The Cold and Dark Winters of Gaza and A Child’s Fantasy

The Cold and Dark Winters of Gaza and A Child’s Fantasy


I’m not suffering from writer’s block, but rather writer’s lag. For some time, I have felt that I can’t make myself sit down and write as I promised myself. The passion is there, but the inspiration is quite lacking.

In my hometown of Gaza, amid the biting cold winter nights and hustle and bustle of our days, I constantly contemplate over our need as Gazans to “be”. But to my frustration, I find myself faced with daily new challenges which voraciously suck every bit of energy in every living cell of my brain. I try to find an atmosphere when my thoughts are most clear, but can hardly claim that my mind is untroubled at any time. Like my TV screen here which is blurred by the hideous Israeli drones, my thoughts are constantly turbulent which makes the attempt to focus strenuous. What is the cause behind this mental state of mind?

Electricity outages are at their extremity now in Gaza. Daily sporadic shelling and the howling of power generators rocking the neighborhood have all contributed to this heavy feeling of unrest. When power comes back on for the six or so hours, it’s only temporary relief just enough to rid us of the noise and air pollution we struggle with. But that is only if you stay inside your house. If you decide to go shopping, you’ll find lines of motors chained to shops venting their angry roars at by passers.

Time and time again, I decide that I need to do something extraordinary to bring peace to my mind. These days, I found my retreat in entering the colorful world of imagination and play my children have immersed themselves in. I contemplate over their little remarks and try to answer their tricky questions they suddenly throw at me. In their little minds, there are no boundaries set for imagination. One of my daughters asked me one of those pop ups yesterday: “Mom, is there a country called Syria?” What a good one to ask at such a time, I thought. Ever since the Libyan Revolution, I have become less enthused to watch the news five times a day as I used to. With the horror gripping stories of brutal murders in Syria, I’ve decided not to gaze too much at my TV screen for the sake of my own sanity. So I found myself giving my daughter a plain, “yes there is”. I thought I had told them enough stories about mad Arab dictators who killed their people, so I needed to spare them for the time being. It was a good decision, I thought, especially when one day as they were quarrelling, I was both surprised and amused by the names they were calling each other when my son called his sister a Gaddafi!

Into the Big World of Childhood

“Mom is a polar bear taller than a building?” my son asked me yesterday. Another one followed, “who gave shanta, (bag) this name?” So I thought I should take delight in responding to his questions and not to disappoint his fantasy. Hopefully, my imagination and creativity can be ignited again just like theirs. I think I’ve found my source of inspiration for the time being and my heart is set to dive into the world of the fledgling fresh minds of childhood. I may even ask them my own questions to see what their creative mental faculties have in store.

So my resolution is to: set aside the fuel, gas and electricity crises and pretend to live in another place with my soul and mind. I’ll let myself travel through time and space to free my heavy heart from its burdens. I’ll stop having a fit when the power is out or when my daughter tells me that the light in their classroom wasn’t on today, so the teacher had to open the door. But here goes the struggle again between my conscious and I. What about the hundreds of thousands of Arabs who have been killed and continue to this day for freedom. I am adamant to adhere to the long and enduring belief that is, to stay strong. I know that by holding on to the values of justice and equality which humanity shares, I contribute in making the change our world longs for. Yes, only humanity shares, only real humans, not barbaric cannibals of modern times hiding behind fancy tuxedos. Safeguarding these values and principles is the only means to save the dehumanized people of our world who have been deprived of the most basic rights every human being is granted by all religions and international laws.

I pray for the growing generation of today to grow up into a world free of tyranny and human greed. A new era of justice and peace will shine over my children’s world. Time will tell and time has told: the age of darkness and evil has begun to decay. No ultimate superpower shall stand when it functions on evil to dominate and suppress other peoples. The world of tomorrow will have no place for dictatorship and aggression; only peace, love and justice shall prevail.

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The Damn Power Generators

The Damn Power Generators

A few years back, I didn’t have the privilege of knowing what a power generator looked like. To me it was a strange name which I failed to put a face to since it was not in my league of interest.  But this situation has dramatically changed. Ironically, my source of enlightenment on power generators actually came by way of the darkness initiated by the severe electricity outages which Gaza has been continuously enduring for over seven years now. Of course if my memory has not failed me, electricity outages were always there ever since we were children, but not with the same intensity as have been since the Siege over Gaza imposed after the Palestinians’ democratic elections took place in January 2006.

