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

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

Where were you?

Basman Derawi | 27-12-2020

Where were you
on this day in 2008
when the assaults started?
The question opens my unhealed scars.
A flashback to the first day of war:
the beginning of my PTSD,
a day I will never forget.

It was a peaceful Saturday,
Shabbat Shalom or that's what I thought
I was on my way to university
before the first explosion assaulted my ears.
For a while I thought the wheel of the car
in which I was riding had blown out.
Until I saw the black clouds
over the sky of Gaza.

It was the first time I smelled blood.
In the street a handsome, young guy
was now a guy marked with a scar--
forever a topic of conversation.

For others, it was worse:
It was the first time children witnessed
dead bodies lying in the road,
stealing their childhood,
turning them into men.
It was the first time when fathers
cradled their lifeless daughters,
dividing their hearts into parts.

1,391 says B’tselem:
the number of dead in
Operation Cast Lead.
Each had a story.

Posted: December 27, 2020

Mentor: Pam Bailey


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