Stories about son

A Syrian refugee’s message to the European Union

When we first got here we had money to buy a little food. Now it’s gone. We stand in line for hours for a sandwich. My husband told a journalist recently, “People are fed up. Maybe tomorrow they will break down the gate and flood across the border.” The journalist said, “How many weapons do you have?” If we knew how to carry weapons or wanted to carry weapons we would not have fled Syria. We want peace. We are sick of killing. We fled a war, and now the European Union is making war against us, a psychological war. When we hear rumours that we’ll be let ...

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From the diary of a mother who grieves

I love pink flowers. They look so majestic yet delicate. My son helped me plant those. He would be so happy to see them bloom. I stare at them blankly while sitting in our garden. I’m so tired of grieving, so tired of people looking at me with pity. I will forever be an entity of human desolation. A rubbish bin for human guilt.  “Oh look at her! Her plight makes me grateful for everything I have!” I can see the empty empathy in their eyes. The press and ‘celebrities’ all left when they had their fair share of photos and videos for inflating their egos, and ...

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My secret admirer

The doorbell rang. It was 2pm and I was preparing food for lunch. It was almost time for my 15-year-old son, Omar, to come back from school. Wiping away sweat from my forehead with my left sleeve, I rushed towards the entrance. But there was nobody there; just a small package tied with a red ribbon-flower. I was shocked for a second. It wasn’t any special occasion that I could recall neither was it anyone’s birthday at home or any sort of anniversary. I picked it up. It had my name written on it but the box had no name of ...

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Series 1: “Dreams of Lunacy” Part 5 Stroke of darkness

He sits with his feet on top of each other, touching the skin just behind the nails where the tips of his fingers feel the small hairs that have recently grown out of nowhere. He rests his head on the strong shoulders of his father and looks at his hands work on the 12 feet canvas. “Why must you draw, father?” Hearing the voice of his child after an hour of lost silence, his hands suddenly stop midway, as if caught in the middle of an unknown activity, knowing not whether to continue or to retract, just when he was producing ...

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Beauty

 “What is beauty, father?” “What do you think?” “I don’t know. I look at this glass in front of us and my eyes spot the reflected light from the glass on the table, and I’m baffled by these patterns, by this beauty which is perfectly still, perfectly independent, and calm.” “So, is beauty only in still and independent objects?” “I don’t think so. When I see the sea or the water inside this glass if it were to be shaken wildly, my eyes start to float along the waves, and I’m once again mesmerised by the water’s endless movement, its indifference, its power, and ...

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For the apple of my eye

On August 22, 2013, I was blessed with a healthy baby boy, Yahya Waqas. He was perfect in every sense of the word. The apple of my eye, the joy of my life, everything I could ever dream of. He was a beautiful baby, my little miracle when I least expected it. He made our family complete. The three of us, he, my husband and I, were totally inseparable. We laughed with him, played with him, even danced with him. He was a feisty young boy and it was during my pregnancy that I fell unconditionally in love with him and I ...

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‘Maid’ in hell or guardian angel?

When my son was born, all the desi rules applied; the Azaan was given in his ear, the circumcision plans were in place, his head was shaved off at the tenth day, my mom made the panjeeri (which was apparently for my good health), I was told to drink lots and lots of hareera and I also got lots of advice on how to raise my kid. I love this about desi culture. Everyone’s involved. Everyone has an opinion. So as the post partum stresses of sleepless nights and constant feedings and rockings and diaper changing sessions continued, someone advised, “Just get a maid to ...

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You let me down, my friend

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of. It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend. When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But ...

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He killed her son, she spared his life

It was recently reported in The Guardian that during a public execution in Iran, 20-year-old Balal, who was convicted of killing his 18-year-old friend Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, had the noose around his neck when Abdollah’s mother stormed up to him, slapped him and then forgave him for murdering her son, halting the execution and saving his life. Photo: AFP Photo: Reuters As quoted by The Guardian, Balal’s mother hugged the grieving mother of the man her son had killed. The two women sobbed in each other’s arms – one because she had lost her son, the other because hers had ...

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A mother’s soliloquy: They ask me if I feel honoured…

People ask me how I feel. Do I feel honoured? Do I feel pride to have given birth to a hero? I would take off my clothes, if you could see the pain that grips my breast. My son died. 17 years and three months 12 days he lived. Add more! Add my nine months of labour; my pain for his life. Consider that night when I delivered him to this cesspool of a world. Where grass is green and the leaves turn brown, but men… huh! Men have been robbed of their old age. And you ask about pride? That the very last thing ...

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