A Shell that Took the Smile of Two Innocent Eyes

Moments of silence, a killing silence, control the place, calmness interrupted every short period with moaning, the atmosphere was so damp, I felt that she will choke at any moment, since she could even take a clear breath without tears.

With a sound so dim and law, filled with bitterness “Abeer” started telling her story, the story of martyrdom, of angles, the last moment of the live of her two angles.

The son of Abeer “Shaheed” [Martyre] as she chose to call while telling her story, and his sister Malak [Angel; her real name is Wa’ed).

Abeer remember the sad moments, the calmness before the blast, the moment before a tank shell blasted in the first floor of her home, in Ramallah, on the last day of April, 2004.

The blast claimed the lives of her two children, taking away two innocent flowers, Shahid, the seventh years’ old child, and Malak, 4 years old, in addition to a Youngman who was living in the lower floor, were the blast occurred.

Abeer, soaked with tears, and a heart which became too tired to pound, said: “when Shahid came back from school, he sat in front of the TV with his sister, Malak, and watched some Cartoon, then Shahid went outside to play, football with his friend Hasan, in a small yard in front of our home… my child loved soccer, loved to watch soccer cartoons and games, he loved Saturday because it included sports at school”, she added.

The mother, stopping each time to take her breath, continued, “at 7:30 in the evening, he came back home, and asked me to prepare a sandwich for him, and so I did, and gave him his milk, after eating and drinking his milk, he went to play with his brothers, laughter filled the home”

“I asked them to go to bed, but they said that they want to see their father when he comes back from work, Shahid wanted to see him, talk to him and play with him…and when their father came, and saw them, they asked him to buy them some food [Falafel] and went to their rooms to play, while I went to do some laundry…”

The mother paused…shed tears, and blew a breath overloading her tired body,

“At this moment I heard a huge explosion, I didn’t know what happened, I heard my kids calling me, Mama…Mama…, and they were appealing, I used all of my power and entered their room…it was so dark, I scream and called their names…but no one replied, suddenly I heard the sound of my daughter, and started to hope and pray that they are well…”

Abeer, telling a story with a heavy burden and sadness, crying one, drying her tears, hardly breathing, continued…

“I felt something, as if it is a heaving thing stopping me from taking any step forwards, I started to call and scream, help me, anybody help, my kids, I appealed everybody to save my kids under the wreckage of our home”

“A short while passed and rescues teams arrived, they rescued my while I was screaming, my kids…save them…I begged them not to transfer me to a hospital before I see my kids, but they told me to calm down, everything is going to be alright…”

Abeer paused again, and this time blasted, crying and screaming, yet determined to tell the story of a cold blooded crime…

“I arrived to the hospital in the ambulance, never stopped calling for my kids, but nobody answered; I felt that there is something wrong, I jumped out of the bed in the hospital, the voice of Wa’ed was still in my ears,

“The rescuers were still searching for the children, until they found my son, but he was dead, and continued their search for Malak, until they found her body, she was dead too, and when my husband returned, he saw our home, a complete wreckage, and naturally expected a disaster,

On the second day, the husband came to the hospital, and when he entered the room where his wife is she directly asked about her kids, he said, after a moment of silence, that they are in the Intensive Care Unit, but shortly after that he told me, “We should accept the destiny and informed me of their death”

I insisted to see them, to see my angles, she added, “when I saw their faces, smashed, deformed I touched them and asked them to forgive me…to forgive me for not being able to save them, and asked their father to burry me next to them…”

I planted roses on their tombs, yellow and white roses, Shahid loved the white color and Malak always loved the yellow”….

They were angles, bright filled with dreams of a better future, like all kids had their own small world, which known no hatred, a small rosy world, crushed and scattered by one shell, the two kids had a special relation which united them, among their other sisters and brothers, they were always together, filling the home with joy…

They did not carry guns, not even stones…they only carried their small toys, in the safest place for any kid, the bedroom, but one shell of destruction ended their dreams, ended their lives, the lives which never new that a game with toys, is not a game of blood…

Translated by: Saed Bannoura, IMEMC

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