War Ethics

ImageA moment of peace goes to the hundreds that have been chocked by chemicals. Chemicals? Yeah chemicals! A chemical massacre occurred in the eastern capital of Syria. This happened on Wednesday, the 21st of August, 2013. Everyone will remember this date from Wednesday and so on. And maybe no one will remember this date, because the worse is on its way.

1,600 were dead, and 3,600 were injured. For a number, it’s too much. How about if most of them were children and women? They’re not just 100, 200, or even 300, they’re 1,600. The devil himself did not think of doing that.

ImageThe scene was horrible, what if I was there reporting the news or even helping people. Young blue kids were in the hands of their parents, not talking, breathing, or even doing any single reaction. That hurts! I felt like something stuck in my heart and throat; it did not go out either by screaming or by crying.

Taking into consideration both parties, to fight there should be some kind of war ethics. Neither Islam, nor Christian, nor Judaism accepts what happened. Even other sectors such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and etc… Every kind of religion aims humanity.

War ethics come from the state that both parties should be ready for fighting. What I mean that certain men should be qualified and ready to fight. Fighting should be in a land faraway from civilian and innocent people, and from children and women. Fighting should be from a certain time to a certain time; for example, from dawn to sunset. The fighter should have the right to relax, sleep, and eat.

That is war ethics. But too bad, for people who did what happened on Wednesday, will never know all of the above.

No Name

no_nameI spent hours to find an appropriate name for this era, but nothing came up. It’s a period filled with rappers, murders, burglars, kidnappers, and much more. I really do not know what to call it since it’s a combination of all of the above. I open the TV one day to find hundreds of children, women, and men laid dead on the ground. The other day to find some have been kidnapped and no one knows where they are now. Three weeks ago I’ve seen the weirdest thing ever. A guy got married to a girl from another religion without the approval of her parents. Months later, her parents called her husband to make reconciliation. As a matter of fact, they deceived him and cut off his male reproductive organ as a revenge of what have happened. How can they do that? Do those people have the right to?

yin-yangNowadays we have reached a level where we have animals’ rights and no one have thought of establishing humans’ rights. Though they say humans’ rights exist, I say it’s virtual. It’s really funny that we have reached the 21st century and the black and the white still fight sometimes. What’s different between both is the skin pigment. The heart is a heart in both, and the brain is a brain in both. So why don’t you use your hearts to love each other and use your brains to think that in life we need both colors the black and the white. The grey is important as well. It’s a mix between the black and the white, it signifies unity. Did you get now why it’s a NO NAME ERA???

This Can’t Be

Based on a True Story.

I can’t live without you, and I wouldn’t have lived except beside you.

Where have you gone? Please come back!

I wish I could have given you my life for you to live it.

How I am supposed to live this whole life without you?

Days ago you were my fiancé, my life, and my future wife.

I missed your hugs. Where did your smile and tears go?550px-I-Will-Never-If-You-Never

I missed your smell.

You were my all.

That day you were so happy that you got your wedding dress. We were on our way back, and I wish we didn’t go back.

lace-back-wedding-dress-bridal-gown-wedding-dress-veluz-reyez-3I woke up to see them carrying your coffin on their shoulders. Where are they taking you? I cried loudly.

This was your funeral my beautiful bride.

I ran to talk to you. Why didn’t you answer me? Answer me. Look into my eyes. Tell me you love me. Smile. Cry. Shout. Do anything.

I smelled your soil and the blood on your clothes.

Please God be with me and with her parents in this moment. Please God help us bear the loss.

100430_bride_and_groomI wish your parents have seen you a bride, wearing a white dress, walking with me down the aisle, and started throwing us with flowers.

They truly covered your coffin with flowers, and they truly saw you wearing white. This white color was a white fabric covering your body.

muslim-funeral-burial-janaza-in-ramadan-at-york-cemetery-north-york-monday-29-ramadan-1429-september-29-2008The hardest moment when they covered your body and face with soil. This was the last time I am going to see your beautiful face.

