Translated by Saed Bannoura

Army, military operations and invasions took lives of innocent civilians, yet it reached to the small dreams of youths and children and took them away.

Heavy artillery, tanks and missiles continued their way, to prove its superiority in the small dreams of Palestinian children.

Hamad Al-Neirab, 11 years old, from Al-Shabora refugee camp, in Rafah, could not make his dream true, and his vision amidst the continuous air strikes and shelling which polluted the air, and the tiny dreams.

Hamad, the child, loved the famous soccer player, Ronaldo, his dream was to become the Ronaldo of Palestine, wearing his shirt carrying No. 9, and raising the Cup in the middle of Rafah refugee camp.

The dream ended suddenly, May 10th, was the end of his dream; Hamad and his brothers were listening to the Radio, following the news about Tel Al-Sultan neighborhood, which became a battle field crushed by Tanks and used as a training zone to the military snipers, practicing their hobby of killing the tiny dreams.

Hamad joined the peaceful procession in Tel Al-sultan neighborhood, “There wasn’t any armed person in the procession, not even flags, we were chanting against the military operations in Tel Al-Sultan, lots of children were there, all hand in hand, suddenly the tanks came and started to shoot, and fired two shells, I managed to run away, but the Helicopters were waiting for us. I felt am flying in the air, dust all over, and I fell down… I could not feel my leg, I tried to stand but I couldn’t, I was bleeding… my leg was about to fall and apart of my body” Hamad said.

“I started to scream, and calling for help, a medic approached me and carried me, it was a horrible scene, children screaming, wounded and covered with blood, they I was unconscious”. He added.

Hamad continued, “I woke up when I was in an ambulance, a scene I can never forget, we were four children in the ambulance, it was covered with blood, the scene and my pain, made me forget my leg, the doctor was putting bandages on it and told me to put my hand on a neck of a bleeding child to stop the blood until he saves me”.

The dream of “Ronaldo” disappeared, his hopes and dreams, yet he lost his leg, the new reality forced him to start thinking of a new dream, to be an engineer, but still he has to overcome his pain and loss.

“I can’t be Ronaldo without my legs, one leg is not enough, this is football not chess” he said, “I still have my hands, when my father works and have some money he will teach me”, (the father stood there with an artificial smile to cheer his son).

The 67 years old father stood there, besides his son, carrying his pain and tears, which never stopped flooding, looking at his son, which the missiles shaped a new future for him.

“I will do my best, to fulfill the new dream of my son”, the father said.

Hamad, was transferred to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital, through bad streets, erased by the tanks and shelling.

His father said that after he was wounded, he could not reach his son directly, he had to walk under fire, and shelling to reach his boy.

“I could not find my son at the Hospital, and I couldn’t go to Khan Younes, the city was besieged, on the second day they brought my son to the “European Hospital”, I took a carriage and went through the fields, then I walked, bending between here and then, to avoid the bullets until I reaches.

“When I reached to the Hospital, he added, I couldn’t bear what I saw, I lost consciousness for a while, his life changed, his dreams…” the father added.

“I hope and pray that I will be able to help him and achieve his dreams”, the father said.

Hameeda Qistha, the mother of the child, a 52 years old woman, said that she could only see her son after five days, “he is disabled now, because he participated in a peaceful protest” she said after seeing and knowing that he lost his leg.

“I couldn’t go to the hospital to see my son, the city was closed, I can’t walk through the fields like my husband, soldiers everywhere, checkpoints, shootings and shillings”, she added.

“When I learned that he lost his leg, I felt that my heart dropped, I can’t believe it yet, I can’t…,” the mother said while looking at her son.

Hamad, the small child, was not the only child with big dreams which vanished amidst the dust of the bombs.

There are tens of Ronaldos; Beckhams among the Palestinian children, all had their dreams buried under the ruins of the shells homes and streets.

Dr. Jawad Al-Teeby, Minister of health in the P.A said on the “Child Day”, that more than 722 children were killing by the army since the beginning of the Intifada in August-September, 2000.

The small children, with big dreams, as all the children of this world have, are scattered and flew away with the dust and ruins of Rafah as well as many other refugee camps, villages and cities in the occupied territories.