We meet them after they have given the world their last breadth. Their bodies bearing witness to what they could fight against no longer, for those who only dared to look. Their eyes bearing witness to their innocence and youth, for those who could only see. We become surrounded by their images, their stories and their dreams. We feel we have known them and that part of us has died with them. We feel we are one and the same and that we must go on so that their deaths not be in vain. These are the children and the young revolutionaries of the Middle East…
… whose innocence could not protect them from a world they had had no time to comprehend
… who were told they were the future but were hastily buried in the present
…who did not know they were fighters until they had fallen.
Some young revolutionaries are caught in the crossfire of vicious games they were too young to play. Can anyone forget Mohammad al Durra? Others, it isn’t really comprehensible why others disappear, only to reappear in small coffins at the doorsteps of their modest homes, showcasing the extremes of inhumanity and brutality. We still remember Hamza Al Khatib.
Some young revolutionaries shall forever remain anonymous to the world, but their sacrifice not less memorable. That young girl, her gently-rounded head out of the car window, lifeless; her long black hair playing with the air, caressing her young features, lifeless; her eyes gazing at her final destination and wondering why. That girl, I will always remember her. Can anyone forget the children of Qana, of South Lebanon?
Martyrs? Should we call them martyrs, if only for their great suffering? For how can they be martyrs having died for a belief they didn’t know existed, or a cause they would probably espouse but only in the future? Martyrs only because they were killed at the hands of a foreign ruthless enemy, or killed at the hands of one of their own, as ruthless, but of their same flesh and bone?
If the children are not spared, who will be left to build the future we dream of? If those who kill them are spared, in whose hands are we putting the future for those who will live to see it?
If their lives cannot be given back to them, their laughs no longer heard, their smiles no longer seen, their joyfulness no longer felt, let their passing bear witness to regimes and to systems that have overstayed their time under the sun, their legacies best forgotten, not deserving second chances after reaching a point of no return.
In Memory of the Children…