After I dropped out of University, I was summoned to the military service. All Syrian men ever had to carry out the compulsory military service of two years. At first, I was placed in Aleppo, or Halab as the city is called in Arabic. Aleppo is the second largest city in Syria after Damascus. The city has always been an important city in the Levant, especially during the Ottoman Empire. For those who are unfamiliar with the concept of the Levant, it is an old Latin word for the area east of the Roman Empire and includes today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine.
In Aleppo, I served for 6 months. I was then platoon leader in the infantry and was taught to use the Russian machine gun Kalashnikov. In Aleppo it was a recruit school where we stayed in a large camp and was accommodated in the large halls with around 100 men. After Aleppo I was transferred to a military camp outside Damascus. The leaders of this camp so that I restrained computers and was interested to learn more about them. I was then transferred to the office where I repaired computers and trained others to use them. I also got the title Sergeant, which gave me some benefits. Among other things, I was accommodated in the room together with only three others. In my free time I trained a lot, I was particularly fond of wrestling. One of the other soldiers I trained together with, I noticed had an interest for me beyond the wrestling. But then I was so modest and afraid of my own feelings that I pulled me back.
The office I was on was led by an officer. He was 47 years old and showed an unusual interest in me and gave me some benefits. I liked him and noticed that my sexuality was awakening. One day he asked me to work into the evening. When everyone else had gone home and we were alone, he began to make advances towards me. We were both in our uniforms and I was totally helpless in his arms. The first time it did not last long before we were both satisfied. Afterwards I got a very shame feeling and promised myself never to do this again. But that feeling passed quickly. It was not just with this one night together. He had all the time other evening work to me and made sure that everyone else in the office was gone home. I was in love and wanted to be with him 24 hours a day if it had been possible. He kissed wonderfully and we were together as often as we could. We were never naked together, always in our uniforms, something I thought was very exciting. He was a big man, over a hundred kilos, which also attracted me.
He told that he was to be transferred to closer to the Turkish border. To the city of Hasaka, a small town in North-Eastern Syria. The city is not old, but was formed after the Ottoman Empire fell around 1922 and France colonized the eastern Turkey and took control of Syria. The city is made up of many different peoples, Arabs, Assyrians, Kurds and Armenians. As in love for the first time in my life it was not no in my mouth when he ordered me to be with him to the Hasaka. There I was also placed on the office to work with computers. We could then continue with our nightly meetings. I thought at the time to enlist me to the defense so that I could share my life with him. But I understood that it was impossible. When I was discharged, I attempted to keep in touch with him, but he showed no interest. I think he was ready for his next conquest of a young soldier. I had to go through my first heartbreak. I have to this day a small infatuation in me when I think of him. Today, I understand that he wanted to keep the relationship secret and not to have contact with me. He was married, had seven children and was a very devout Muslim.