While searching for a news story to highlight today's word - GUTSY, I found numerous stories on amateur and professional sports figures, regular folks doing extraordinary things, and business leaders making gutsy deals, but this story in light of current world events, not only defines gutsy, but also tugged at my heart strings.
With the hope of continuing their education in an unconventional way, a few gutsy students maintain a library of beloved books under the rubble of Darayya, Syria, a suburb of Damascus.
Buried beneath a bomb-damaged building, is a haven filled with over 14,000 books on almost every subject. This secret library provides an opportunity to educate and bring hope to the citizens who have been besieged by sniper’s bullets and shelling for over four years. Founded by Anas Ahmad, a former civil engineering student, and other young students who have had their education halted due to war, risk personal harm to collect books from shell-damaged homes.
It may seem strange to risk your life to collect books for a hidden library, but these students are determined to help their community in several ways. Hospital volunteers use the library's books to advise them on how to treat patients; untrained teachers are aided by the books to help them prepare classes; and aspiring dentists learn how to insert fillings and extract teeth.
To date, about 8,000 of Darayya's population of 80,000 have fled. But nobody can leave now. But, according to Ahmad, the books motivate citizens to stay hopeful for resolution and peace one day in their country. Many of the books share stories of how other nations in history have suffered and yet in the end triumphed. He believes that one day Syria will be a free nation and by reading these books the citizens will be prepared for that day.