I live in Raqqa. That’s Syria. With my family. I’m snuggled close to my Baba. There is no electricity. We are reading by candlelight. In our room. We read through the Quran together. Baba and I.
I startle at the loud boom. As the first bomb drops. Baba raises his voice. Mama rocks Leena. Another one drops. We can hear the engines passing overhead. Mama rocks Leena and asks God to keep us safe. The planes fly over. I don’t know why they want to hurt us. We are just a family. Living. In Raqqa.
I look around. Everything looks the same. The frames on the wall. Shutters closed over the windows. Red curtains with Tassles. Mama loves red. Her black hijaab hangs near the door. The flowers on the dresser in a sparkly vase. It shakes and rattles as bombs continue to fall.
I try not to cry as the noise gets louder. “Don’t be frightened.” Says Baba, pressing a kiss to my head. “They didn’t come to kill us.” His eyes go back to the Quran and he reads once again. I’m asking myself “How do they know, who lives here?”