A child from Hadidya: I ask God to remove the scourge of conquest"

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רחל אפק
אפרוחים על ערמת מזוודות

From now till October-November we will live with these hues. The heat is already oppressive as we roll towards winter, as usual.  The harvest is almost over, and the sheep are nibbling the dry stubble and surely cursing Allah as they hear the shepherds do, and praying for shade.

Aside from that everything is dynamic.  A first grandchild is born and there is great joy, and next month R. will give birth to a ninth babyinfo-icon, followed by R. a fifth baby, and the tent is bustling with life. Mattresses and blankets are stacked in the corner, and on top of them and everywhere, kittens and chicks and birds gather ... True, there are no mice ... and the goat comes to drink the whey left  from the curdled cheese.

And in closing, the voice of a 14-year-old girl, following the war in Gaza.

There is  joy everywhere with the arrival of the holiday. Children are getting ready to put on new holiday clothes, mothers are busy preparing the Maamul (cookies) and fathers in the holiday prayers, after a month of fasting full of beautiful moments that remain sacred. A month of fasting, then three more days of festivity.

I opened my phone and found Jerusalem shouting, Where is Salah a-Din? Where is Amr Ibn as-As?

I have seen images I have never seen before. Assault on girls, arrests of young children, control of houses, bombing of houses and residential buildings, martyrdom of children, taking children out from under the rubble as someone looking for a needle in a pile of straw.  Body parts, no arms or legs, an agonized face without eyes, a crying child, a child looking for his parents, a confused mother helping herself or her one-year-old child, children not sleeping for fear the occupation chokehold will come knocking down their homes, children sleeping in holiday clothes, waking up and finding themselves birds of paradise.

How can these children feel the joy of the holiday while in the cave of sadness and worry?

I ask God to remove the scourge of occupation, to protect the people of Gaza and its children who die without sin and to protect Palestine.

Wa’ad Bsharat, the Jordan Valley