Power generators come in different sizes and capacities. When the electricity in the neighborhood is cut of, every house starts to turn on their motor whether manually or automatically depending on size. During the day, as I walk down the street past the shops, I can feel the ground underneath shaking and the noise is boisterous. Ubiquitous  motors lined up and chained in front of stores give off a most deadly fume. This evening I wanted to go out to the balcony to hang up the laundry. As I opened the door I was received with a most vociferous welcome by the neighborhood motors. Even on evenings when the electricity is on, the buzzing of the deadly drones take over to give you a feeling of anticipated strikes. As I stand at the window, an empty feeling resonates within and feel alienated from pure and beautiful nature. The atmosphere is reminiscent of the war on Gaza three years ago. I remember how impenetrable darkness conquered the scene and nothing could be seen with the naked human eyes except the light of the drones and war planes above. I guess from then I had begun to lose my harmony with the sky and stars I was so fond of throughout my life.

Yesterday evening, I went out with my six year old daughter, Nada, in an attempt to appease her after having a tantrum from being bored. I held her hand and went down the noisy yet dark street. The street lights were out, but generators were growling. As we reached the shop lined streets which were lit thanks to the motors, I realized how shopping had become the less popular leisure activity for a girl on this part of the world. I didn’t want my daughter to inhale the fumes, but maintained calm and only hastened my steps every time we passed a generator.

The story of the power generators does not stop here; it isn’t only about noise and air pollution. Dozens of people have been killed due to generator -related accidents. The stories are horrible mostly including children. In one family, three children died as they tried to escape through their bedroom window when the power generator exploded causing a fire to break out. What is even worse is that people who own power motors store gallons of liquid fuel inside their houses which has led to even more hazardous outcomes. Over time people have become more aware of the hazards and began to take precautions, but the major problem still continues to pose long-term effects on the population.

In the mornings, my wish is that the children of Gaza wake up to the singing of birds and retire to the natural sounds of nocturnals even if it be the chirping of crickets. That way, when my children ask me what the source of the noise is, and why it’s there, I’ll readily have an answer they can easily swallow.

Gaza War..Indelible Memories

Gaza War… Indelible Memories

When the horrific war was over, I realized that I had been transformed into another person. My thoughts and reflexes went through a kind of turbulence. I tried to convince myself that the war was actually over. The credibility of that fact was hard to instill into my head. I developed these idiosyncrasies.  I would have the TV remote control in my hand switching between news channels all day, as if it gave me the sense of security I needed. When the clock approached 10:00 P.M and it was almost time for Aljazeera news, the TV was off limits for everyone but me. The radio, which I had rarely held importance for, was a leading member of the family now. I couldn’t lie down on the sofa; I had to be alert at all times.  I should never dare to look out the windows, one should anticipate impending danger. I would keep a good look at the clock and calendar and count the time and days. I pacify myself that soon it will all be over and nothing but……. horrible memories will be left. I forgot to remind myself that there will always be a scar; a permanent lasting scar that time can never heal. Images of the dead, decapitated, maimed and burned are engraved in my head. People crying for help, but remain unanswered. They either await death, or another attack to put an end to that black moment where everything seems to be falling down and the world coming to an end. But these are the thoughts and feelings of a grownup. But, have you ever wondered what the psychology of a child had to bear during those deplorable days and nights? The innocent minds of children only understand two things:  Eat and play.  Anything else is an impostor. How can they be expected to understand with their small minds that their lives are at stake? In ordinary life, they easily defy their parents by refusing anything they don’t like. But now they have no choice. At night, when I tucked my kids into bed, my heart would sink and pray that the hours to come are safe and sound. When morning rose, I’d feel temporary relief that the darkness was gone. When the war broke out, I was devastated to realize the hard facts. The facts were that a ruthless war was being launched onto a tiny part of the world called Gaza. The International Community was complicit in that savage war launched against a helpless and bled dry nation. Was there no drop of humanity or compassion in the hearts of so-called leaders or decision makers, or any gut to say NO to Israeli and its complicit crime initiator, the US? Is our blood that trivial and worthless to them? Have the cries of our children and sobs of our bereaved mothers become a routine spectacle of the misfortunate and forsaken? Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith while performing tawaf around the Holy Kaba: “ …. the sanctity of a believer’s blood and property in the sight of Allah is greater than your sanctity!” Yes, to all the relentless villains who have set the mad dogs loose upon us: Our blood is sacred and your retribution is yet to come. Your state was built with the slaughtering of Palestinian men, women and children and you hailed it Independence Day. Villages forcefully evacuated and people massacred in broad daylight where Killing was the only way to conquer and establish your Zionist state. The midnight vampires and satanic allies aided your venture with all heart and have remained so loyal and stalwart to justifying the murder of children playing outside their homes or on the roofs of their houses.

