It was the fifth day of the barbaric Israeli air, land and sea aggressions on the proud Gaza Strip. The Israeli forces attacked with tanks, naval vessels and military aircrafts. On the eleventh hour of a Wednesday night, on the 31st of December of the year 2008, being the fourth of Muharram of the year 1430 AH; Na’eema said: Al Haja Zakia, the daughter of Muhammad Hassan Abu Ereda, she is now about 70 years old and lives in Rafah/ Al-Shabura, said that she has received along with her big family a selected gift for the farewell of the present year.

The gift was an experimental rocket, a kind that was never heard of before, thrown by the Israeli Military Defense Forces on the nearby park, and so the uncountable sharp fragments flew to cover every corner of her home. Her children are now with incurable wounds, and most of the stones of the house fell on her grandchildren, and Iman, the young wife of her eldest son was dead.

What happened, dear happy wise listeners, is that Iman, the thirty four year old, the tolerant and dynamic, according to her mother in-law Zakia, who also described her as “honey” in her human traits; ended her visit to her sister’s house, after having spent a beautiful evening with her family. They have laughed a lot, she said and reiterated the famous saying: Oh God, make it good.

Nothing would satisfy a mother’s worry, but to go back to her home and check out on her children. She was just about to get to her seven children, put them to bed, and tell them their bedtime stories, and sing them their favorite songs; one flying rocket fragment hit her head, and she immediately became one of those thousands of victims.

Niveen, Iman’s sister in-law, talked to me about how much she loved Iman like a sister. She said with tireless tears: She had a sense of humor, a pleasant face, was easygoing, and was loved by the young and the old. She was far from spleen and fighting as far as the sky is from the sea; what made her parting painful, may God grant patience to those who love her. It’s a painful parting to whoever had known her, and heartbreaking to whomever had lived with her.

She told about her children, the bare sight of her eyes, that they are still awaiting her return, to hug and kiss her, not believing what was said about her: “Majd” and “Basel”, that behold dreams as old as their seventeen and sixteen years of age, they fly with them over the clouds, and look for their mother’s advices so that they can cross to the safety shores. “Heba”, “Haneen”, and “Watan” are ten, eight and six years old, waiting to open their hearts to their mother, the one that has the key, and has the warehouse of secrets and dreams. Her child “Mohamed” that is about to turn three in a couple of days time, and that insists on hearing his mother’s pulse in order to sleep.

She spoke about her eldest daughter “Randa” that is about to turn fourteen. She said that she tried to warn her mother from the promised destruction, after hearing the humming of the stipulated death plane. The mother that cares deeply about her children, however, did not care about the danger, even if it was coming before her eyes or from behind. She moved with her motherly instinct and in front of them, in their rooms she died.

The child girl suffered from hysterical attacks that carried her to the hospital three times. After Randa lost her mother, she lost her childhood, and became responsible for the comfort of the people in the house following the departure of the queen of the house.

The other “Randa”, Iman’s sister and sister in-law that lived with her in the same house saw the cursed “F16” planes that threw fourteen tons of insane bombs on the park nearby her house. She said she could not believe what she had seen with her bare eyes as the sky disappeared behind the rocket fragments before being smashed on the ground carrying away the wind of dreams.

She said that she had heard that the same aircrafts with the help of the Apache and investigation aircraft, the day before, have performed more than forty air raids, thirteen of which on Northern Gaza, fifteen on Gaza city, three on the central province, two on the province of Khan Younes, and seven on the province of Rafah. She then added: Hearing is not like listening, and the blood that flows from hands is like flood, it looks nothing like what appears in pictures, no matter how agonizing the details are.

Her daughter “Randa” however, ladies and gentlemen, could not talk to me, or satisfy my thirst. Her tearful eyes responded, her shivering hands, her caged voice in her throat, and her potential passion in her chest…. And, and, and..

The morning came in and Scheherazade is to continue her story another night.

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