I wish your summer 2014 didn’t stop you from going to the beach. I wish you never had to fear your soccer matches on the streets. I wish you spent your summer nights in cafes and by the sea, instead of with the debris of your shattered homes, counting the dead, in grief. I wish you never had to look for shelters in your schools, I wish you didn’t have to pray for your friends in the ICU. I wish you never knew the sky could rain red on hot Summer mornings. I wish your bedrooms still smelled of you, that they didn’t take that away too. I wish your small hands never had to grip unto stones for defense, and that you never had to forfeit your innocence to their big army tanks.
I wish you never had to grow up in violence and under siege. I wish you never had to learn about their F-16’s. I wish you never understood checkpoints and settlements. I wish you didn’t have to watch them take your fathers away. I wish your mothers, who anxiously waited 9 months for you and once dreamed of raising your children too, were never accused of using you as human shields. I wish we never knew you as an aftermath, an orphan, a lost limb, a broken piece. I wish you could run for your dreams faster than you could run for your life. I wish we knew you as more than a statistic, perhaps an aspiring mathematician, or even a poet.
I wish you never hurt the way you do, every day. I wish you never had to celebrate your six birthdays behind fences and between walls. I wish you could’ve climbed the olive trees before they destroyed them whilst annexing more land. I wish you knew you could go far, perhaps swim in the ocean, or just visit your auntie who lives a few kilometers away. I wish the only curfew you couldn’t miss was your mother’s kitchen clock, and that you didn’t have to force your small body in between theirs to stop them from capturing your best friend on a Friday morning. I wish electricity and clean water weren’t the only things you wished for every year. I wish you knew you could have more.
I wish you had more time to make mistakes and contradict your choices. I wish your lives gave you more than the will of resistance. I wish you had a chance to fall in love, perhaps wear your white, perhaps a family of your own. I wish you would’ve learned that life is too short to be wasted in fear, instead of having them cut your life short in fear. I wish you wore your graduation gowns and walked down those aisles with your diplomas held higher than you could reach.
I wish the world never forgot you. I wish they could fight harder for your lives. I wish you knew you mattered more than their status and wealth. I wish it took them less than 66 years to realize you’re human too. I wish you knew that some of us will continue to fight in your names. I wish my wish could take it all away and make it all okay.
I wish my wish mattered.
I wish you knew. I wish too.
Beautifully written Nadine.
If you were wondering why so few people have commented Nadine, it’s because after your piece there is nothing left to say.
Thank you for an excellent clarification!! I too am Arab and Christian.
very wonderful Nadine go on