The hope in the hearts of my people and their unwavering faith is the fountain that feeds their souls with life and determination to go on. Our hearts are in our Maker’s hands only and no human being may have any means to kill the power they hold within. The path we’ve chosen is not dead-ended, it leads to two very distinct destinations:  to live in dignity or die in dignity


Refugee or Citizen, What difference Does it make?

Refugee or Citizen, What Difference Does it Make?

I’m a genuine flesh- and- blood Palestinian, with some Egyptian components intermingled deep inside where I took my first breath of life aside the Nile in Cairo. In an attempt to closely examine my identity,  I’ve witnessed vast changes, especially with the eruption of the late Arab Awakening season which ignited with the turn of the new year, 2011. The three decades which mark my existence on the planet, I had never seen or heard of an Arab country whose people exercise  freedom of any kind, the freewill to adopt beliefs and practices or any form of democracy whatsoever. I grew up hearing and reading about stories of torture in the dungeons of our Arab intelligence services. Whenever someone travelled, especially from Gaza, they had to be interrogated and could either be deported, imprisoned or even be disappeared into anonymity to a place we refer to in Arabic as being ” behind the sun”.

My personality began to mold itself as I became more aware of my national identity first, and then later my  Muslim  Arabic identity which extends to any Muslim or Arab country with whom I share so much regardless of the different languages, dialects and the lengthy distances which physically separate us. When I was in first grade, my home-class teacher asked one of the pupils a question he didn’t know the  answer to and was thus rebuked for his ignorance. I thanked God she didn’t turn to me for an answer because I would not have known what to say either. ” Are you a citizen or a refugee?”, was my  teacher’s unfair densely complicated question asked to  a six year old. I left Gaza at the age of ten and returned at the age of fifteen when I was about to enter 10th grade. To my discontent, my classmates pointed the same question at me, which baffled my curiosity. Of course I had learned the answer by then, which made no difference to me and I began to feel  offended by being asked that question which I believed was purely prejudiced. At university, a wide circle of my best friends were ” refugees” and as my knowledge of  the  refugee case began to broaden, I felt my sympathy grow with those who were displaced from their original villages and town in 1948. Stories of  hair-raising horror and obnoxious crimes against humanity further added a broader range to my identity and sense of unanimity with both ” refugees and citizens” alike . As I witnessed the last two years of the first Palestinian Intifada, it was clear enough that the  Israeli Occupation did not distinguish between the two categories of people. This attitude continued with in the second Intifada and during all major events which took place in Palestine.

What is the significance of all this?

So a great many will argue that what I am saying are plain facts, right? Yes, these are facts which have transformed my identity  into a more universal one,  if I may call it. I am not a refugee is a fact, but that has not made me senseless towards the suffering of my people who once lived in honor and dignity in their own homes and were suddenly uprooted and robbed from all their possessions by the Zionist clandestine military groups; the Irgun and Hagana. Mobs whose aim was to exterminate the indigenous population and replace it with actual imported Jewish refugees.  I can picture the horror which gripped mothers who ran barefoot with their terrorized children screaming and running in their trail trying to hold on to them. Hiding in bushes and seeking the cover of darkness to make their way to any safe place. Suffering sunstrokes, hunger, thirst and death along their wretched journey which was never planned or yet envisaged in the mind of any sound human being . To sleep in their own beds the night before and days later under the trees of orchards in Gaza Strip, and to be later settled in tents provided by what became known as the UNRWA. Today and over the past sixty years, we still see the Nakbah survivors holding on to their house keys and official documents which prove possession of their original lands in historical Palestine. They have fed the minds of their children and grandchildren with the story of their suffering and their uncompromising right to return to their homes. They realize it is a desolate path to which they have taken, but their staunch faith and resilience has dictated that they can never give  up on that right or turn it down for all the gold that money can buy.

So whether refugee or citizen, the Palestine People are united in their stance on the Right to Return to our land. I may not be from Haifa, Acre, Jerusalem, Beir Al-Sabah, Jaffa, Safad; but being a Palestine means I belong to Palestine, all of Palestine. I am denied to visit my Palestinian cities and towns just as the refugees are denied the right to return. I have to tolerate watching Zionists pray at Alburaq Wall (The Western Wall) when I am denied to rightfully pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque  and Dome of the Rock. Another fact, I am not the only person whose heart embraces this feeling , for every Muslim in any part of the world, remote or near shares me this nostalgia to pray in Al-Aqsa and kiss the ground on which it is deeply rooted.

