This beautiful bracelet was a gift from my aunt, Amme Claire from Damascus, Syria. She took me to the Souk Al Hamidiyah in the Old Town of Damascus, where my family originally comes from and told me to choose two. One for me and one for my sister, because she wanted us to have something that reminds us of her and our heritage. My siblings and I were born in Germany. Our father migrated to Germany in the 60s and brought our mother from Syria after they got married. I never spent much time in Syria and I could never really identify with the culture until January 2011, my last trip to my ancestors' country. I finally rediscovered my roots and realized that I loved them - it almost feels like it was too late. That was 3 months before the civil war started. My and my family's history continued in Germany: 6 siblings born and raised in the middle of Europe, with the love to an equal and free way of living. I was later adopted by my German godmother Heidi who taught us our whole life long the German culture and cooking. But none of our parents let us forget the beautiful culture, amazing food and the Arab passion that we were given from our ancestors! Two years ago now, I left home alone to spend the summer in the Berkshires. That's where my story took a new turn. I met the love of my life and decided to move. We got married recently and on my wedding day I was wearing my Amme Claire's bracelet and Heidi's shoes.
– Toni Buckley née Nahas-Lück