“Despite everything, I believe that people are really good at heart”, Anne Frank


I had the good fortune of seeing a live production of Cabaret last night, on the 70th anniversary of Anne Frank’s last diary entry. I have always loved Cabaret, but felt very emotionally uncomfortable during last night’s performance. I was not convinced to- ” Leave your troubles outside!
So – life is disappointing? Forget it!
We have no troubles here! Here life is beautiful…”
I instead remained keenly aware of the horrors of the times.  As such, I think today of how quickly and easily beauty and richness of culture  in the world can become twisted into such horrors as World War II,and so many current conflicts in our world, including in Syria (with a half Syrian son, this horrifying conflict is very close to my heart! I struggle today to remember one of the many riches that Anne Frank shares that, “Despite Everything, I believe that people are really good at heart”.
I absolutely adore the poignant and subtle epilogue that Cliff offers in Cabaret.
Cliff’s epilogue: “There was a cabaret, and there was a master of ceremonies, and there was a city called Berlin in a country called Germany. It was the end of the world, and I was dancing with Sally Bowles, and we were both fast asleep.”
How masterfully and artistically expressed is the seeming blindness of so many people to the horrors of those times in Germany. Perhaps it is easier to tightly squeeze one’s eyes closed to terrifying occurrences in life. Maybe I’m naïve to believe, as Anne Frank does, that a little love, empathy, and understanding can bring people together. I can’t help it, as I am the daughter of a Creole Flower Child-a hippie who wears lipstick, remember?  I struggle so much to understand how people who share such similar customs, cuisine, and lifestyle, and physical appearance as Syrians can create such a terrifying life for themselves and each other.  I have posed this question to my wonderful Syrian, Lebanese, Welsh, Christian-raised husband, and he very simplistically answers with, “They choose to fight like that”.  Why would anyone “choose” to create a world in which parents do not send children to school anymore for fear that the child will not survive.  It’s so difficult to watch reports about the conflict in Syria because so many of the young soldiers in any group shot resemble my wonderful brother-in-law,Zach,  seen below, far left!  Here is my Syrian family, l-rtZach, handsome husband, Damien, baby, Alexei, patriarch, Mike Abrusley.  The Louisiana branch of the Abrusleys, who descend from Christian Crusaders from Cyprus and traveled to Syria in 1097.  They emigrated to Louisiana in the 1920s because it had become too difficult.  Louisiana was chosen because of its French schooling system, which felt very comfortable to French speaking Syrian and Lebanese immigrants.  Here I am, a New Orlenian of German, French, English, Italian, Irish , Spanish heritage, or as I say, a “gumbo” of nationalities, with a son who is descended from all of these, plus Syrian, Lebanese, Welsh, Irish

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