You’re an angel sent from heaven.

Goodbye.

Children vs. Work

ImageEach one of us is in love with money. Everyone dreams, and his or her dream expands day after day. Some parents encourage their children to work so they can have all the money. Others encourage their children to work even if they have enough money for ten years from now. I encourage those kinds of parents. Work will let children learn many essentials in life.

 

ImageIf parents know their children can divide their time between study and work, why not? Let them work! Parents should encourage their children to work and save money. By working and saving money, children would know the value of money. They would also know how much their dad or even their mom is working hard to yield them the best opportunities in life. Due to this, children would feel and sympathize with their parents.

 

ImageIf parents have a problem with their children’s schedule, well working is a way to organize it. Children will know how to differentiate among the time of when to study, when to play, and when to work. Children will know the value of each second that passes in their lifetime.

 

In some cases, work will let children to be too much independent. They will start rebelling against their parents. Children will not like the parent’s way of living. They will sometimes go around nagging that they want to live alone. Children will want their privacy and they will think they have enough money.

 

To all the parents around the world, I would like to tell you don’t be shy or ashamed because your children are working. It’s not going to be less prestige to you, on the contrary be proud of them. Working is a way to show your children the real image of life. Working will teach them manners, how to socialize with others, and overcome the hardships

Flat Tires

 My feet could barely reach the floor board of the car. I would always run and take the window seat. Though, I bared the consequences. The sun was very shiny that I barely opened my eyes when I looked outside the window.

 

ImageMy mother was having a chit chat conversation with my grandmother in the front, while driving. When they’re together, they are always scared if something suddenly happens. I enjoyed the sea view all along the way from our home in Saida to the airport. We were going to pick up my father from the airport; he’s coming from Saudi Arabia because he works there. My smaller brother Khalil and my smallest sister Mira were playing together and talking.

 

ImageEvery person in that car was happy and relaxed until suddenly a TA TA TA TAKKKKK sound came up. That stupid sound woke me up from a small nap. My mother directly parked aside to see what happened to the car. My mother’s eyes started filling with tears and my grandmother started praying to God. We found out that many cars encountered the same, all because a small piece of metal was set upside down on the highway. We had four flat tires and only one spare in the back of the car, so the first thing we did was call the insurance. My mother and grandmother started arguing and questioning themselves what do they have to do next.

 

After about ten minutes of arguing and worrying, my grandmother suggested to stay right on the spot and wait for the insurance with Khalil and Mira. My mom and I took a taxi to pick up dad from the airport. We arrived to the airport and welcomed dad with warm kisses and hugs and then took a taxi back to that spot again. We picked up my grandmother, Khalil, and Mira and I made sure I took the window seat before anybody else did.

 

ImageMy mother was explaining to dad how much we worried and how things were hard because we were girls even though my brother is with us but he’s still too young. My father started saying you have to be strong always, why did you worry too much there’s always a way out and thank God you are all fine now.

 

Summer Time

Two summers ago, we had a family gathering at our summer house. The weather was like 35 degrees Celsius, and all we thought about was swimming in freezing water. We were all sitting in the balcony in a circle way that each one can see everyone’s face. I was luckily sitting between my grandmother and my aunt.

ImageMy throat was struggling for some liquids. I went to the kitchen to get some cold water and involuntary chose one of my favorite cups.  I came from the kitchen to the balcony drinking water in one of those transparent cups that already look like they have water in them. They are put in freezers for you to enjoy a cool drink. So as I was drinking my water, my grandmother asked me curiously if I was actually drinking something. My aunt’s answer was much faster than mine, “Mom, the cup is designed that way, see how it’s empty” said my aunt.

She took the cup from my hand and splashed my grandmother all the way trying to prove her point. I didn’t even have the time to tell her that I was actually drinking something; she acted too fast for me to even move a muscle. Seeing my grandmother soaked with water, and my aunt’s face full of shame, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. They both looked at me with anger drew on their faces waiting for me to stop laughing. I laughed and laughed till my tears poured.

