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Their blanket is the sky.

He listens to their  voices, whispering and laughing as they play with the shadows beneath the waxing moon. A girl, about four, stretches her hands. Her thumbs interlock to form a butterfly’s body, her fingers extend to form its wings. Arms high in the thin air, the shadow begins to flap. She is Haya and her brother, Alan, joins the fun.

“Yanam,” he shouts from a distance and the two dancing butterflies stopped. Colored mats cover the pavement. Linen bed sheets create a makeshift room in the dim space that is now a home. The children race towards their father, laugh as if they haven’t jumped over dead bodies during the day. As if they weren’t chased away and reduced to sleeping in the streets.

Their blanket is the sky.

In a parallel universe the night is undoubtedly romantic. In another world the moon and the stars are poetic. But this is reality. The asphalt still smell of blood. Life is still a ticking bomb. And his wife is still dead.

His lips curved into a weak smile at the thought of his wife. For the first time he was glad she picked their children’s names. Haya means “life” and Alan means “rock.” The woman must have seen it coming.

“Yanam,” he repeats and they all went to sleep.


For the months that I haven’t been blogging, I find myself immersed in the world news. Most specifically with the pains and pathos of Africa and the Middle East. What these people are going through is painful in its reality. It is disheartening in its truth.

I wrote this piece few weeks ago, inspired by an article about Syrian civilians fleeing Deraa. I was half-hearted then but decided now that I should go ahead and post it. Just as Banksy tries to make a voice with his art, this is my attempt with words.

Image source: Favim