P B B Y

Khitam from IBBY library in Gaza is a laureate in UNESCO ISF "WORLD TALES"

Monday 9 August 2021 by Rania

IBBY Palestine was very happy to receive the followig letter to Khitam Hissi :

Dear Khitam al-Hissi,

We hope that this email finds you and your loved ones well and healthy in these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are writing to you to inform you that your entry to the UNESCO Idries Shah Foundation "World Tales" Short Story Competition, which had been shortlisted with 60+ other stories, deeply moved the International Jury.

Congratulations, you have been selected as a laureate!{{}}

Khitam has been an active member in IBBY al- Shawka library in Gaza since 2015

We the Children Won!

This story started in our neighborhood with a big disagreement between my father and the father of my friend Maha. My father said: this land is ours and we have to join it to our house and my friend’s father said: this land is ours and we won’t let anyone else have it…
Before all this we were neighbours - like one family, we shared everything and swapped kitchen utensils. My mother and the mother of my friend Maha were like any friends from long ago…
Whenever we had a happy occasion they would be the first to join in, and on sad occasions they would share our grief as if it were their own…
I and my friend Maha would visit each other until dark. We would talk a lot, and if she was absent one day I would ask about her.
The disagreement between the two families got bigger over time. Maha and I felt that we were too small to do anything about this big problem, so we kept silent. There were very few visits, and my mother returned all the utensils and other necessities she had borrowed.
Although the area was a small piece of land in the neighborhood, it became a huge problem between the two families…
I met my friend Maha at the local shop. At the time it was as if she did not want to greet me, but I approached her and said: I miss you a lot… She did not speak but embraced me and cried…
I told her, the problem is getting bigger between my father and yours. What is the solution so that we can return to how we were?
My friend had an idea and said: why shouldn’t the space be ours? We will bring all the toys from both our houses and put them in the separating space.
I liked the idea. I ran home and I fetched all my toys, the dolls and the plastic swing. Maha also brought out all her toys and pictures and dolls, and even her siblings’ toys.
My father and Maha’s father saw this and smiled. They said: this space will remain as it is, no one owns it except our children, it is for them to play in!

Khitam al-Hissi
12 years old
Rafah - Gaza Library
IBBY Palestine


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