After I could finally catch my breath, I handed my grandmother a towel to dry herself, and then looked at my aunt still giggling and told her to wait for me to answer next time and prevent herself from such embarrassment, fortunately this time was funny.

 

Ugly Man

She might be sleeping and snoring as well. You rang the bell though you have the keys. You’ve tried many times before ringing the bell to focus and put the key, but you failed as usual.

You pressed your finger on the bell uncontrollably.

You woke her up. You entered singing and laughing loudly. You can’t even stand straight. You lent on her shoulder with every step you made.

ImageYou stopped in the middle of the salon and vomited plenty.

She took you to the bathroom to clean your mouth and in the meantime she cleaned and mopped the floor.

She leaded your way to the bedroom. You climbed on the bed with your dirty shoes.

She asked you: “Where have you been?”

You started shouting in her face.

It was clear you lost all of your money.

She ran to close the bedroom’s door so her little child won’t hear any of the fight.

She laid her head and filled the pillow with tears.

You heard her crying, so you kicked your pregnant woman with your dirty shoes to shut her up.

She has left her parents whom she has known them since ever, and she came to sleep beside a guy whom she knew from a short period of time.

Thoughts about divorce started running through her head. She asked herself how she can raise her child with such an ugly father.

But she thought again; an ugly father is much better than having no father at all.

That’s how she continued her struggling life every night, with the wrestling question of whether to get divorce or not.

While I’m Here

ImageWhile I’m here, there are hundreds of teenagers who are embroiled with drugs.

While I’m here, there are hundreds of kids who open their eyes to find themselves orphans.

While I’m here, there are thousands of boys and girls who are getting raped daily.

ImageWhile I’m here, there are thousands of parents who are unemployed.

While I’m here, there are millions of people who are suffering from diseases.

While I’m here, there are millions of people who are unable to live because they are scared from something.

ImageWhile I’m here, there are billions of people who wish to die now because they are already dying several times in each passing second.

While I’m here, there are billions of dead people who wish to go back to life and make just one good deed.

Maya’s Bestfriend

Based on a true story

ImageMaya would always run before bedtime to her grandfather’s room and just sit on the couch and watch him for almost an hour. She was his favorite granddaughter. Sometimes when he’s well, he would tell her stories about her childhood. And other times she could only hear the oxygen tank, his inhaling and exhaling, and “beep… beep… beep” the heart monitor sharply beeped in her ears. In times like those, Maya would grab a book from the book shelf that was right next to his bed and start reading.

Maya explained that even though her grandfather didn’t make it, he fought cancer to his last moment with faith and love of life. She explained how this experience taught her strength, faith, and meaning of family.

Maya’s grandmother died when Maya was 12. So, instead of letting her grandfather live alone in Lebanon, Maya’s father prepared a separate room for his father in their home in Dubai. From that moment, Maya’s grandfather started living with them.

ImageMaya’s grandfather was in good health. He would take the black-haired girl on Fridays to the park and on Sundays for a walk. Their relationship was so close that she started spending more time with her grandfather than her parents. Two years later, her grandfather discovered he had bone cancer and it was in its fourth stage.

“I didn’t know what cancer is, but within a very small period, I saw my grandfather laid flat on the bed. He couldn’t move,” said Maya, her black-eyes filled with tears.

During his suffering journey, God’s name didn’t leave his mouth. Her grandfather was passionate for life, he would always promise the little girl to get everything she needed when he’d be able to walk again. “I remembered him when he promised to get me the newest play station and digital camera,” Maya recalled while grabbing a tissue from her purse.

ImageThree months passed and her grandfather died. Maya couldn’t believe he was gone. Everyone around her was weeping and crying except her. She knew her grandfather would never like to see his little girl crying. She was shocked, yet happy at the same time that her grandfather would never feel pain again. Maya’s grandfather never let anyone know that he was in pain, but she would see that through the tiny hole of the key lock.

