What may youngsters think of when they go out with their fathers?
They may think of colorful nice birds in the sky,
Of sweets they may hide from their siblings to enjoy its taste alone
Of old men they may meet in the camp alleys, who will speak too much, and they will keep their minds alerted to memorize and repeat their words to look like adults!
What may a father think of when he goes out with his children?
He may think of life that will elapse,
Of the kids who will have the same length with him one day. He smiles once such a scene is pictured in his mind, and no body knows that he has imagined his kid walking next to him shoulder by shoulder, or even higher like a “cloud”,
Of two warm small palms held in his hands, making the air warmer than ever in his lungs,
Of the passing young men’s faces, and of his child’s face that will become a young man face one day,.That day, he will find a heavenly shadow to rest under.
Muhammad also left with his father. But the air did not visit the earth that day, and the sky was no longer able to stay high, it has to come down a little to accomplish a special mission!
Everything was ordinary. The pedestrians, passing people, cars. Life was ordinary in spite of everything!
However, a soldier was not ordinary!
Muhammad was not aware of anything, so was his father. But the sidewalk breathed his blood in the morning, allowing no body to forget the smell of his innocent pure blood!
They were two sides: as the scene says. The first is behind a coat of concrete, the other is behind the guns muzzles.
Death had to be distributed over too many bullets, not to be restricted to one bullet only!
The soldier had to repeat the experience of murder thousands of times in order to feel his accomplishment!
He had to listen attentively to the sound of the deepest paternal heartbeat burning, fading, and finally dying in order to be joyful!
Muhammad had to cling to his father’s shirt to find some air to breathe.
He had to cower like a frightened cat in the camp’s allies,
To clench his legs to his chest to save his heart in the left side of his pierced body !
To hide his head in his father’s back who screamed till the air suffocated for his grief,
His father had to do whatever could make time pass more slowly, so that he could get one more second for that small heart clenched to him, in a power of a shivering childhood,
To erase the long history of hatred, and pin hope on a moment when (humanity) could stop them and say: enough !
To grant his arm unique warmth ,which may never be felt again, so that Muhammad can feel life, although he was living death at those last moments,
He had to fight the time with his trembling voice under his breath, though he knew it was a lost cause, but paternity laws never understand!!
He had to scream: “the boy has died” with all the stun on earth, leaving the scene as a huge exclamation mark!
Muhammad had to die. Every thing had to be painfully over. The soldier went back safely to his house, washed of a burning father’s cries, and fell asleep!
by: Ruba Monzir
A translation of an Arabic text by the Gazan writer Alaa’ Al-Susi
On the 11th anniversary of Muhammad Al-Durrah.