Stork is a bird that brings luck and happiness. They say, whoever has swallows nesting under
their eaves, are lucky.
The population suffers for five years now, from the civil war of Syria, even going to school became unsafe. The situation is grave in Aleppo, the second biggest city of the country, where fights between the government and rebel forces became daily.
The lesson started. The teacher arrived to the classroom accompanied with a boy. „Kids, let me introduce you Ahmed” she says. „He came from Syria. He is going to learn here, with you. He is good in football. His sister, Fatima is also learning here, in our school.”
The class quieted down. We are in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Ahmed came from Syria with his sister and parents. They had to leave their country due to the war. They used to live in a two-story house. The grandparents lived on the ground floor, and Ahmed lived on the upper floor with his family. Almost 3600 kilometers from here.
Ahmed stood quietly.
„I would like to ask you to help him to fit in.”
„What’s up, Ahmed? You look like you’re daydreaming!”
„I am sorry, miss, I was just thinking about my grandparents. They have remained in Syria. We don’t know what has happened with them. We are worried sick.”
„Where did you come from?”
Kelep, the stork, has flown in front of their house, in open air. There is a little swamp, a wetland area near there. The wings of the stork were wide and long, it was gracefully sailing towards the swamp. Its wingbeat was slow, and regular. Its neck and legs were stretched out.
„Chef Laslo. Could you pass me the ball?”
The ball was rolled to Ahmed, and he started to juggle with it.
„Ahmed, you cannot just do whatever you want with it. We have to work by the training routine.”
Chef Laslo, the trainer, came from Hungary.
„Ahmed, pay attention! Stop daydreaming!”
They prepared for meeting us. We lay down on the rug. We placed our arms on the elbow supports made from pillows. I have settled in this semi-recumbent position. They brought cookies.
„Ahmed, was school good this week?”
„Yes, father. And football as well.”
„We trust you, Ahmed.”
His daughter married a German man. Chef Laslo spends part of his time in Germany. He teaches activities for migrant children. Football is one of his specialties.
„Ahmed is not well. Habib, it would do well if you could bring some vegetables from the market. Bring some fruits as well.”
„Milk is coming today. I have to leave the house. The milkman is here.”
„Father, will you buy some fruits for the neighbors as well? They need any support they can get, they have four children.”
„We are going to visit them this afternoon. We will bring them some food.”
Ahmed is sitting by the desk. German is difficult. The all-deciding verb is always located at the end of complex sentences. He looked out of the window. It was March. A little swallow slipped in through the half-opened door, to catch a glimpse of itself in the mirror. „I do look great,” it thought to itself, and with a 180 degree turn, it flew out to the open.
You are never feeling safe. You can never know – the hit can come any time. The first one didn’t even wake me, but the second impact was very close, even my windows shattered. The petrol tanks, gas cylinders or oil drums, which were filled with explosives, petrol and scraps of metal, hit an elementary school.
Sunlight glimpsed off the feathers. “Kelep. My sweet stork! You are back? I have been waiting for you!” He opened the door, run into the garden, out to the street, in front of the stork. The stork stood there, in the grass, head tucked under one of its wings.
In two weeks, Kelep was walking slowly, gracefully, neck stretched out. They chose with its mate a nest of about 1 meter in diameter, up on a pole, erected by men. They lined it with branches, hay, straw and feathers; they were making a hatching nest, putting softer material inside.