A Grave for the Children of the Massacre
Those kids who were killed today, bury them all in one grave. They will get to know each other quicker. They will become friends, and they will play together.
Bury their toys with them. Kids hold on to their toys even while they’re asleep. The death of a child (even if by killing) is just a longer kind of sleep.
The kids who’ve been killed never grow. This is why they need their toys, the toys they have given names and nicknames to. The toys they always speak with, so intimately.
Buy a toy for each of these children if they don’t have one. Don’t take it lightly; their stay will drag on forever, and they will be bored of crying, of calling out to their mothers. Those mothers can hear their children’s cries, but cannot go to them, cannot comfort them, and cannot trick them to stops their crying with little white lies. That’s why the children will need their toys to pass this long forever, until they’re resurrected, and are joined by everyone else.
I suppose many of them have very similar names, like Mohammad or Abdul Rahman or Abdullah, and they are probably called by their pet names of Hammodi and Aboodi, when spoken to by their parents and friends. But at least one of these children has a very unique name. Maybe it is Barada, maybe because his mother always had still births, and the fortune teller told her to give her next child a unique everlasting name, and he will survive. Little did she know, Chemical Weapons take the lives of all children, even those who are their mother’s only.
Bury the children with their Eid money, the money they have kept. The war kept the shops closed and they couldn’t buy a thing. Leave it to them as a souvenir. To remember Eid festivities, and life. Wherever this Chemical Weapon took them, there are no shops, and they can’t use money. Everything is free.
Bury with them just one mother. Choose a mother that never had any, so they all can be her children. Let her be a little old too, so she can also be their grandmother, to tell them the story of a “Lion” who kidnaps children and drinks their blood in place of water, after he’d dreamt of them rallying and protesting to kick him out of the jungle.
Bury them in one grave. For some, they’ve lost their whole families. They wouldn’t be visited or remembered if buried alone.
Diary of a proceeding war.
Khalaf Ali Khalaf
Translation by (Baytouna)
Picture: Children Killed in the Chimical Weapon Massacre, committed by Assad Regime, in Ghouta Sharkya, Damascus Suburbs 21/08/2013