ImageLosing her grandfather taught her the meaning of family and of each family member. Before that incident, Maya barely saw her family except on lunches and dinners. She spent hours upstairs in her room listening to music and surfing the net while the whole family gathered downstairs. Now, she regrets all those moments and barely sits in her room alone. She now spends time with her family, discusses a lot of issues, plays monopoly and cards, and most of the time fights for her favorite channel.

One time Maya asked her grandfather, “Why do you say, ‘Thank God’ though He gave you sickness and made you lose your wife.” She learned from her grandfather that people have to be faithful to God, whatever He gives us because everything He gives us is a test for our patience.

Maya started to pray daily. In every prayer, she would ask God to forgive her grandfather, bless him, and make him happier in a better place.

He & She

ImageYou come back from a tiring day at work and say: “Honey, I’m home”. She runs to greet you, and give you a hello kiss. While you change your clothes, she will be preparing dinner.

The food might not be that delicious. You may say that, but show appreciation at the same time.

While watching TV, all she wants is a cozy hug. Always show love. Always tell her she’s the most beautiful woman. She might not be perfect, neither you; but you are both perfect together.

ImageDon’t refuse if she asked you to play hide and seek. It’s fun to go crazy and cross the borders.

When she’s sick, she wants you to be her nurse and doctor. Make sure you give her all the medications. Medicines are not enough. She needs love and passion to heal faster. She will not be able to prepare food, so order delivery. And she might not be that sick, but she pretends to be sicker to stay beside her.

ImageOn occasions, gifts and flowers are the best. If you forgot one, she will literally kill you.

Don’t get mad if she tells you I hate you. She instead means I love you. When she tells you I don’t want to talk to you anymore. Deep inside she means please talk to me all night.

If she cries, she really means she’s sorry. Use her tears to come forward, forgive her, and wipe them away.

Always defend her in front of people. But make sure to tell her the ugly truth when no one’s around.

She’s never scared when you’re around her. She trusts your biceps and triceps.

Bring her head on your chest, and let her enjoy the melody of your heart beat.

Before you sleep, kiss her a goodnight kiss. Tell her you love her, of course she knows that, but she wants to hear it thousand times. Hold her waist tightly as you fall asleep.

Last but not least, hold her hand in public, and proudly say she’s my wife.

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Veer Zaara

Based on an Indian movie

6d4f5a54Prisoner 786 was imprisoned in Pakistan for 22 years. No one knew why. No one ever tried to figure out why, until that Pakistani lawyer. She found it a weird case. She entered the cell and found that prisoner holding an anklet with his hand. No one knew his name; they all called him Prisoner 786. Prisoner 786 started having flashbacks while telling his story to his lawyer.

They were facing each other when the rescuers were raising them. He was so close to her, close enough to come forward and kiss her, but they both don’t know each other.  She was from Pakistan and he was from India. Zaara, she was named. She came all the way from Pakistan to immerse her grandmother’s ashes in India. On her way to India, the bus has toppled down from the mountains to the valley. He was Veer, a squadron leader and a rescue pilot. When the accident happened, his co-workers let him go down to the valley from the helicopter by a rope to rescue the passengers. Veer by chance had to rescue Zaara.

Zaara was so scared; she embraced her arms around Veer’s shoulder. Veer couldn’t stop looking at her. Veer, Zaara, and all the passengers have spent the night in the bus station. The next day at 7 a.m., Veer was taking a bus to reach his village, and Zaara was taking another bus to the village where she’s going to immerse her grandmother’s ashes. There were no places on Zaara’s bus, so she had to sit on the bus’s board. Veer started feeling guilty to leave Zaara alone in India, so he decided to help her. They introduced each other on the bus’s board that was leaving to Kiritpur (village where Zaara was going to immerse the ashes).

