A teenage Arabic girl is forced to instantly to become the caregiver for her younger siblings when her mother and father are brutally murdered in their home. After watching this horrific event she sneaks her siblings out of the house and they go on the run. Running from village to village, sleeping in the streets, stealing and begging for food and all the while fighting to stay alive in a country that is forever at war. The sounds of bombs going off, the unrest of having to pack up and run because the military is moving in to rather the bodies of the dead. Trying to explain to her siblings why this is the life that they are forced to live weighs on her daily. When one of her little brothers gets sick she must decide if she will leave him at the hospital for care knowing she will never see him again and he will be put into an Israeli orphanage or does she allow him to die with his family and join his parents? This story is about the struggle of being a teenager in a place not many of us know, but for many it is very real and it is their war at home.
(*Student may speak Arabic within the piece)
DI/ Female- My Home Is War
- It was always interesting to me that a land that is known for being the most religious land in the world is also the most violent; the place where war is constant now and has been for many years (Beat) a place where wars are constant. Some teenagers my age are used to being surrounded by the sounds of birds chirping, laughter, cars running and music playing. I am used to the sound of guns and rapid-fire, bombs blowing up houses, the screams of people; young and even children. I was four –years- old the first time I remember seeing a dead body. Now I'm 17 and sadly I have gotten used to that sight. The midst of everything that we were surrounded by our parents always made it a point to make sure that we knew that we were loved. They would always sit us down after we did our studies and they would ask us how school was that day and it made my brothers and sisters and I feel like we were a normal family, if only for a moment. Anytime my country is in conflict we have what my father has deemed, “a bomb strategy.” We would sleep underneath our beds on the concrete floor and we would cover our heads with the mattresses. I think I spent more nights sleeping on the concrete floor than I did actually sleeping in my bed. But I understood, we all understood. My name is Kara, I have two younger brothers and two younger sisters and if there's one thing that I knew growing up it was that I was their teacher and mentor in addition to being the big sister. So on most nights when we were sleeping on the floor they would find their way into my room. Even in the midst of war, we were safe.