "table" for selling memories: (my first kiss - my blue woolen cover - Eid night in the second grade - school road - mays trees - everything). On my right is a small black scale, in which I weigh the memory of the competing customers, who were paying me rubble stones instead of money. A rubble stone is a large piece of rubble of destroyed houses. They were paying me, for example: part of a wall, a twisted window, half a door, dust that was once high ceilings... like this.
Every time I stopped selling to count what I've earned, I see in my pocket a destroyed city! And at this very moment in every dream, I was waking up.
Here in my city of Zabadani, copper mining phenomena has become a public profession, practiced by all the people, and I fear it will become a heritage, or perhaps an essential part of the identity of this city - just like apple farming... before the war.
The rural city of Zabadani, located in the northwest of the Syrian capital, has suffered the ravages of war for six years, leaving it with great destruction. After the return of the population in 2016, the phenomenon of copper mining among the rubble was very rare, as the phenomena of wood-gathering was widespread at the time, i.e. the search for wood for heating. The search was not limited to wood in the mountains, only, or agricultural land. Unusually, cutting and sawing of trees was not the main factor in the process of wood-gathering, but the wood of household appliances of the destroyed houses formed the most abundant share in the process; for it was easy to burn and smoothly assemble in comparison with the considerable physical effort that accompanied the logging process. Let alone, the strenuous search for dry trees, which are only suitable for rapid burning. At the time, the deteriorating living situation contributed to provoke the people towards violating the moral sanctity of destroyed houses, as the guilt associated with each wood-gathering operation was less self-influential than that feeling of helplessness in the face of the extreme cold in that mountainous area. The wood-gatherers then engaged in a strange process of self-reconciliation to reduce guiltiness, convincing oneself, despite violating the sanctity of houses, that most of his interest was only firewood, and that he would not steal anything precious or other than the targeted house. Self-tameness was carried out gradually with this act. At first, the wood-gatherers take the less expensive wood in an ascending manner, starting with the wooden frames of the doors, then the doors, then the beds, and finally the sofas. He -the wood-gatherer-certainly wishes not to reach the stage of taking sofas. He prays every night, hoping that fuel will be available at affordable prices, so that he can stop-forever-doing this suspicious act.
The thing that never happened. Instead of the circumstances being improved, and the people getting in a phase of self-forgiveness for what they did, new repercussions have been inflicted to Syria and the currency has collapsed a lot; what imposed a new self-tameness operation that is more perverse than the previous one, through which the ruins of the city to a large mine, containing a lot of treasure, most importantly is copper.
Electricity cables, parts of electrical appliances and some household items and utensils contain a lot of copper in their composition. This easily refined metal is purchased by some of Zabadanis’ accredited-persons for 20,000 S.P, namely between (6-7)$ per (1) kg. Collecting one kilogram takes four to six days, making it a good and fast source of livelihood, which pays a lot of renewable expenses for the Corona-infected city since the last year.
Copper-Making operation is characterized by a strange state of confidentiality. Even though it is widespread, people are whispering when it comes to it, or using some ciphered symbols that I will not be able to mention to maintain their effectiveness. These symbols are also used by all those accredited-people in purchasing process, who take the copper found to Damascus, where it is sold to other accredited people.
There is a lot of speculation about the fate of this trade, some say that the authority does not want copper to go out to other countries; it turns a blind eye to the illegality of this phenomena, at a time when a highest peak in Damascus (Damascus Tower) lights up with »Union for Cable« logo, which is the first logo of a national company lightened up by Damascus Tower after it has only lightened up the logo of many Major Global Companies such as Samsung and Sony.

At the beginning of the war, I remember a child looking at a large cypress tree on a farm road. When I asked him, "What do you see in this tree?" He said: I don't see a tree, I see 350,000 S.P. standing in front of me. This tree weighs at least a ton and half of wood. I resented this situation then, but today - undoubtedly – you have been completely transformed into a scanning machine, analyzing all the debris you see into raw elements, and this machine increases in light and effect if it detects copper somewhere.
Yesterday, as I was going to the bakery in the morning, two children were walking in front of me on their way to school. One says to the other: "Imagine if this valley grows 'door-frames' of houses instead of grass! Imagine that door-frames cover this whole area (door-frames are the most suspicious firewood ever made for heating, and the easiness of dismantling them encouraged children for a long time to integrate with wood-gathering)." The other child replies: "Imagine if they were door-frames made from copper... Imagine if we were looking at thousands of copper frames, 60 kg per frame. Only you and I know of the place of this valley."
Just yesterday, the stuck dream changed, and I got a new dream instead. Many children, surrounded by copper frames like board frames, are in a large valley. They call me by my name. Like this... until a wake.

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