20492_vir-i-zara_or_veer-zaara_1024x768_(www.GdeFon.ru)It was an enjoyable trip, they sang, danced, and viewed the beautiful land of India. They continued their trip walking sometimes and on horses the other times. Veer took Zaara to the river; they immersed the ashes and did the last rites for her grandmother. After finishing this process, Veer dropped Zaara to the bus station and told her how to reach Pakistan. To honor Veer’s hard work, Zaara pleased Veer to ask for anything just to thank him. Veer’s wish was to take from Zaara one day of her life. Veer felt that Zaara’s going to leave without a sweet memory. Pleasurably, Zaara accepted.

Veer Zaara 11Veer started showing Zaara his village and he greeted her to his parents. Veer’s parents have the biggest house in the village. Veer’s parents have built this village. On that night, there was an annual festival that was prepared by the people. Next morning, Zaara had to leave. Zaara called Veer’s parents mom and dad. “You’ve given me a lifetime of memories and relationships,” Zaara said. On their way to the train station, Zaara fell on the floor. She dropped her anklet, so Veer took it and put it in his pocket.

She faced that guy in the train station. She was shocked when she saw him. Veer started wondering who he would be. She introduced him as her fiancé. Veer froze! Raza, Zaara’s fiancé came from Pakistan because he was worried about Zaara. Raza was on the bus, and Zaara was saying goodbye to Veer. In that little moment, Veer confessed love to Zaara.

Zaara’s father was putting his first steps in politics with the help of Raza’s father. When Zaara confessed her love to her maid, her maid directly called Veer secretly and said, “Zaara’s in love with you and she’s getting married soon. Come to Pakistan and take Zaara away”. Those words filled Veer’s heart with happiness.

shahrukhkhanveerzaarawallpaperWithout telling anyone, Veer left to Pakistan, though an Indian Air Force pilot is prohibited to come to Pakistan. Zaara’s maid, Shabbo, welcomed Veer in the train station, and gave him a place to stay in. Zaara’s wedding is tomorrow. Veer appeared in the middle of Zaara’s house. Zaara ran and hugged him. Zaara’s dad fainted when he saw this. Raza started searching for Veer everywhere in Pakistan. Zaara’s mom predicted where Shabbo will be hiding Veer. Being a good mother and a wife, Zaara’s mom begged Veer to leave town and let this wedding pass. Zaara’s dad won’t be able to bear the shame. He will lose in politics and will die since he can’t handle more shocks. Veer promised Zaara’s mom to talk to Zaara and will end everything.

The next day, Veer decided to leave his love in Pakistan and disappear to India. Just before the bus will leave, a police came and took Veer to the police station. The Pakistani police forced Veer to sign on a paper and to claim to be another person who is sending Pakistani information to India. Raza prepared everything to prison Veer. Veer could get witnesses, but he didn’t want to ruin Zaara’s wedding and life. He had no choice but to sign that paper.

The bus that was Veer on, made an accident before it reached India and nobody survived. Veer’s name was on the passenger’s list. His parents and Zaara thought that Veer died. As a matter of fact, that person scarified 22 years of his life in prison to honor and grace Zaara’s name.

The lawyer begged Veer to get someone from Zaara’s family as a witness or to mention Zaara’s name. But Veer honorably refused under any circumstances to mention Zaara’s name. Veer said that Zaara by now will be the mother of two children one 21 years and the other 19 years. The lawyer decided to go to India to bring Veer’s identity from his country.

When the lawyer asked for Veer’s parents, she was told that they died long time ago. But she can always visit the house, it is always open. When she reached there she saw kids playing around, more like a kindergarten. She turned her back and wanted to leave, as she heard someone calling: “Zaara, Zaara.” She was shocked and started looking who’s Zaara? Shabbo was there too. The lawyer fell crying on the floor and asked Shabbo what have happened.

