Chocolate Celebration – Aleppo, Syria

Despite continued diligence to conscious of prejudices and judgments, it is easy to slip back into preconceived notions and misconceptions, as I learned firsthand. Three years ago, before all of the horror and killing began, I was in Aleppo, Syria with my family. As we walked around the Citadel there, we heard loud chanting. Instantly I went from a mode of conscious understanding to a state of panic. My immediate reaction was to grab my family and run for our hotel because there were ‘loud noises’ and we were ‘in the Middle East.’ Quickly I told them not to go near the crowd, but of course I broke that rule and went a little closer. What I found was that it was a promotion for chocolate. The next day was Mother’s Day and they were trying to encourage people to buy Elegance brand chocolate. Because I had investigated, I didn’t return with a story of escaping ‘something horrible in dreaded Syria,’ but instead ended up hoisted on people’s shoulders and joining the festivities.