By Zameena Kassam

NOW MAY BE LATE, BUT LATE IS BETTER THAN NEVER..

Below are extracts of a typical day from a journal of one of us and that of a Palestinian girl:

Dear Diary,

I had such a peaceful sleep last night and now it’s a great morning with the sun shining so bright and the birds chirping. I woke up to the sweet sound of my mom whispering kind words into my ears asking me to wake up and get ready for school. BUT Mom made pancakes with chocolate syrup AGAIN today so I’ll just skip breakfast ah. Dad will drop me to school on his way to work and he also promised to take us out for a drive this evening. What a great start to the day!

Dear Diary,

It’s yet another morning, and Alhamdulillah I’m alive. I couldn’t sleep last night because I feared waking up to find no one beside me. Like always, today’s morning has greeted me with the sound of bombs and gunshots. My school was also bombarded and now I’m just with my parents under this shelter I call my home. Dad is leaving to find us something to eat since the leftovers we have been feeding on for the past week have exhausted. He hugged me tight before leaving and I asked him if he promised to return back soon and he replied with a smile and tear filled eyes. I’m already worried now!

Dear Diary,

I just got back from school and I’m SO exhausted! I had a great meal and now have so many pending assignments to do! WHY does school ever have to exist?! Why can’t I just stay home and enjoy with my friends? There is so much I can do with them and we could go on playing for hours but urgh! Anyway,  I need to get done with all my work soon so I can rest after this long tiring day. When evening sets in, I love that feeling. Especially because dad comes home soon and we get to go out and spend some family time. I’m so excited, just can’t wait for him to come!

Dear Diary,

My days been so busy helping mom clear out the mess that was created because of this ongoing explosions. It’s so tiring so we are taking a small break and drinking tiny sips of the water that we have left. I feel so bad, because moms not well and despite that, she has to do so much. I wish there was any way I could repay my parents. I always dreamt of completing my schooling and becoming something, making them proud, but our situation currently has shattered my dreams. We can barely afford a mattress to replace the sand patch we sleep on which severely heats up during the day and freezes at night. It’s soon going to be sunset, and there’s still no sign of dad. The communication lines are all broken down, but me and mom are trying extremely hard to keep our hopes up.

Dear diary,

WOW! I had such a great time! We went riding up and down the hills with soft sound music in the car. We watched the sun as it set, and Gosh it’s so beautiful. Everything was so perfect. We laughed and talked and laughed again. We also stopped by the park and I played with my friends there. We took lots of pictures together and im loving them all. I badly wanted to eat the famous chocolate ice-cream 10 blocks down the road but dad refused to drive till there! I got SO annoyed at him and didn’t speak to him until he decided to treat me and mom a fancy dinner and believe me it definitely was one! My life is so amazing is all I can say! Me, dad and mom shall forever be renowned as a HAPPY family!<3

Dear diary,

So what we feared is what happened. No food came into the house and nothings left either. Were just glad, Alhamdulillah, we saved some water to help us survive the night. But some worse thing happened. Leave alone the food, my father never returned. Mom is broken down and im trying so hard to keep strong. I can’t even go out in search of him because it’s so dark, the sky is covered with smoke and the smell of blazing fire some short distance away. We are surrounded by these men who hold big guns and threaten us all. My friends have been killed and now, however much I hate to believe this, but so has my father. All I have left of him is a small cut out picture I stuck at the back of my watch whose screen is now shattered. And just like that screen, so are our hearts. Me and mom are left all alone. I always believed there was no promise of a tomorrow, but now there is no hope either. If there’s any one heart that has a little space at its corner, I wish tonight it remembers me, my mom and my dad (who I still have no acknowledgment of)..

Realization striking..

>We wake up in the morning with the sound of our alarm clocks or parents shout outs; they wake up at the sound of bullets IF they managed to sleep

>We sleep with great plans for the next morning, they sleep with the fear of not seeing the sun rise again

>We whine about the food we eat, they feel more than fortunate for every little that they get.

>Our parents are aggravating sometimes, we say, but they yearn to hear the same that we ignore.

>We are always in search for greater riches but for them, a shelter is the greatest of treasures.

The truth is we have been too busy to stop and reconsider our actions. Our lives are flowing smooth and that’s enough to us. Brothers and sisters, there are lives whose heart beat to the sound of bombs and bullets; there are children who are distant from the greatest blessing of God-parents. There’s so much happening on the other side of the world that we know not of due to our negligence.

Maybe now is the best time to look back and see the many times we have complained of being less blessed and take that back. Maybe now we can rectify and reform. We may not be able to go to Palestine and fight, but we can give life to Palestine in our hearts and pray. We can offer a few minutes of everyday to our fellow Muslims and  maybe our one prayer shall answer the whisper of another child in Palestine.

There are so many like us who are not aware of the real truth because of the media and its approach. But we know what’s right and it is our duty to acknowledge this truth. When in friend circles, let Palestine and Muslim lives be the topic rather than one girls dress and another guys car.

Let us pray hard and together that Palestine and its people and all the Muslims worldwide should live a life at peace. Our prayers are the weapons for the distressed. God is watching and hearing over us and we could be the reason for one more mother saving her child or one extra day in the life of an innocent child.

Actions speak louder than words, therefore:

let us ponder

let us decide

let us act!

For remember, now is late but late is better than never..
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