28
Sep
11

flashbacks from the old days [A poem for children] (2)

As promised earlier in this part I will share a poem which I wrote on the day that I visited the ‘plastic tent’, this was the name of a part of Jalozai refugee camp where mainly refugees from Shamali were settled, it was a cold winter in the Peshawar sense of cold…  No mater how long time passes, but there are certain images saved in ones mind, for me this girl’s image is one of them.:

Dedicated to the children of Jalozai Refugee Camp – Peshawar 

 

I come from a colorful desert,

Called “Jalozai”,

Jalozai, the tragedy of human DISASTER!

Jalozai, the shelter for homeless Afghans,

Jalozai, the living place for

Those who lost everything,

Jalozai, the living place for little, dusty;

But beautiful children;

You could still see a smile

Out of their dusty faces

Jalozai, the famous “living graveyard”.

Children at Jalozai:

They are coughing shouting and crying

all the time,

In the morning they say:

“Mother, I’m hungry”

All they get is a simple answer:

“Go and find it yourself”

A child is out,

Someone, maybe a kind hearted man

Gives her ONE Rupee,

She thinks:

“My mother is hungry,

My sister is hungry with her broken leg,

My little brother is wrapped in a rag and cries,

my mother’s breasts don’t have

more milk to feed him,

My father….

I still don’t know if he is alive??

What should I do with ONE rupee?”

She thinks and thinks….

She is sitting next to a green plastic tent,

Thinking deeply.

It is lunch time now,

She hears her stomach’s cries!

“I am starving, have to eat something”

She goes and asks a man who sells rice:

“Uncle, please give me some rice”

‘Uncle’ is tired too:

“How much money you got?”

“One Rupee, only one Rupee Uncle”,

“Ha, ha, ha,

Pretty girl, with one Rupees you can buy nothing!”

She is very disappointed,

Very hopeless,

Next to the rice shop,

Her hungry eyes found oranges,

Very nice with orange color!

Again she recalls:

“Father, could you bring me oranges from Pakistan?”

“Yes, my daughter, if we go there,

I will buy you a carton as a gift”!

Another girl pushes her and asks her to leave his father’s shop,

She finally decides,

Buying an orange with one rupees,

A middle size, with some brown signs on it,

She was very happy

Jumping and running to her tent,

It was 5’o clock in the evening,

It wasn’t lunchtime anymore

She enters the yellow color tent,

Her mother is out,

Her sister lying in a corner,

Her brother isn’t crying anymore….

“Hey, I brought an orange”!

“Hey sister and brother wake up, wake up”!

“See, how tasty, how sweet”!!

But, her sister

Turned her head and looked at her

With tearful eyes

“We have lost our brother”

She said with silent, weak and unheard voice,

The girl…shocked;

She was stop,

Turned into a dry tree.

She was Shakeela,

Shakeela still is stop,

She can’t speak,

She always is silent

With tearful eyes.

 By Orzala A.

Jalozai Camp – Peshawar,

 4th Feb. 2001

                  

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