A father’s tale amidst war


Children's faces superimposed on Palestine flag.
Artist: Cecilia Heredia. Courtesy of the Palestine Poster Project Archives.

In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty of slaughter in Gaza, I find myself in a small, dimly lit shelter with my two precious boys, their innocent eyes wide with fear.

The distant sounds of explosions and gunfire serve as a constant reminder of the perilous world beyond these walls. Despite my own exhaustion and anxiety, I remain resolute, determined to shield my children from the horrors unfolding beyond the home. I softly sing lullabies, my voice trembling, like a fragile melody, whose loving tones attempting to drown out the cacophony of war and soothe my little ones to sleep. I rock them gently, my heart heavy with the weight of responsibility, knowing that in this moment, I am their beacon of hope in the midst of darkness.

As the hours drag on, I fight back exhaustion. My eyelids are heavy, but I dare not close them. Every creak, every distant rumble, sends a shiver down my spine.

I grip my sons a little tighter.

To distract them from the demons of destruction that loom, I create stories of heroes and adventure, painting a world of wonder and magic amidst the chaos. My tired eyes meet those of my children, their trust and dependence on me unwavering.

In this struggle to stay awake, I find a strength I never knew I possessed, driven by a fierce determination to protect and comfort my little boys, even in the darkest of times.

Written on the sixth day of the war on Gaza, October 2023.


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