Tears of Joy, Tears of Pain - Basira's Story

28 Dec 2015
For Basira, her life began to unravel on one bloody afternoon. The cold February weather brought everyone to the yard of the house. A clear sky and plenty of sunlight provided an opportunity for the children to play. Zakia, 6 years old, brought her little brother Matiuallah to the yard to enjoy the sun. Everyone was ready for a beautiful day. The joy and happiness was evident on the faces of all, especially on Zakia’s face. She was speaking to her little brother as if she were an adult. In her sweet and innocent accent, she told her brother about the light of the sun, the hardships of winter and the good future that lay ahead of them. She showed her toys to her brother and promised him to buy a good toy for him, too. She took Matiuallah’s hands, rubbed them together, sang a song and then kissed her little brother. Zakia was wearing a red coat. With the reflection of the sunlight and the snowy background, she looked almost purple. Her brownish hair was dancing on her red coat as she was jumping up and down. Her face was shining and her eyes were hidden under the thickness of her black eyelashes. The big world outside was also very exciting for Matiuallah. He loved laughing, playing and sometimes shouting at his older sister Zakia. Matiullah had fleshy white skin, thick hair and blue eyes. When he smiled, everyone was enchanted. Watching such a memorable scene in a city where nothing except the sound of guns, rockets and bullets could he heard, made Basira very happy. While watching her children play, she prayed to God to protect them in these difficult times. What she did not realize is that happiness in times of violence is not sustainable and that even a mother’s prayer cannot halt the brutal power of war. That day, a reception was prepared and they were invited to a feast in their beautiful yard. Everything was ready for Basira and her children to forget the horrors of war for a brief moment. Yet, this moment quickly transformed into unspeakable tragedy. No one understood what was happening. A thunderous sound followed by a huge explosion blurred the atmosphere. The blue sky and clear sunshine were suddenly gone. Basira can perfectly recall the tragic event but she cannot precisely explain what happened that day. After the explosion, Basira says, “I got up and saw that all my family members were lying on the ground. I was confused, wandering around not knowing what to do. I heard Zakia screaming and calling for me. She asked for water. When I returned with the water Zakia was no longer speaking. I touched her body but it was already cold. Her eyes were open, staring at me. I put her down and ran towards Matiuallah. I was so happy when I realized he was still alive. I hugged him. Suddenly, he stopped crying and I felt something cold and wet in my hand. I saw his belly ripped open and all his intestines coming out. I understood that he was dead just like Zakia. I cried and cried and cried! I was screaming and running around. After that, I cannot remember what happened.” Until today, Basira cannot talk much about that tragic moment. When she speaks about Zakia and Matiuallah, the color of her face changes, Tears flow uncontrollably from her eyes. Sometimes, she cries so much that her headscarf is soaking wet. She says, “I feel that I have a deep wound in my chest. A wound that continuously spits out blood, I’m sure one day I will drown in my own blood.”