Rana Shubair

A Vast Place

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No matter how far I go, please be assured that I’ll come back to you. The world outside is vast, full of commotion and hustle. Its expansiveness is too distracting for my peace of mind. I’m more familiar with my besieged city and its ways. People outside don’t follow the news so much. It’s not the same with me. Every time my phone blinks there’s news about new martyrs in my country. While the world keeps turning, the blood of martyrs keeps flowing. They fade into oblivion. No one memorizes their names or faces. 

Behind every face is a name and a story. A newlywed fighter, or a father of two. A boy shy of 18, a girl of 16, or a doctor on duty. A lover on his way to see his fiancé, a woman waiting in line at a military checkpoint to see her dying mother. The oppressor’s weapon has taken all kinds of lives that it’s become hard to keep up. 

You tell me everything is OK and that martyrs are never in pain. That when they go, they go peacefully without suffering. That we must carry their legacy and not let go. That we must keep our weapons raised in the face of our oppressor. I close my eyes and see your smile. You’re already in Heaven while I’m stuck here. How will I go through life without you?   

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