Let me tell you who I am first. I am the unfortunate!

I am a 12 year old citizen of Syria. Or at least I used to be!

I used to love my country. Its heritage and everything about it! Now as I look around, all I can see is rubble, debris and broken buildings.

When I lean on my window and look outside, I don’t see my old backyard anymore. I don’t see my best friend’s home across the street. I cannot wave out to her anymore. All I see are men with guns, crooked smiles and broken teeth. They don’t look pleasant. I see things falling from helicopters. It’s almost like a game now that I play with myself. Counting the number of bombs that fall from each plane! I would have played it with my younger brother. He liked playing with me. But just last week, I saw him lying outside our house, covered in blood and dirt. For a five year old, his life shouldn’t have been this short-lived and he didn’t deserve to go like this.


I sometimes pat myself on the head and pretend like ma is right here.

The loud explosive noises used to scare me at night before. I used to run into Ma and Papa’s room and she would pat my head till I dozed off. Now when I run around in our half-broken house, Ma’s room is just a pile of rocks. Two days ago, some men had come home and tried moving the rocks. They pulled Ma and Papa from underneath. I stood there watching. What could I have done? Tears didn’t roll down my cheeks for some reason. I was standing there numb. Now, when I wake up at the sound of bombs at night, I cannot do anything but wait till it’s over. I sometimes pat myself on the head and pretend like ma is right here.

The days seem really long. And the nights, even longer! It gets lonely sometimes. I am hungry. There’s a piece of bread that I’ve hidden under the cupboard. It smells a little but I take a bite from it every day. It’s not a lot. Ma wouldn’t have liked seeing me like this at all. She would have cooked for me, hugged me and told me it would soon be over. I like to imagine she will come.

But she doesn’t. She never comes.

It’s a matter of days that another bomb will fall on my house. I hope it falls on my room. And when it does, I hope it happens at night when I’m sleeping. You know, it’s funny how I cannot handle pain very well.


A harmless citizen.



Author: Zainab Haji

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