for those forgotten.

my mother named me jenna after the heavens, after the beauty that peeked through slivers of earth and hope. she named me jenna because she knew that one day i would bring light to the the forgotten souls, and the heart to our stone-cold world//


3. chapter one // the truth //

[هي لا تستحق أي شيء. لا مال، لا أخلاق،ولا ورثة]

i feel small. i feel like nothing, i feel abysmal and scattered. like dust swept from the currents of wind; lost and strewn in endless circles. i follow the path of my sister, i try to be strong and fearless like her. but i am not her. i can't because whenever i try, i break down from the memories that bear pain and suffering.

i still remember the day she died. they made us watch as her head was severed from her neck, how the pools of dark red blood engulfed her and stained the dry ground. they made us stare into her glassy grey eyes as they drained of life. she was killed because she was found praying in the mosque on friday, she was the only one in the women's quarters and was easily noticed. 

they made us watch.

her name was Amal, arabic for hope and aspiration.

they wanted us to fear them. they wanted us to conceal ourselves and give up, slowly die and decay from dread and darkness.

my father was killed soon after. he died in an explosion, his body was never found. he was going to work, he owned a craft shop in the central market. he worked with metals and fabrics, he was the best skilled artisan in town. we heard screams from the market place 15 minutes after he had left. it took him 10 minutes to get to his stall and set up his morning stock. 

my mother wept for weeks on end, she had lost her husband and daughter. i lost my father and sister. what breaks me the most is the fact that they were never buried. they still lay where they died, my father is buried under piles of rubble and my sister decaying in the town square. 

this is all for and in loving memory of dear Amal, my sister, and Aamir, my father. i would have died if i had the chance to save them, or bring them back. but i don't. 

i am dead, too. inside. i may walk and sit and sleep, but i am dead inside; my heart may beat but it is heavy and it's core is burnt crisp. my mind may still heave through piles of work each day, but it is only figments of what it used to be.

my mind is like shattered glass. once oh so intricate and dainty, holding such wonder but once it has fallen it will never be the same. i have fallen. too many times to count. and i keep falling, endlessly spiraling downwards in the abyss of blood and loss.

i lived in gaza. we lived in a small, small village with a population of but only 93 people. they all died. every single one of them, man, women and child, died alongside their homes. i was the only survivor, with a meager escape.

my family was one of the first to die. we were one of the richest in the area, although we were indeed poor compared to those down south. my father, as a refugee from afghanistan who lost his way on journey, had gotten a higher education then most around those parts. my mother, pure palestinian, grew up in a large family who could barely afford food at the table.

Aamir and Adiva Durrani. the names that were lost along them. a bomb ticks inside my head, second by second it moves through time. it will explode any moment. any minute. any second.

it will blow up and set my heart ablaze and my brain cracked like a ceramic bowl. it will tear me apart, uproot me from sanity and drive me to madness. it will shatter my shards and illuminate my fears.

it will sear through my flesh and climb through my head in search of my demons








that is what i think i am. i have lost the people that meant most to me and now i am nothing. they are the ones who supported me, and without them i am dust and debris. and i know that is what they want me to feel. they want me to feel small, to feel like nothing. 

i've been defeated. mentally, emotionally, physically, all have been conquered. they are probably having a toast right now, knowing that they destroyed a girls childhood and taken away the lives of so many others.

i've been conquered. 

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