Posted in Stories, tagged Children, Gaza, Palestine, War on April 7, 2012|
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I didn’t even know if my eyes were open.
After a big mess everything seemed so calm I could sense the dust covering my face, the only part I could feel. I could feel my breath hitting one of the bricks of my room’s floor. Air found its way through everything surrounding my body. Silence was all I could hear. My arms trapped somewhere under the wooden edges of my bed, my toes, my legs, my hair, they all were jailed and penalized not to move.
I was afraid. I waited and waited trying to recall all the joyful events in my life, as my mother once advised me to do so when I’m afraid, though they were few: My elder brother’s big wedding, my grandmother coming from Hajj and bringing me a doll singing, the last Eid when I got my biggest Edeyya ever, my mother bringing us home a new baby after me _I wonder if that was a happy event for me, but I could certainly see the joy my parents had looking at that little thing. My breath firmly came back to my face touching it as to comfort me and tell me that everything will be ok. A minute later I started crying, though. And only then I realized that my eyes were closed, for I could feel my wet eyelashes. It did not matter; opening them and closing them were thoroughly the same. I cried so much that my tears mixed with the dust on my face felt like mud at the edges of my face. I must have been bleeding, since a killing pain started growing in my chest with the growing of my weeping. I tried to move in order to stop the pain. Only one muscle, I found out that something very sharp, extremely strong, calmly was standing through my skin. I stopped crying. I waited. I bled.
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We won the match. Second place in the Gaza strip among UNRWA 5th graders. It was a too fine day to stay indoors or to even get a ride home, so I decided to walk, proudly with my fake silver medal. Something was strange when I approached my neighborhood. I could feel people looking at me; however, they looked away the second I laid eyes on them. Even Abo Mohammed who is the man that that makes falafel in the area refused to take the sheikel from me. Instead, he was unusually kind. As I was walking, eating my Falafel Sandwich, with the salad leaving a trace behind me, my house starting to show up, the roof the windows, I could then see the so many people gathering in front of the house. I started running, and when I reached all of those people, I dropped my sandwich which was then empty. Being a small boy, I tried to find my way through the men’s legs to the door I could only hear my aunt sobbing. My Mum sitting there looking at nothing and tapping her hand on her huge belly softly, she was about to shed a tear. I could see it glowing in her eye hopelessly. She didn’t. In the guests room, my aunt sobbing, most of our neighbors were sitting there. And, there, in the middle, was my Dad wrapped in white, with only his face shown, eyes closed. He wasn’t taking a nap; that I was certain of. I ran to him. He seemed so calm. He had so many little cuts in his face, and I wasn’t sure if that was HIS body inside the white cloth. I looked at him for a minute or so. Then my aunt came and hugged me so tight, while she continued her weeping which made me start crying, for I figured it out. My Dad will never see my fake silver medal.
My mother gave birth three days later. When she saw the child, she said with her sweat going down on her face” he looks like no one but his father”. And only then she burst into tears.
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She dropped it and ran away. She was standing right in front of the door of her school, holding her book, getting prepared for her exam. A huge number of explosions followed the one the hit near her school. She stopped. Looking around, terrified, she saw police men crying, cars hurrying, kids running. The bombs continued. She didn’t know where to go. Her headmistress stopped taxi drivers to pick up the scared students. She stood there in silence. A bus with the back door open passed her, letting her see the dead bodies piled inside. Her eyes turned wide open. Her lips froze. Her hands shook. Her knees could no longer carry the heavy picture that has just passed. She tried to stand, but no one looked at her. Everyone was running . A teacher tried to reach her, but another bomb was dropped and the teacher got back behind the door of the school. The girl felt the ground shaking under her collapsed legs. Her hands shook more. She was still in shock. She knew air strikes very well. She always sees them on TV. She knows that this happened before. But, the bombs went on. They were telling her that this is not just a strike. This is one hundred strikes in a minute. This is a try to break the record, and you’re just one girl on the ground, shaking, gulping loads of smoke, paralyzed by fear. The teacher reached her, dragged her to a car, and closed the door.
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It’s funny there’s a sidewalk here. I walked with my finger tips touching the huge blocks of the great, made-to-scare-me wall. I didn’t look at the graffiti; I know it very well. The sky was halfway eaten by the wall, and the sun was no better. I stumbled with a stone, which was probably thrown by some of my friends yesterday. I sat down where I stumbled and grabbed the stone, stared at it for a minute, and threw it to the other side of the wall. I listened for an aw, a curse word, footsteps , a call, a whisper, or a gun shot. Nothing. I kept on walking. It didn’t seem to end. My finger tips were now colored with all dry paint colors. I stopped. Turned my face to the wall. Put both my hands on it. I pushed. I kept pushing,my arms straight, my teeth stressed, my legs rooted to the ground, the paint of the graffiti’s smell going through my lungs, the man on the other sidewalk stopping to see what will come out of this. My feet started backing the other way. A sound from inside me broke out to a scream. I collapsed to the ground crying. And, the man on the other sidewalk giggled and went on walking.
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