Cry Freedom

Yes, I wanted to be with my pears and classmates.

We went to demonstrate , peacefully with thousands others. People were, young , adult and many , many children of my age. It was my first time to be with such a crowd ! It was my first time to participate in a demonstration!?  People were so close to each other , everyone was enthusiastically shouting, people were angry, they were several slogansé It’s the 53 years of  Al Nakba , I know from my grandmother that Nakba meant for her , when she was forced to leave her home in Lifta. She explained to me , how painful it was for her and how scary , yet, she lived whole her life dreaming of her right to return.!! I guess, that most of those people , demonstrating , know about their grandparents and their parents tragedy! For me , I do not know Lifta, I’ve just visited it once with my grandparents and my mom. At that time it wasn’t clear to me , what it means Nakba  or even occupation?! The existence of the Israeli solders every where was something that I’ve seen since I was born. Yes, I do remember the first Intifada but it’s not so clear to me ,why, I mean why Israeli solders kill Palestinians!? I watch that on the TV and I hear everyone talking about the Israeli occupation and the Israeli aggression against us Palestinians ,I do feel the occupation , yet,  I try to adapt!!

Those days , the situation has changed dramatically , even if I wanted to accept that the Israeli occupation is a fact and I can do nothing to change this reality , and if I was dreaming that the Palestinian Authority will bring peace and end the occupation , even if I was dreaming of a bright future .. Now, as a member of  this crowd , No I can’t see except the dark ..

We all were moving towards the check point , actually I was moving without feeling that I’m walking freely , there was a kind of a power or a spirit moving me towards the check point, we are becoming closer and closer , we are so close , we look like the waves in the ocean , the big waves almost stopped at one stage, the youngsters continued to move further  and the youngest even were like the small waves going to the shoreé!!

I feel as if the adult are trying to prevent us from moving further . No, I don’t want to stop , I can’t stop , look there is a child much younger than me , and he’s not afraid , he’s running towards the Israeli tanks, , yes, they are not jeeps, they are real tanks, I’m preparing my stones on my hands, yes, I want to threw stones on them , yes, I want to hit that tank, aren’t they the once who occupy my country? Aren’t they , the once who killed Palestinian children they are the once who killed Mohamad El Dura and others.. They are the once who are bulldozing our trees and houses every where , they are the once who don’t  allow us to move freely , they are the once who don’t allow me to go to Jerusalem with my parents.   They are the once who keep shelling on us at night and I can’t sleep , they are the once who make me scared every day.. Yes, I want to hit that tank , but oh , it’s so huge! It’s coming closer and closer.. I’m afraid, I’m trappedéI want to go back, I look ,oh most of my friends already left ,where are they? I can’t find them.!!Oh mummy I’m scared.! .No I can’t, I have to reach them ..No ,no, they are shooting on us, it’s live ammunition , oh someone is grasping my leg , oh, God, he’s injured, he’s bleeding, I’m scared.. I hear another child saying: don’t worry we’ll get him out..     People are so nice here , everyone loves everyone. !!I see many children are shot , they are falling down on the ground, but the tanks are becoming so close , they don’t stop shooting . I’m so scared, I don’t know what to do ?!  Suddenly, I felt big hands grasping me on my shoulders, screaming at me and my friend Faris, oh, she’s his mom , she came for our rescue , oh, what a relief !?? She’s pushing us back, I don’t feel how I’m going back, no ,I’m resisting , !

While leaving the battle- field, I see a small child running towards the tanks, towards death , no, I don’t want him to go there , I stopped him , he refuses , I’m giving him a very big Palestinian flag, that I bought just a while ago to hold it during the demonstration, yes, he agrees to get the flag  and get back. I’m so glad that he did.

I’m finally home, I have mixed feelingsé I’m watching the TV, oh, God, they are showing our demonstration , how dangerous it was , I was going to die, I was almost shot ,my mom is silent, she’s saying nothing!!

I’m going to bed, I want to sleep , but I can’t, I can’t forget my feelings , it was horrible , I’m trying again and again to close my eyes and go to sleep but I can’t , I cry ,shout : Isn’t there anyone who can stop this crazy war? Stop all killings.. stop shooting, end occupation..

I’m crying,  give us our freedom, give us our dreamsé!!!

Suraya Hammoudeh is 14 and from Ramallah, Palestine.

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