Shabbo explained that after hearing about Veer’s death, Zaara called off the marriage. Zaara’s father himself got her divorced. Zaara came to India to help Veer’s parents achieve Veer’s dream come true. Zaara’s father left politics, and two years later died. A few years later, Zaara’s mother also died. Even though Veer’s parents died as well but Zaara won’t go back to Pakistan. Veer who so easily scarified 22 years of his life to protect Zaara’s honor, and Zaara who spent 22 years of her life in a strange land to keep Veer’s dream alive. God has been testing Veer and Zaara intensely.

VEERZAARAThe lawyer took Zaara to the court. Zaara’s testimony, photographs, and documents presented by her proved the identity of Veer. The Pakistani court exonerates Veer, and the state of Pakistan and the Pakistani court asked for Veer’s forgiveness. Veer married Zaara and pointed a red spot on her forehead. India was waiting for Veer. Veer took Zaara’s hand to continue what’s left of life with her.

Pope Benedict XVI

imagesSomething has happened last week that hadn’t happened in 598 years. I am pretty sure it has occurred few in all human history. Pope’s resignation has surprised us all. Pope Benedict XVI will be ruling until 8 p.m. Rome time on Feb. 28, 2012. The purpose of his resignation was due to health issues.

Many rumors are up on the reason of his resignation, but I really do not care why. Whether he’s resigning due to health issues or political issues or whatever that was, I was really astonished. Someone important like him who thought of resignation made me ashamed of our most Arab political leaders. When the Pope found himself unable to rule anymore, he decided to give this responsibility to someone else.

Most of the Arab leaders are ready to kill and murder their people, ruin their countries, destroy their citizens’ houses, devastate mosques and churches, and maybe will sell their wives and children just to hang on their position. I don’t get why they stay if their people don’t want them to. Are they that emotionless? Are they that heartless? We are all from Adam and Eve, but why fate chooses political leaders specifically to be that rude, fake, mean, cruel, and nasty. It’s not fate who chooses those kinds of people, well it’s us.

I always think that what if the bombs they throw on the streets, in public places, or in random houses explode in one of their children. What will their reaction be? How would they feel? Oh! I forgot that they are heartless.

To the Pope, I congratulate you for your courage and bravery. To some of the Arab leaders, I am ashamed to have you; I am more ashamed to call you an Arab. Our Arab grandfathers haven’t taught us that epic that is happening now!!

Thank God

ImageWhenever I see people living without walls, only curtains, I feel guilty for having home.

Whenever a storm approaches the town, I feel guilty for having warmth and a blanket.

Whenever I wake up in the morning and open the fridge and find food, I feel guilty for the people who die of hunger.

Whenever I open my wallet and find money, I feel guilty for the people who spend hours collecting money from random people.

Whenever I wake up every day and find a loving family, I feel guilty for the orphans or for the people who have lost their brothers or sisters.

Whenever I go to the university, I feel guilty for clever students who didn’t have the chance to pursue education.

Whenever I discover that my fiancé loves me today more than yesterday, I feel guilty for the girls who didn’t find their true love.

I want to take a moment not to ask for anything but to thank God for giving me all of the above.

Our Last Hour Together

This is a True Story

I laid my head on the pillow and started revising some macroeconomics and history. I had two finals the next day. I put the alarm oIMG_2199n 5 a.m. so I would have some time to revise. It was 11:30 p.m., and I was trying to fall asleep within the next 15 minutes. Suddenly the home phone rang in the living room.

Everyone else in the family had fallen asleep already, so no one other than me had to pick up the stupid phone. At first I was like let the phone ring as much as it wants. Then I though again; my grandmother had cancer, so what if my aunts want something urgently. I ran and answered before they hung up.

“Hellllllllllllllo”. I answered half sleepy. “Yes Sally, please give me your mom.” It was my aunt that was staying with my grandmother. I don’t why my heart started beating fast. My aunt told my mom that my grandmother was dying and she started saying verses from the Quran.

