Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Palestinian youth tell the human stories behind the numbers in the news

Mohammed Arafat | 21-12-2018

 

Pencil drawing of a refugee child

I came from a beautiful place,
Full of trees of olives and oranges,
A running river and golden beach.
From north to south and east to west.

We had our own land,
a spacious house.
animals for food and milk.
I was a poet,
my sister an engineer,
my brother a doctor.
My parents owned a business,
And my mom was pregnant;
she wanted twins,
a boy and a girl.

I loved my country.
We lived in peace.
Until the hatred spread:
of my family,
my religion,
the way we talked.
We were unwanted.

They knocked down the door of my family’s home
and “disappeared” my father and brother.
My mother aborted the twins for whom she hoped.
I tried to protect my sister from rape,
but I couldn’t.
How cowardly I was!

We decided to leave, to flee.
Like thousands, we walked toward a mirage,
a dream of a better life.
My mother could barely walk,
my sister lost in her personal pain.
Only cacti, heat and sun for miles:
We crossed rivers and deserts.
mountains, hills and valleys.

Smugglers awaited us at the border,
demanding thousands to pass to a safe place.
“If you don’t pay, you die!”
What lay ahead we did not know.
But I knew no place could be better
than where I was born.

Posted: December 20, 2018


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