War is not just a bad dream, it is real.

A child standing alone among ruins.

I open my eyes.

The alarm rings again. I hate its noise and Mondays are so bad, the week starts and so does the school. What I like though, it’s the morning vibe in my house whether is Monday or Thursday or Sunday. My grandma is getting old and loosing her hearing so she turns the volume up at maximum every morning for breakfast time, because “mornings are for Fairuz”- my grandma loves her. I like her music too, it has some kind of magic which makes me dreaming with eyes open and I like her especially because it means the food is ready for breakfast and all of us will be around the table eating delicious things my mother cooked.

At 8 a.m. I catch the bus and go to school. I know, I know…It’s important! Yet many times I would prefer to stay outside and play in the streets with my friends…but it’s okay. There are many things we need to do that we dislike and this is one of them. After all, I don’t want to be stupid, so I’d better focus on the lesson, and I really want to leave one day to visit Europe and - why not? - studying there, meeting people from all over the world and experience new things. As for now my only responsibility is to focus in class, study and make my parents happy.

When I finish class though, I’m relieved because most of the times I know my grandpa is coming to pick me up and go for lunch in the countryside. And today it is one of these days.

I love spending time with him, we usually eat something and then go around in the camps to check the fruit and vegetables he planted and the animals in the farm.

The air there is perfect, I love the simultaneous touch of the sunlight on my cheek and the wind in my hair: if I close my eyes and breath in the moment, I just feel like I’m in heaven even though there is literally nothing there except for vast fields of ears of wheat.

After all, what do we really need to be glad? Love, a meal, nature around us, everyday life.

The time with grandpa is amazing but it makes me so tired, so I’m going home to have my homework done, have dinner with my family and go to sleep. Another busy day starts tomorrow.

I close my eyes.

I open my eyes.

Oh my God! I’m so scared.

I heard a sudden roar. It was so loud.

I don’t know if I should move or not, I don’t know if I should open my eyes.

I just want my mom to be here next to me, but I don’t know where everybody is.

I just saw this huge dust cloud and everything and everyone disappeared, like these tv shows where the magician cracks his fingers and the rabbit is gone and one second later he’s back.

I cracked my fingers but nothing came back as it was.

All around me there was still dust, corpses, ruins, gray old buildings, chaos. I was there, in the middle of nothing. I was there trying to feel that sunlight on my cheek, that wind in my hair, like when I was with grandpa in the countryside, but there is no sun.

Everything around me is grey and dirty and I don’t know what to do. I have nothing to do.

I feel alone.

I think of all the times I didn’t want to go to school… what would I give now to stay in class with the other kids! To write those boring short stories about how I spent the weekend with my family.

I want to be bored again, but I am just scared.

Scared not to know where to go, who to be with, when and if I will find a place in this world.

Nothing seems real anymore.

How can they turn our lives upside down like this as if anything happens?

I imagine them going to work, to school, having their breakfast with the family, going to the countryside and to the beach while all my reality is bombed in ten seconds.

Why nobody stops them? What is my fault if I just have an ordinary life like all the other kids?

My grandpa always talks with my dad about these strategies and policies in the world,

but I know nothing about it. I don’t wanna know this.

But I do just wanna know WHY?

Why do your kids have the chance to have breakfast everyday and I don’t?

Why do your kids have the chance to go to school and I don’t?

Why can your kids live a decent life and I can’t?

I look all around me and I see nothing but dust and ruins, nothing but death and desperation, nothing but tears and blood and the only thing that comforts me is the thought that maybe somewhere else there will be a better place for all of us forgotten here.

This is not the reality I want to live in. I don’t understand.

Why me and not someone else had to go through this? WHY?

Suddenly, in all of this darkness I hear a magic sound.

Somewhere far the voice of Fairuz comes to my ear.

And I dream with eyes open.

I dream that as I close and open my eyes again, the alarm will ring and it will be Monday.