We Shall All Return One Day Inshallah.

My speech at the meeting with the European Delegation: The Deprived Childhood of Gaza

The Deprived Childhood of Gaza

 There are many twists in the fate of Palestinians, particularly in the Gaza Strip, but in Palestine as a whole. Although most of these events have been excruciating – the outcome of protracted struggle – yet they are all significant steps in the one million mile journey of my people. Gaza, not more than 360 square kilometres, may be a tiny spot of land on the map, but for many around the world it has become legendary, the embodiment of steadfastness and perseverance for an epoch. Currently bled dry by the Siege imposed for over five years now, it still prides itself on teaching the rest of the world what dignity and honour mean. Impoverished families whose houses were demolished in front of their eyes remain unbowed, not willing to give up. Families who lost loved ones in their battle for freedom are determined more than ever. Their plights and misfortunes have only made them stronger, more adamant in their pursuit of liberty. This is the image with which we welcome a visitor to Gaza.

A couple of years back, I remember that I had to stay up on New year’s eve till the clock struck 12 to cheer out a ” Hey!” in welcoming the new year. I would scold my husband for not joining in and by his passive: ” So what?”. As the wheel of time turns, I witness a striking change in my attitude towards the notion of time.

Almost three years ago , new year was pouring hell over Gaza, so that totally obliterated any elated feelings one might have inside towards celebrating this annual event. Here in Gaza when new year draws near, it has become commonplace for people to commemorate the war instead of celebrating the new year. Even more, people now remember certain occasions in their lives by dating them back to the war. So it’s become obvious to hear things like:” No, that happened before the war; or ” Yeah, I graduated 2 months after the war”, or: ” we got married right just before  the war.” So, I’ve come to think that the people of Gaza have developed their own calendar system.

Given these facts, it will be hard to erase this system from the minds of the people here soon. I tested my own children on the New Year holiday to see what their little minds bore. So on this presumably happy occasion I asked my five year- old daughter:       ” Huda, do you know why we’re all on holiday today?”. Unwilling to give no for an answer, she bent her little head against her shoulder and answered with a smile: ” Because of the war”.

I was struck silent for a moment, but my curiosity rose, so I prodded: ” What is war?”. She replied in an assertive voice:” it’s the qasif; (shelling)”. I wondered, if this is what evolves in their little minds at the age of five , when will they live the phase of childhood? The minds of children in Gaza will strike you with wonder when you hear their conversation. No matter how hard you try to detach them from the harsh surrounding circumstances, it’s impossible to escape the questions they confront you with. For example, when they are immersed in watching TV and suddenly the power goes out, they’ll throw up a fit and scream: ” Mom, who makes the power go out?”. Or, when they refer to any broken object in the house as having been: “shelled!”. The question which stunned me the most was when I had told them about their dead grandfather who died from a stroke that he had gone to Heaven, one of them instantly replied:” Who shelled him?’. It’s quite clear that their mental dictionary has retained terminology that many other children in the outside world will never learn during childhood.

 Even on supposedly ordinary occasions, it turns out that keeping your children safe takes over your whole thinking. When I went to enrol them in elementary school, we  had to  choose one that was close to the house in case of  shelling. I was set on putting each one in a different class but the principal advised me that I should put all three in one class so if Israeli shelling occurs we don’t have trouble finding them.

In Gaza, it is more natural to think of death than it is of life. Sky gazing, which used to be a favourite pastime of mine, has turned into a gloomy and ghastly experience. The hovering of choppers and drones continue to spoil the serenity and beauty of the sky I used to know. On the ground, as you walk in the streets the walls are daubed with graffiti about martyrs. I pass a coffin cloth maker on my way home from work and think of how this man makes a fortune from death. I pass by the cemetery which is inside the city and see a sign that reads:  “There is no more room for burial here”, which people ignore because it is hard to make it to the one located in the eastern parts of city, close the Israeli borders. The children have developed their own worries and fears. Their innocent childhood has had to bear unbearable things. They have not been spared from the air strikes and have become an easy target for the Occupation. As a grown up, when you watch them shivering or crying when they hear a plane, your heart is shattered. Many children were targeted and murdered while playing outside in front of or on the roofs of their houses.  

As days pass by you watch your children grow into inquisitive youngsters. By age five or even less, they can tell what kind of plane is hovering above, and whether a rocket if falling from above or being launched from the ground. Occupation is the primary source of disorder and displacement in Gaza for all of us: anything else is secondary.

