A far away place called;  peace 

It was gloomy, extremely gloomy. The sky was never that dark before, each time it got darker, Safeya thought it was the darkest of all times. The sky was deceiving tricking Safeya that this was the dimmest each time she looks up, but it wasn’t, today it is indeed extremely gloomy. 

“Enough Enoughhh!!” Said Safeya while she was putting her both hands on her ears and shutting her eyelids so tight 

Ghalia on the other hand, was siting in front of her canvas, holding her brush which was full of paint 

The moment a bomb falls and they hear the killing sound Safeya goes on 

“ENOUGH ENOUGH, I just can’t take in anymore” 

Ghalia didn’t turn around, she kept painting. 

“I can hear the bombing Safeya, I am just choosing not to realize it” Ghalia said while being in focus with what she’s doing 

A tear falls from Safeya’s beautiful pure eyes and then she utters 

“And how do you do that Ghalia” 

She didn’t answer! Instead she kept painting. 

The bombing was not stopping, Safeya on the other hand started crying 

“Safeya, your moaning is really annoying” said Ghalia 

Safeya was surprised, how could Ghalia be at peace with the bombing and irritated by her moaning. 

Safeya looked around, down the destroyed horizon “I did my best you know, I hid all the weapons, I broke all the guns, but yet still…. It never comes, it never does!” 

Safeya was in despair, she puts her two thighs near her chest and crawls her arms around her legs and puts her chin on her knees. She starts crying in silence. 

“Why are you crying in silence?” 

“Because you hate my moaning” Safeya said in a calm disgusted way 

Ghalia turned around and said ” come here” she stood up and held Safeya from the back and then she pointed to the horizon 

“Look at this mess, look at this endless war, no matter what you do, no matter how much you suffer to have peace, you never ever seem to click with it my dear. why do you keep your eyes there? I don’t hate your tears Safeya, I hate your pain”
Safeya’s tears were all over Ghalia’s selves. Ghalia held Safeya much tighter she leaned her head on her shoulder

“Don’t look at this place anymore, the bombing will never end there, don’t hide the weapons, don’t break the guns, let whatever it is be what it wants to be” 
Safeya opens her eyes, sheds her tears with her fingers. “What are you painting?” 

Ghalia smiled and looked at Safeya 
“What do you think it is?”

Safeya looked closer and closer, she lost her self in the image that she heard nothing of the bombing that was getting even higher. 

“Safeya, you can’t hear the bombing?” Asked Ghalia 

“It looks like… Like a far away place” said Safeya with a calm smile 

And then she continued 

“The doves, the pink bluish sky. The sun setting in harmony. There is no sound, there is no bombing, no weapons and no guns, the sky is not gloomy, the sky is clear, very clear” said Safeya  

She touched the canvas while her tears were vanishing away through her skin and her smile was rising upon her face 

“It is indeed a far away place, called peace” 

Slowly I am becoming

 Slowly, I am becoming patiently until the leaves settle around me

I do not raise my flag, I am not home yet

Until the heavens declare a glory of baffled souls 

dipping paint brush into my core

And it isn’t thirsty anymore 

Slowly, I am becoming 

I have wings now for things I used to trip over 

There are colors out there, we nothing about 

I do not raise my flag, not yet  

I suite myself in my own ribcage 

Sometimes I get lost by accident, so I could be found on purpose 

And within that, endlessly within this 

Very slowly, I am indeed becoming

But I won’t raise my flag, I am not home yet    

A tremendous evacuation

A tremendous evacuation has happened Look what we have here, little fellow 

Black little dwarfs running out my being

Now that I have mopped your floors 

Hunger has become your core 

At times, I seat you; and I clean your classic ballet shoes 

Move your arms until your dress is twirling in the empty heavenly horizons 

At times, I sew two equal wings on the top of your back 

And then I watch you spreading them in perfect liberation 

At times we do not hold hands, and I stand like a hopeless child in front of you

I get bottles of tenderness, I cook them

Myself 

I pour them in the middle of your hollowness 

And I put my hands together, close my eyes and look at the skies 

At times, your grass is greener than mine 

That I can slightly feel your both palms at my back  

Pushing me while we run together

trough your tremendous harvested yield   

And you seem like thirsty sponge for more 

I tend to hold you like earth in my hands, slightly full of life, yet so fragile 

I put you back again in the left side of my core 

The ones who took our suns

Green; my favorite color. I like living here, the beauty of nature never gets normal. In fact I still wake up everyday and enjoy the greenery.
“You want an apple?” Said Nadine my best friend while she held my shoulder, she always took care of me more than I took care of my own self 

I was somewhere lost in my world, “I will take it!” Shouted Doreen our third partner

I was devoured by this phenomenal moment, were the sun was kissing our cheeks and the doves were flying slowly by the sun causing a euphoric feeling of simple peace. 

