Please enjoy the following short preview:
I heard they demolished another home. In the pre dawn, while I was sleeping. They said he was a terrorist, a murderer; his mother said he was a martyr, a hero. He cannot answer, his voice is silenced, his body is cold now. It was paraded through the misty streets last week. Held high, draped with a tattered flag, above a seething crush of men firing guns in the air. His young brothers were among the crowd wrapped up warm, waving the flags they were given, singing the songs of resistance they were taught, their child-like tears of grief washed away in the angry tide of nationalism and hatred. They watched their mother singing loudly, holding his framed portrait against her heart. This was no tragedy but a glorious victory! As a young man’s life becomes another futile point scored against the enemy, no-one is sure who is keeping a tally anymore and the rules are now long forgotten.
The shops were closed for another 2 days. The few that dared to open briefly were swiftly visited by a gang of youths masked in keffiyehs, and the graffitied metal shutters were hastily closed, the owners retreating home to despair over their mounting debts. Concerts, exhibitions, events: anything allowing escape or release; were quietly cancelled again. Their posters were ripped down or pasted over with endless pictures of the young man’s face.
Today a weary, heavy normality seeps back into the town. Yellow taxis blast their horns in the fumy, gridlocked traffic; tired street vendors hawk their wares, “Kike!” “Falafel!” “Ashara shekel!” And somewhere across town, beside a pile of rubble, dust and broken furniture, 2 small boys sing ‘Mawtini’ and dream of revenge.