A Tale of Two Villages ~ Kafarya and Foua, Syria ~ by Mariam Mohammad

She laughed timidly when her uncle asked her if she was scared by the bombing.

Trying to sound older and stronger, she said “Yes. A little bit”, but he could hear her voice shaking on the phone and tell out how tense she was.
Baraa (9 years) then said that her baby sister Maryam (1 year & a half) cries a lot when the terrorists start shelling the villages, and Baraa explained how she holds her,  trying to soothe her.

He recalls the nights when he would stay up till the morning under the grape arbour studying for his exams, and how she would pass him by,  before leaving to school & give him a goodbye kiss. Her name means innocence and she has the most beautiful smile in the world.

She then tells him how a mortar exploded in the kitchen near her brother Youssef (11 years) the other day. He survived without injuries and rushed breathless towards them, the colour drained from his face.


Baraa tries to hold back her tears while reciting the story, but she fails and finally confesses to him how tired and scared she feels.

“We can’t leave the house at all. I worry for my grandparents in the graveyard… They must be scared there alone. I now read them the Quran from here. Mom says they can hear me.”

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