The question is: how do we go about raising our children in this kind of atmosphere. With many facts on the ground too difficult to hide from them, we feed them with bits just enough for their little minds to take in. However, the outcome is not always predictable, but ignoring these tough facts which stand in our way wherever we turn is not an option for a parent living in Gaza. For instance,  if we’re in the car taking the kids out to have fun, the car will stop at the traffic lights and they’ll be faced with a huge picture of a martyr on the wall and there comes the question: Mom , who is this? It is inescapable, so my natural answer is always: It is the Shahid, martyr. The term is not likely to be outdated by the time they grow up.

But life still goes on. Moreover, this lack of everything almost including our basic necessities does not include our morale and optimism. It does not include our resolve or faith. The people of Gaza have seen their small cities tumbling down before their eyes during the war.  They have seen their loved ones shot or burned to death in the most brutal way. These scars may be very hard to heal, but we Palestinians have also learned that sixty three years of struggle are too precious to waste. 

In Gaza…Is Home Different?

The house rocked with blasts and aftershocks as the Israeli war planes surprisingly fired nearly 6 rockets at a nearby building. It is in these situations one realizes the value of having a socio- psychological therapist among the family members at least for the kids’ sake. “Hey ,it’s thunder”, called out my sister-in-law, which seemed to make sense to some of the kids since it had been raining heavily all day and thunder was actually heard earlier. I guess when they’re still young, it’s easier to convince them of anything.

It was a matter of seconds before the shelling started and ended, but it was amazing how a stream of thoughts flowed in the mind during such a horribly swift interval. One thought dominated my mind: This could be the end. But then I remembered having heard some people who had survived the War two years ago say that they never even heard the rocket . Instead, all they recounted was being suddenly thrust up in the air and falling down again which clearly means: not knowing what hit them. Another thought that rushed through my mind which seems inexplicable to me now was how I was overwhelmed to go back home. Is it safer at my own house which is about ten minutes away from my parents’. ? In the late Offensive on Gaza, the Director of UNRWA operations , John Ging was reported saying: ” There’s no safe in Gaza”. So what is it about home that impelled my eagerness and assured me that it would be safer there at my house? What is it about home that soothes and comforts the heart? Is the meaning of home different in Gaza?

Home, for the Palestinian people has a predominant and distinguishably different meaning than it does to any other peoples. Home is the place which the Palestinian people were forcibly displaced from in 1948. Villagers lived peacefully on their own property, grazed their own sheep, cultivated their own land and supported their families. The survivors of the Nakba reported stories of horror and anguish on how they fled their villages and their long journey of hardships to Gaza. May were killed on the way; others collapsed and kids died from sunstrokes. Breathless and fatigued, those who survived the journey no longer had home. It took years for many of those, who soon were named Refugees, to be able to build a house of their own. Harshly enough, many of those had their houses bulldozed or shelled in the course of the struggle and returned to dwell in tents as their parents did upon the 1948 expulsion. So by all means, the physical structure of home is of tremendous value to the Palestinian people.

On my way to home, I contemplated the houses on the streets thinking how each one is precious to its owners. At that point, my sense of fraternal love for the people of Gaza told my heart that my own house which is my source of comfort is located inside my bigger home…Gaza. I acknowledge the fact that there may be no safe place in Gaza, but the bond that ties me to this soil is entrenched deep within running through my veins. To state it in simple words I think what I mean is: Home is where the heart is.

May Allah protect my big Home and make its nights and days peaceful so our children may have sweet and colorful dreams.

The Unabridged Encyclopedia of Atrocities

The Unabridged Encyclopedia of Atrocities

Both hidden and exposed, the whole world is closely observing an unpleasant combination of abuses and killings which dictators  are  perpetrating against their own peoples. It is almost as if they themselves have actually believed  with all their heart that they are immovable objects to whom the rest of the nation must succumb.

