In Gaziantep the weather is practically balmy, the sun still beating back the chill as November gets late. But it sets early.
I am disappointed that friends here refuse group appointments because they are distrustful and grudge-bearing. I see them individually, a mixed bag of resignation and getting on with it.
A large, ongoing NGO exodus began this year, much of it unwilling. Others have set exit dates for their projects to ‘wrap up’ without conclusions. All those offices of people who never cared to learn Turkish. All those offices whose impact was better than nothing. Nearly all Syrians remain.
I see how many of the foreigners still act. They don’t get close to Syrians. When they hear someone is Syrian, their ears don’t perk up. They distance themselves with politeness. They associate with themselves. I never understood why these people came here. The most obvious explanation — that this was the best job offer on their table — that they came reluctantly — it doesn’t fully satisfy me, but I find no other explanation. The worst offenders are long gone.
And this site, with its dozens of readers. They say fail fast and often and over and over again. It will soon be thirty months since I first came to Gaziantep. And I sit here, with sporadic energy, feeling I have failed slow and once and for all.
But maybe there is still time.