I am the founder and director of We Are Not Numbers, a storytelling project for Palestinian youth in the occupied territories and refugee camps. One of the practice exercises recently was to write a story in just six words, reflecting one aspect of life in Gaza or Lebanon (wherever they live). Participants loved it so much that many wrote more than one! Below, I share some of the results–six-word glimpses into the inner life and thoughts of refugees.
Gaza reality – Heba Zaher
- “Let’s study.” The power went out.
- For sale: Gazan passport, never used.
- They killed her; something changed: numbers.
- She decides to rot in bed.
Holocaust to Palestine – Ghada Al-Haddad
- Expelled from Europe; holocaust in Palestine.
- Kills Palestinians; yet he’s called “hero.”
- War. Ceasefire. War. Ceasefire. Pause. Fire.
- Stray shrapnel hits, now paralyzed forever.
- War has ended, but trauma hasn’t.
- Only three: me, darkness and cold.
- Given a blanket; still not warm.
- Miss my old, broken-roof home.
- Lamp light: two hours until power.
- Waking up: the only work available.
Resistance – Ghada Ahmed
- He pointed his gun; she smiled.
- The right to belong—a reason to die
- The child’s no longer a child.
- The story of their home, now ashes.
- Mother’s eyes: gloom, but light remains.
Simple math — Yasmin Hillis
- Their dad left, in a coffin.
- An air strike; no one left.
Refugee forever – Huda Dawood
- Syrians too? Palestinians are enough.
- Live in camps; just no tents.
- Qualified for the job, but Palestinian.
- Have an opinion? Not your country!
Women struggle for justice — Duaa Ardat
- Colorful clothing doesn’t mean vivid life.
- Gender-based violence stole her femininity.
- Peace is not absence of war.
- And then we faded into oblivion.