I wrote this little piece back in 2009 when I came across the picture by my friend Louie Mousa. Somehow, the picture spoke to me. I instantly opened a new document and within minutes the piece was done. I’m still not quite sure where the words came from. All I can tell you was that I felt inspired. When I first published it, a great many people wrote to me telling me how much they liked it. I thought I might dust it off and run it again. I hope it will give you pause for thought.
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The tough calluses, dark skin, and scars on my feet tell the tales of places and things I have seen. My feet are not soft and pretty, but neither are all the stories.
Once I had shoes to protect my feet and keep them warm. They are but a distant memory now. Once my feet were covered with sheets and blankets at night in the home my family had built and lived in for ten generations. Those too are gone and barely remembered.
Now, we are in a refugee camp near Hebron hoping and praying for better days; days without war and fear and privation. We are at the mercy of the occupiers, but we never lose hope. We have lost so many of our friends and family, but we have never lost faith that one day Allah will allow us to go home.
Five times a day I face the holy city of Mecca, reciting the well-known and comforting prayers and words from Holy Qura’n. All the day I am guided by an unseen force. Somehow I am able to find a scrap of bread and a drop or two of coffee to get me through the day.
As I walk the length and breadth of the land looking for work, my eyes are drawn to the skies. I am looking for the aeroplanes and gunships. Will they attack us today? My ears are tuned to the distant hills. Will the convoys of supplies and medicines be able to reach us today?
All round the globe, our cries of anguish and despair are heard. Millions send food, money, building supplies and medicines to help us. Each ship, boat, aeroplane, and truck is stopped by the Occupier and once again we are attacked by deprivation.
When will it end?