My mother didn’t understand those words quickly so she went back to bed and woke up my father. I started crying uncontrollably and put my clothes on. I also found my parents ready to leave. I went and said, “Waiiiiiiittttt,” I’m going with you. They said you have finals tomorrow and you have to stay with your sister and brother, but I insisted to go.

On the way to my grandmother I continued crying, but hid my tears and didn’t show them to my parents. It was 12 a.m. Tuesday, Dec.18, 2012. I made sure to know the time and date very well, in case something unfortunate happened, I’ll always remember this date. I started looking outside the window and noticed how there was no one outside. I noticed that it was a very gloomy night. Darkness and silence covered everywhere.

???????????????????????????????We reached my grandmother’s house. I was surprised that my cousins opened the door for us. I found my aunt’s husband and her two children were there. I waited till my father and mother went to her room; I was scared to enter the room. When they entered, I followed them. My aunts had lit a small globe in the room, so there was a little bit of yellow light. My two aunts, my mother, and my father were gathered around the bed. I came to see what was happening to her. Why did they say she is dying? I found her sleeping in the bed and her eyes were closed, but she was talking to us. I touched her legs; they freezing cold, I cried and told them, “They’re cold!!!!!!” They shushed me up, I thought maybe they don’t want to tell my grandmother that she’s dying. I came forward and kissed my grandmother’s cheeks, and I went outside the room and started crying.

I kept going outside and inside the room to follow every step. Whenever I came in I saw my aunts and my mother holding her hands, kissing her, and hugging her. My grandmother has four girls, so my mother, my aunt, and my other aunt were standing in front of the bed. My grandmother asked, “You’re three. Where is the fourth?” We kept on calling my aunt but she was sleeping and all her phones were on silent. But we told my grandmother that she’s on her way and she’s coming. My father came into the room; he started talking to my grandmother. My grandmother asked my father to put her on the couch; they all said “Not now. Later on we’ll put you there.” I think cancer started in her bones; that’s why she couldn’t move the day before. When my grandmother insisted to go to the couch, they all carried her and put her on her favorite couch.

???????????????????????????????Allah’s name didn’t leave her mouth. All the time she was praying to Allah and saying verses from the Quran. I grabbed a small bottle of water and started pouring some water into her mouth from the bottle’s small cap. Whenever I poured water, she opened her mouth for more. I poured water three times. I touched her neck and it was very warm, she was sweating, but her body parts were freezing. My third aunt came, my cousin woke up my cousin, and this cousin woke up her mom. That is how we woke her up. They asked us all to leave her room so she could die peacefully and alone. My smallest aunt and I refused to leave the room. My aunt was sitting on the floor and I was standing beside her. I grabbed turquoise prayer beads and gave it to my grandmother so she could pray to Allah. Then she dropped the prayer beads on the floor. I called my aunt. We found her blinking her eye lids and she vomited a brown liquid. That happened at 1 a.m.

The moment we saw that, my aunt fell on the floor and I barely started breathing. I couldn’t understand what I just saw, I felt that I was going to faint or pass out. It was a harsh situation. My grandmother died in front of my eyes. Everyone was crying around me, but no one started shouting because it is prohibited in Islam. An hour later they changed my grandmother’s clothes. She wore a white sleeping dress and a white veil.

Red Cross Volunteers

Based on a true story

After falling asleep in the bus, Mohamad ’s friend woke him up when they reached Saida. They both had a tough day at the university. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. classes all day long and a nonstop break. Reaching home rapidly, Mohamad directly went to the bathroom to have a refreshing shower. Mohamad’s mother was preparing pizza, his favorite meal, for lunch. In a hurry, Mohamad had four pieces of pizza then directly took a taxi and reached the Red Cross at 6 p.m.