The tyrannical Pharaoh of Egypt in Prophet Moses’ time subdued his own people for decades and declared proudly that he was their God. Anyone found to worship anything else was killed. Believing he held divine and mighty powers, his haughtiness led him to order his assistant to build a stairway leading to the heavens so he may see Moses’ God with his naked eye.  A lifetime of carnages, injustice and cruelty lasted for the Pharaoh until that black moment came. So how did the Pharaoh meet his end? By a miracle and through a revelation from Allah, Moses struck the waters with his stick by which sea was divided into two separate masses. A path was made for Moses and the Believers to pass through and the Pharaoh and his men drowned. As the Pharaoh was drowning he cried in desperation: ” I believe that there is no god except Him Whom the Children of Israel believe in: I am of those who submit (to Allah in Islam).” Verse 90,Chapter 10 of Holy Quran. But alas, your acknowledgement of the truth was long overdue. You spent your whole life flagrantly rejecting the truth because your pride and feeling of superiority made you perceive yourself as someone who is out of the ordinary. You falsely conceived that you were endowed with mighty powers which placed you in a higher and more lofty rank than that of the common people. You turned your people into peasants who labored to fulfill your  desires. Did the word mortality ever cross your mind or ring in your head? Did you not learn when you saw people bury or make mummies of their dead that soon you would be buried or mummied yourself? Or was that thought too unpleasant for your mind to ponder.

The Late Pharaoh of 21st Century (Mubarak)

Retrospection of the past obviously helps in understanding the present. Thus, it is clear that you drew inspiration from that Pharaoh. You might have even paid him visits at the museum and meditated by his side. Have you ever pondered the words plight, disease, illness, poverty and unemployment or were they dropped from or rendered archaic in your mental dictionary. When your grandson became seriously ill, the private plane was ready to take him to France in no time because he deserved to receive treatment. Even your own enemies would have been willing to ensure proper treatment simply because it is a right every human being is granted under international humanitarian law. Unquestionably, any honorable, conscientious ordinary person would rush to put a smile on a child’s face again, let alone save his/her life. What about the hundreds of Palestinian children and infants who died in hospital beds or at the Rafah border because they were denied treatment. Did their impoverished and miserable circumstances deem them undeserving of getting a chance to live? Just as we grieved the children of Gaza who became victims of the siege you were accomplice in, we were saddened to hear that your grandson passed away. Yet, and through that clear message from Allah, we hoped it might soften your heart and remind you of other ill children that do actually exist inside the Gaza enclave. Children who were robbed the chance to live their playful childhood because, according to you, they were born in the wrong place.

What about the friends you flock with? Did they ever gave you any piece of good advice as true friends do, or have they boasted to you about and outdone you with their own series of atrocities committed against their own peoples? You have ardently and devotedly competed with your gruesome friends of Arab leaders who have pigeonholed their own people as the underdogs so they may never rise up or live in honor. By positioning yourself in such a patronizing place, you looked down to them and  ruled that they must never learn what freedom tastes, feels or smells like. If they wished  to live a good life that fed their bellies, they had to learn the art of obsequiousness to members of the Ruling Party which entails working as informers against their own people. Police officers were given the authority to grab any person off the street and torture him to death or throw him in a dungeon in which he was sure to be transformed into one of your men. Dozens  of such frightening  incidents passed so easily since no one dared to question or criticize the hideous actions of the police. Your devilish wits never stopped improvising methods to outrage your people. So, your circle of demon consultants enlightened you with the stupendous idea to stir chaos and disorder among the people. And as a sign of loyalty and confidence in their advice, you promptly gave orders to your Minister of Interior to bomb up a church on New year’s Eve when families were together celebrating this happy occasion.

All these horrendous deeds fill my mind with such enigmatic thoughts: What kind of heart is it that is buried in your chest? Surely, it must have demons  guarding it to prevent any atom of light or goodness to penetrate through. I can see it just  by closing my eyes; black and dreary, haunted by devils. How is it do you and your Arab leader friends undergo this evil transformation of the heart and mind so they become immune to feeling or understanding human emotions and the universal morals and principles innate in every normal human being.  Do you chose to be that way, or are you controlled from within by a dark power to which you are completely subdued? How is  it that you and your fellows mastered the art of producing such monsters? Did your witches’ brew consist of dirt and rocks to make your hearts hard …but rocks are not as hard as people accuse them of being: “Thenceforth were your hearts hardened: They became like a rock and even worse in hardness. For among rocks there are some from which rivers gush forth; others there are which when split asunder send forth water; and others which sink for fear of Allah. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do”.  Verse 74, Chapter 2 of Holy Quran.

Egypt is free now; Tunisia is free; Libya and Yemen following suit with heavy prices paid for the precious gift of freedom. But there remains another puzzling fact which suppresses any feeling of hope in those leaders; which is none seems to have a touch of wisdom that urges him to contemplate and learn from his predecessor. Despite the evil bond that ties them, each one thinks that he is somehow different than his counterpart.

Rana Shubair

Written on April 5th, 2011