Excerpts From A Palestinian Girl’s Diary

One day, my sadness surrounding the oppression of the Palestinian people made me think of the power of the written word and to imagine what words might be written in a young girl’s diary there:

My fingers are trembling as I write this, for it has been four days since I’ve had anything to eat. When the shelling began, I thought of Anne Frank, and how her diary helped show the world the true extent of her people’s suffering. I gathered up all the paper and pencils I could find before my mother locked me away in this stone room. Every time the bombing stops, I can hear her small voice amidst the screams of my surviving neighbors praying that my life will somehow be spared. It is a prayer that never ceases.

Each day, it becomes harder for me to pray to an Allah who seems to have abandoned us so completely. I can only try to write through the horror. I have little hope that any structure will remain standing, or that anyone other than an Israeli soldier picking through the rubble of what was once our home for valuables will ever find this diary. I have even less hope that if it is found, its contents will be made known to the world.

The world will never feel the depth of our powerlessness or the magnitude of our grief. How can I describe the loss of our beautiful olive groves, tended by generations of our ancestors, razed to the ground along with our homes, to make way for settlements? People will not be able to count the tears shed upon the treasured family heirlooms left behind when we were herded like cattle into the ghetto of the non-chosen. My final prayer from this smallest of spaces—to Allah, to God, to Jesus, it matters not, is that I may, with these words, become the Anne Frank of my people. Amen.

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