Tuesday, August 01, 2006

This is Lina's English translation of the story of Zainab that Sa'ada-Allaw published in As-Safir newspaper today.

Zainab's Story--
Four-year old Hassan Shalhoub opened his eyes and looked around him,-and found a little girl sleeping next to him, who was not his six-year-old sister Zainab. Then he saw a man and asked him, "Uncle, why am I-here?". The man, the family's neighbor "Uncle Salim", ran towards-Hassan, hugged him and said "Darling! You are still alive?", taking him-away from the side of the dead two year-old girl. Hassan had been-wrapped in a blanket, sleeping among the bodies of the children who-were killed in Qana on Sunday. One of the rescuers had thought he was-dead too; how could he hope there was life in the midst of all the-death? Hassan had spent the night, blood covering his face and head,-next to a girl whose name he did not know, scared of the shelling, and-upset at his mother who "had left me on my own"; he stressed that "had-it not been for the shelling, I would have followed her to our-village", where he thought she had gone. Hassan's mother Rabab had-woken up in Qana, finding herself buried in rubble along with her two-children Hassan and Zainab. She managed to pick up Hassan from the-rubble and asked him if he was in pain, and he said he wasn't. So she-handed him over to a rescuer and started looking for her daughter and-her disabled husband. She couldn't find Zainab. She called her name but-did not get an answer. Under heavy shelling, Rabab was taken with her-husband to another shelter in the village where she stayed till the-morning, knowing that her son was "OK"; he had told her so before-falling asleep again. Her worry about Zainab was suffocating her. She-must have been killed, she kept telling herself. Salim entered the-shelter with Hassan and the story of Hassan's "new life". When Hassan-saw his mother, he blamed her for leaving him "alone, sleeping with the-neighbors". Rabab has one last memory of Zainab, who died suffocating-under the rubble, and whose image worldwide television stations-broadcast as a man held her body to the cameras, denouncing the Israeli-aggression: "I saw a small hand next to Hassan, where Zainab had been-sleeping. I couldn't drag it from underneath the rubble, so I kissed it-and said, please don't be upset with me, mama, I can not help you".-That is where Rabab left Zainab. Where Zainab died. Rabab did not see-the photographs of Zainab in the press, "I do not want to see them. I-want to remember Zainab as she is in my mind". She was told that Zainab-was not disfigured, which pleased her. She told Hassan that Zainab went-to Heaven, "There is no Israel there. There, Zainab is happy".


Anonymous geraldsteinbach@gsteinbach.de said...

Terrible story, little Hassan seems to have a sound and healthy sleep. Not waking up although a whole building collides.

10:24 PM  

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