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Smelling the coffee from outside, Mohamad started screaming, “Don’t add sugar to my coffee,” he would always remind Bahij of that. Bahij was as well one of the Red Cross volunteers. Bahij was in charge of making coffee; all the volunteers agreed that there was no tastier coffee than his coffee. Red Cross volunteers were supposed to volunteer one day per week only and it was from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. A little bit of caffeine and a little bit of nicotine boosted the volunteers with a little bit of energy.

On Tuesday, Mohamad recalled a terrible night as a Red Cross volunteer. Even though the volunteers have seen worse than that night, but for an innocent teenager, Mohamad called that the worst.

Talking and chatting on that night made time pass so quickly. Each one of the seven volunteers talked about what they had encountered throughout their day. They were all neighbors but came from different universities; this made the conversation more exciting. By 10 p.m., they couldn’t handle the fatigue. Six volunteers decided to sleep, and there was one volunteer called Hisham who had the day off at the university, so he wasn’t sleepy at all. Hisham suggested staying awake to take emergency calls.

Hisham barely watched TV since the snoring of the six volunteers was really a loud symphony. As the clock in the end of the corridor beeped at 12 a.m., the loud telephone rang strongly as well. Even though the volunteers were not new, the phone always had its own suspense. Hisham answered the phone quickly and got as much information as he could: name, emergency situation, address, and phone numbers.

Beside the clock in the end of the corridor, there was a bell just like the school bell. Hisham rang the bell to wake up the other six volunteers. The volunteers usually slept in their uniforms, so all they had to do was wash their faces, put on their ranger shoes, and just go out to help. Mohamad, Bahij, and Hisham went to the emergency, the other three went back to sleep in case there was another emergency, and one stayed awake to take the phone calls.

Hisham usually drove the ambulance because he took a course in driving it. Bahij was sitting beside Hisham, and Mohamad was in the back preparing himself. Mohamad wore the gloves, gave gloves to Bahij and Hisham, pulled the first aid kit, opened some bandages, and prepared the Betadin (solution for cleaning minor wounds).

It usually takes 15 minutes from the center to the spot but with an ambulance driver it took eight minutes. When they arrived, they found four people and they claimed to be family members. Darkness covered the whole area. The person was stuck in the valley. Mohamad described the distance downward as about 200 meters. Hisham put the ambulance in a position to make light spread through the valley.

Mohamad and Bahij took the stretcher and started jumping downwards from one terraced slope to another level. Mashing some grass with their rangers, jumping on some rocks, and moving away some branches with their hands to make the road clear. Finally, after a long journey, Mohamad and Bahij reached the bottom of the valley.

A person who was no older than 16 years laid flat on the ground. His body was all blood. That teenager had torn clothes and a scratched body. A bullet went through his head. Mohamad and Bahij carried him cautiously to lay him on the stretcher. “He’s still breathing, he’s still breathing,” Mohamad screamed happily. But he saw a pink liquid running out of his ears and that means he had a broken skull. Mohamad put his hand on his skull and all his hand went through. Mohamad described his skull by saying that “My hand would almost touch his face, no bones, no skull, just nothing.”

Even though Mohamad and Bahij had to be careful while holding the body, they reached the top of the mountain fast to save the teenager. Only one person from the teenager’s family was allowed to ride the ambulance, so the father suggested going with them. Mohamad, Bahij, and the father were in the back of the ambulance doing some first aid. The teenager was dying, but Mohamad and Bahij said nothing, they left this message for the hospital to deliver it. Mohamad and Bahij were communicating with their eyes.

By the time they reached the hospital, it was 12:45 a.m. The teenager was dead in the stretcher. Not saying a single word to the teenager’s parents, they delivered the body to the hospital and returned to the center. On their way back, the three volunteers were guessing who could have shot the teenager and what have happened to him. Mohamad directly took a shower, wore another clean uniform, and went to sleep again after a tiring night.

“For a week, I couldn’t sleep at night. Whenever I laid my head on the pillow I just remembered how the innocent teenager was dying between my hands,” Mohamad recalled.