Just another Syrian child

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I don’t remember what happened exactly, I was sleeping in my mom arms… and it was a quiet trip, the sea was calm, maybe more than what it should have been… she told me ‘’we’re going to somewhere safe, where we can find peace and happiness’’. ‘’safe… peace… happiness’’, I did never know the real meaning of these words… since I came to this world; all I lived was war, terror, sorrow… nothing more.

In few hours,  a strong wind started blowing, and shooting our boat right and left… everybody were screaming while I said to mom ‘’you told me that we would never feel the fear again’’ but she couldn’t answer me… she raised her head looking in choc at that big wave coming toward us… it overturned the boat and I didn’t feel her arms surrounding my shaky body anymore… the flow took me away, I was screaming for her, I wanted her to save me, to protect me but she didn’t answer me this time… and… after that… that’s it… I don’t remember anything else… nothing…

I am awake now, my mom is lying far from me I wanted to run to her but… wait… I see me lying on that sand too… the sea threw me there; I left my body… is it the meaning of being dead?

I heard my elder brother talking about his dreams once… he said: ‘’when all this is over, when Syria is healed I’ll open a school and I’ll be a teacher’’… I didn’t have the time to build my own dreams… I was born mature… maybe my elder brother was more naïve than me because he felt peace and happiness before all this started while I didn’t…

I don’t get it, did I do anything wrong to get punished like this? Did I fight anybody or hurt anyone? What is my fault? What is my relationship with all of this? Is it the tax I should pay because I am Syrian? I am just a child; I can barely express what is going on in my mind… I didn’t feel what it’s like to go to school or to visit an amusement park… what is my guilt?

I don’t want to hear your lame excuses; all that I’ve been taught is that nobody has the right to decide the end of my life because they want it to end… I don’t even know how to count how long I stayed on this earth but I can feel that it was a very short period.

You ruined my world with cold blood… you killed the ones I loved and stole my innocence before I even feel it… just to extinguish another flame of hope. What kind of human beings are you? What kind of hearts are you carrying within? My mom says that you don’t have ones, that’s why you can’t feel the hurt that we are feeling. I told her once that I didn’t want to have a heart too because I hate to feel that hurt but she told me that I would be just like you, another horrible criminal…

I feel calm now, very calm; the sound of silence is amazing. I’m in the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, I don’t feel the fear anymore… My mom was not kidding when she said that we were going to somewhere safe, I am between Allah hands… so this is peace; this is happiness… what a nice feeling… do you feel it too mom?

I am sleeping in peace even if my body is freezing there on that rough sand, with those bloody wounds and bruises; I feel the peace but do you on your pillows of silk, in your warm castles?

I am meeting Allah and I am telling Him what you did to me, that you burned my hopes, learned me fear and took even the smallest happy things in my life; that you filled my heart with agony, that you hurt my beloved ones although we did nothing wrong… that you didn’t let me sleep my nights with your fire and bombs and banned the existence of every green plant on this land… that you made me think that this world can only be ugly and horrible.

I am meeting Him and I’ll make sure you’ll pay for everything you have done to us… I can’t expect for you less than being expelled from Allah’s mercy… my curse of that little baby lying on the sand will follow you for the rest of your life until the hereafter. And all what I want to say: I feel petty for you!

Norhane Chadli
February 2016

N.B: I used Alan (the child in the picture) just as a symbol of the sufferance of the Syrian refugees. This is not his real story… What happened to him is still happening to other Syrian children in so many different ways.

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