Saturday, December 27, 2014


Her left hand had shriveled dry to the bone: a blackened, brittle stump of withered flesh and charcoal.
The rest of her body was unscathed. She was cradled in my arms.
I kissed her. I kissed death.

Her skin was cold as steel – sheer and biting; I felt as if my lips had touched the edge of a jagged knife. The realization of what I held in between my palms made me shiver as a chill ran down my spine. My sister was dead. Eight days old. She was merely eight days old. Eight days old and at the throes of Azriel's Grasp.
My baby sister was dead.

The tears refused to fall. Pain and sadness were long forgotten memories of a time when we knew the difference between them and happiness. The serenade of bullets had robbed us of our grief.
The incessant barrage of bombshells had murdered our sense of mourning.
The embers of white phosphorus and sulfur had stripped away our humanity.

The blame game is on at full throttle. Talks of Hamas breaching a ceasefire issued by the Israeli Government were echoing through the battered and smoldering walls of our demolished city. My sister wasn't a member of Hamas, neither was I, nor my family. My sister couldn't even spell the word "ceasefire" and, until last horrid morning,
I had no idea what it meant.

They say they're doing this for self-defense. What did they have to defend themselves against from an infant?
An infant who couldn't even utter the name of her own mother, what threat was she to anyone, I ask, whether they be Arab or Israeli, Gentile or Jew?

I still remember the sunlit afternoon she was born. The hopes we had, the dreams and ambitions: for once in a long time we felt the joy of seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel... and then, like the fingers that smother the waning flame of a dying candle, they snatched it away.

— Fahim Ferdous Promi

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