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Rawan Yaghi: A Little Girl

The Children Of Gaza Tell Their Stories

A Little Girl


by Rawan Yaghi, 17 years

Sleep in here sleep little girl
I will keep you so warm
Sleep… darling I'll hold you so firm
You're here in my lap no need for fright
Keep on your happy sight
Sun will shine
Birds will wake the sleepy night
You're my….

My Mom suddenly stopped singing and stopped calmly smoothing my hair. Her hand also stopped shaking. She was holding me on her lap, trying to keep me warm on that cold night. It was so dark that I could barely see her face. She was very warm, but she was gradually losing that comforting heat. I tried to keep it, so I covered her with the small blanket she was covering me with and I stayed in her lap. Some minutes passed; however, she didn't continue singing, and her body kept getting colder. There was so much going on outside. I could hear a man weakly weeping. I thought she was listening to the sounds outside trying to know what was happening.

I sat beside her, for, then, she was so cold that I couldn't stay in her lap. "Mama, why is the man outside crying?" She didn't answer. She kept listening. I said no more. I may have slept for a short while after the noise was a little lower.

When I woke up I saw my mother with her eyes closed covered with my blanket. I thought she must have been awake the whole time I was sleeping, that's why I didn't try to wake her up; she would have got in a really bad mood if I did. I poured her some water and put it in front of her. She was still cold. I was cold too but I thought she was so much colder. I sat right opposite her and kept waiting for her to wake up and drink my glass of water, then thank me for it. Thinking of my dad and two brothers who went out of the house carrying a white shirt and how much noise happened after they left, how my mother followed them so fast and came back so slow, with that noise frequently coming back, I kept staring at her cold body.

Now, two years later I understand it all, the cold, the whimper, my dad's white shirt, my brothers, everything, even the mess outside. I understand why the men who came that morning took only me and why they wouldn't listen to me yelling at them saying that my mother is still there, feeling very cold.

*************

Rawan Yaghi
25th December,2010



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