Once upon a time, my mother was alive

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  Palestinian woman  Photo: Sharif Karim

Her body is cold. Really cold. She lisps no words; she catches no breaths; the sparkled eyes are centered somewhere on the ceiling, and she twinkles not. Her heart beats not; her very lovely smiles are seen not; she screams not, and she moves not. Everything around seems unusual—the white coffin she is enforced in, the keffiyeh over her shattered head, the spots of blood beneath her neck and the stained, dirty floor.

My mother –the passionate mother, the loving and soothing– was a mother, who left an infant child behind to tell this callous world of her own story. She grew young— she grew up—she grew old—she loved—she smiled—she laughed –she cried—she wept—and she is gone! An Israeli airstrike penetrated her heart. The heart that could flood the whole world with tenderness, sympathy, passion and love was uprooted by an Israeli female soldier (or mother), whose heart is a place where darkness, inhumanity and arrogance advance, as she advances in age.

That was ten years ago, when the Aqsa Intifada first erupted. I myself was 11 years old. Never had I thought that my mother would die in front of my eyes. I remember every minute detail; the sun was hung in the middle of the sky, and schools’ students were rushing home. My mother and I were going to pick up my brother, but the Israeli Apaches hit us. They alleged that they targeted a passing resistance leader. They targeted us, actually. I survived somehow because my mother embraced me tightly to her chest, and jammed me to the ground. She got all the hits. And died!

For moments I was lost in thought, and I became a grownup. I promised the sacred corpse to tell the whole story. I always begin with “once upon a time, my mother was alive”.

About Waleed al-Meadana

Waleed al-Meadana is a 21-year-old Palestinian. His grandparents were expelled from Jaffa. He is a lecturer at the University College of Applied Sciences (UCASGaza).

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