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//


4. chapter two// the start //

[أنا أراهم يهمسون كلماتهم الباردة كلما أعبر، و أنا أعلم الآن أنني وحيدةً في هذا العالم القاتم]

one. two. three. four . five. six. seven. eight. nine. ten.

39 letter.

10 words.

nine periods.

8 e's.

i can come up with an endless list of facts about this list of words. 

i can do so for each and ever list of words.

sometimes, when i am bored, i think up of random words and list their similarities and random facts of the whole. 

i've grown up doing this. it has been a hobby of mine. my sister called it 'odd', my mother called it 'creative', and my father called it 'interesting'. nobody really understood why i do this.

two days after i was found in the ditch towards south gaza, i was shipped off to lebanon like a slab of processed meat.

i can still feel the mud crusting my torn clothes, the scraps of my lilac hijab strung loosely over my pale face. i can still feel the dried crimson streaks across my skin, the slashes of knives against my right arm. but the blood wasn't all mine.

it was my mother's.

it was my father's.

it was my sister's. 

i was broken. a twig run over by thousands of feet, not ever seen yet still abused. i felt then that i can't stay like this. i can't just sit now on the worn leather seat while flying to lebanon and throw away everything like it never happened.

so i grabbed a paper, a dull, yellow-painted pencil and wrote the small details about each member of my family.



two a's.

one d.

one i.

one a.

but there was more. not just letters. there was meaning.





my mother.

tears stung my eyes like the sting of a wasp; i was shaking and breaking, but i couldn't stop.


two a's.

one m.

one l.

one who brings hope.

one who aspires.



my sister.

as i wrote these words, it felt as if the etched symbols on the paper had come to life and sent pain through me like daggers.


two a's.

one m.

one i.

one r.

'one filled with life'.


my father.

but can he be 'filled with life' if he's dead?

i stopped. i stopped thinking of my family, i stopped thinking of all the deaths. i started to think about who caused them.


one a.

one b.

one d.

one i.

one e.

one l.

servant of God.

bringer of pain.


he was the man that executed my sister and blew up the market and found my mother and i when we tried to escape.

he could have been a good person

i would have left him to stay

with the label of 'servant of God'

but what servant of God kills

others for difference in faith

and land?

this man had the blood of ninety-two innocent people on his hands. he was the one who commanded the siege on our homes. he was the one that ordered to slaughter us all. this is all on his hands.

that day, on the airplane, i went from broken to furious. furious not only at the man who killed, but the world.

the world that stopped caring.


i am in lebanon.

i am in a military base.

the last place i want to be.

i sit crisscrossed on the the vinyl mattress that clung to the moist grey walls, going over my mental list of what i can and cannot do. i have been here for months, and i have lost track of time, date, and how long my period of silence has been since The Day. all i can hear is my sick heart beating rapidly in my chest, and the cold voices of All I Have Lost ringing through my ears.

soldiers guarded this new 'home' of mine all day long and every day of the week. it is more like a prison.

'my' room is as drab as it can get; grey walls, peeling military posters, weak twin sized bed, and a flickering lamp. i felt more at home in the airplane then i do here. as much as i am grateful, i am disappointed and struck by surprise. how can they put me here? or anybody here? 

i push my emotions aside. that is what i need to do. my emotions get in the way of my purpose; to speak through silence, and show them the truth without the use of words.

there is now the need to list simple facts.

but of whom?

myself. i need to know


before i can get down to anything else.


one j.

one e.

two n's.

one a.









to me, this are straight facts. i believe in them. i believe in them because i know what they say is true, i truly am silent and alone and lost.

i am silent, mute, and alone, but never hopeless.

i repeat this words until they become a chant. i write them over and over again beneath my list, until the whole paper is crowded with my curly calligraphy and swirly letters. i write them until my hand hurts, my head spins, and until my heart bleeds.




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