Photo Courtesy: http://www.camdennewjournal.com/
I am the child of the world
born with universal faith and hope
I am the child of Adam and Eve
doesn’t matter if my dad is Abdullah, Salman or Steve
I am the child of Syria
Today was a very sad day at school. It was the burial of my favourite teacher Miss fidya and the compound was covered with people from the media. I remember looking at her with so much admiration, as she talked with so much inspiration. Her smile glowed in the daylight like the moon in the darkest of nights.
‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’
‘I want to be like you; a teacher, a great leader’
She would then smile and pinch at my tiny nose. oh…this is surely more than a loss. The story went round between cries and low whispers. Of how her house was bombed and shattered to pieces. She died alongside her husband, daughters and nieces. The other teachers were slowly weeping too; not just for Miss Fidya but for all the teachers and students our school had lost too. And now I have changed my mind. I don’t want to be a teacher anymore. I don’t want to die like miss Fidya or the others. I don’t want to be a teacher anymore because I am scared to be one.
I am the child of Palestine
My favourite day is eid day because that is the day I get to play with fireworks together with my friends. We all wear good clothes and just after the prayers we go round with my friends buying all colourful fireworks for the night. We go to the park and swing and play the whole day. I love eid. It is a lovely day because I get to eat very tasty foods and snacks from relatives and neighbours. When the night comes, we gather with many other boys and light the fireworks. I love the fireworks; they give me the thrill and really excites me. But now eid is no longer eid. We no longer have eid in our neighbourhood. All we have is long scary days filled with the dust of bombs and explosives. Houses are broken down and we can no longer play outside. Fireworks frighten me nowadays. They remind me of the explosions I hear everyday. I don’t like fireworks anymore; they remind me of our grief, sadness and doom. They remind me that we can never light up the sky with beautiful colours and patterns anymore and instead we have huge infernos lighting up our skies. They remind me that we can never have eid anymore…
I am the child of Yemen
The child who keeps dreaming of honey and heaven. I have a neighbour who has a bakery just across my home. Every evening after school I go to the bakery and watch him make delicious cookies, bread and donuts. I enjoy seeing him put cream in a beautiful way on the cakes and he makes sure to put some on my face. Whenever I would ask him why he would say, ‘you are my birthday girl.’
‘But it is not my birthday.’
‘You are special and birthdays are special and cakes are special so you are my birthday girl.’
I would laugh loudly with amusement and I would ask him the question everyday just to hear him call me ”My birthday girl”. Then hunger striked our city just like the war brought down our city. The baker still made his delicious bread in silence and grief could be seen on his face. Everyone was hungry and he had to lower the prices so to help others. But soon afterwards, people and children came in multitides crying of their broken homes and hunger; he would give them bread for free. Soon there was no flour, sugar or oil to do anything. Hunger was slowly creeping to his door too. He was sad but I still went to him every evening; not to bake or make bread anymore but to sit with him outside his bakery where he sat with his radio listening closely. I would watch him in silence and wonder.
‘Why do you sit here amo?’
‘I am waiting to hear for the day that I can get my supplies of flour, sugar and oil again.’
‘But why not listen at home?’
‘Because closing down my bakery would mean I have given up hope. I don’t want to give
up hope. I have faith in Allah.’
That was enough to convince me, and we would sit in silence listening to what the radio had to announce. The baker no longer called me ‘my birthday girl’ coz he no longer had cream to put on my face nor a cake to offer. ..but I understood him and still wanted to sit by him. Soon, the war got worse, I couldn’t go to school nor could my mum allow me to even go to the baker again. It was too dangerous. It made me so sad; how would i learn how to bake anymore? I would roam around the house aimlessly; waiting for the worst like everyone else. As for the baker, I just watched him through our window as he sat outside his empty bakery listening to his radio. He still won’t give up. He still had faith…
I am the child of Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Kenya. I am the child of numerous other countries too. I am the child of the universe and the world. I am the child whose dreams are broken in the name of war and terror. I am the child who is deprived from happiness and peace. I am the child who wants to dream yet my soul is held captive in the nightmares of terror. I am the little bird wanting to fly, please don’t break my feeble wings. I am the child of not just a particular country, I am the child of every parent; the daughter of every mother and the son of every father. I am your child, please don’t let me die. I am the child speaking for all the children of the world, please let me grow. I am the child of the world.