A Land Fueled by People and Stones

Monday 10 February 2014

This moving piece by writer Dima Sehwail written during the 2008-9 war on Gaza it was published in IBBY 33rd Congress book and of the few items read in one of the plenary sessions

A land fueled by people and stones

Faces of people in my country

Their fingers



And tongues will one day stand witness to our weakness

As for little girl’s braids, it is the curse that will haunt us each time we brush our hair…


The little girl woke up to find one of her braids soaking in blood, the other one fell under the ruins of the house.

She cried and cried till she realized that her braids were resting by her mother’s side under the rubble of the house .

She is confident her mother will brush it and fix the colored ribbons to it.

The little girl is still waiting for her mother to rise from under the rubble with the braid in her hand.


The little boy woks up, he couldn’t find his coloring box.

He looked in the rubble but only found the color red. He picked it with his soft fingers and tried to draw on the standing wall.

But the color red was there no more, for it all went to cover the bodies of his brothers lying at the foot of that wall.


The grandmother went to the bed earlier than usual…

After few minutes sleep, she woke up feeling bad because she forgot to tell her grandchildren a bed time story.

Cain in hand she went into the dark.. searching for them .she tried hard not to stumble over the many shattered bodies.

She then put them together and told them a story about the city whose children went away without bidding their grandmother goodbye…


Walls of the house refused to fall over bodies so small as their mother begged them so.

The walls could stand the shelling no more and begged to borrow for few seconds some of the mother’s tenderness to embrace the children within its arms.


The little ones raised their hands to the white clouds beseeching them to spin a waterfall to wash the dust of their father’s burnt body.

The clouds obeyed and washed the dust off their father’s burnt body.

The little ones looked but did not recognize his features and went on to look for another body that is not burnt.

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