I look at my two precious people and I smile, and they smile back gently 

“Hey! What are these two men doing?!” Shouted Doreen
I looked around and caught two handsome men, one holding the stairs and the other climbing it. And there was a basket near them that had all the apples of the trees around us 

“They look like good men” said the naive Nadine

“Let’s go see what has made them come to our world” said Doreen

I looked closer but it looked really strange
“What are they doing?” I asked as I stood up in a shock and went their way 

The three of us went near the stairs and it wasn’t me who darted the first words

“YOU TOOK OUR APPLES!” Said Doreen 

One of the men was disturbed and looked our way and smiled coldly and said 
“Yeah they are beautiful” 

“I know they are beautiful, but how dare you take the good, the best of these trees and just leave?” I asked in a calm mocking voice 

“I didn’t mean that” he said, he looked so ignorant, in simple living and common sense 

The three of us kept looking to each other not knowing what to do next 

“What is your friend doing?” Asked nadine who was long gone in a shock to participate in this strange scene 

“He is taking the sun!” And then he smiled 

“THE WHAT” he all shouted 

Suddenly the universe has gone dark, and gloomy. The other man took the sun like a watermelon in his hands, and the moment he took the sun off the skies, it was dimmed. 
Doreen couldn’t take it anymore she started shouting to the men who took our sun. It wasn’t green anymore, everything has gone further bleak and dull

You took our goods and you took our suns” said nadine who fell in simple despair with reality, reality that was some kind of a monster that has come to our world suddenly and all at once stealing the happiness and disturbing the peace that was within our hearts. 

“Since they have entered our world, they have attempted to only take the goods out of it” said Doreen 

Selfish men indeed, selfish men they are 

I thought to myself 

The three of us went in a silent scene were we had nothing to do but watch them, one holding the sun and the other holding the basket and simply; leaving our world in dimness 

Built him like a lego human

It was dark, the sun hasn’t risen in my world for a while. Zeina my sister and I stood in front of a crossroad and then we looked at each other. “Let’s go right Adam” she smiled 

So I blindly followed her. 

And then I started wandering so my steps that I became faster than her for a moment. Suddenly I heard her saying

“Adam there’s a piece of you that fell” she ran behind me. I was surprised, whenever a piece of me falls she runs behind me to put it back. 

“Put this piece of lego in my chest” I said 

We were clearly lego humans. Made of hundred pieces of lego. Zeina was a colorful kind of human lego, I look at her and I feel whole internally even though allot of pieces of me were missing. And allot more missing from her too 

She puts her hands on my shoulder and she smiles. 

Sometimes I couldn’t understand her unconditional love. So I’d just return to her a smile and I roll my eyes back to the road 
Suddenly we found a huge Simi circle tittle written on it (The land of building)

“Building?!” I looked at Zeina 

“Yeah building” she smiled, I guess she understood what that meant, I on the other hand was so distracted to ask anymore questions 

A land of infinite people with a thousand legos 

I stood for a moment to check them all out 

I looked around And I couldn’t find Zeina, she was lost within those thousand of lego people  

I wandered around 

“You are not from here right?” 

As I returned to check who’s voice that was,the most beautiful lego human I have ever seen 

“Why is there so many pieces of you missing” she looked at me, at all my flawed missing lego pieces.

I tend to lose pieces of myself in finding happiness and wholesome, thinking I’ll be finally found” I said 
She laughed. And beautiful her laugh was. Looking at the pieces that I have already destroyed, she would touch them with tenderness,she didn’t see them as flaws

instead she thought it was a beautiful chance for her to give me pieces of her own self 
She started breaking lego pieces of herself and putting it in my missing lego pieces. While breaking her own self it didn’t look like she was breaking at all, instead she looked like she was building. I was glad, I was feeling whole again. 

She would look my side and smile and an intensity of feelings of how proud she was that I have been build by her own angelic hands. 

All I did was smile back, I was confused, I was never touched with such selflessness. 
“Thank you!” I said and I gave her my back and left to look for Zeina 

“Why are you leaving?” She said as she held my lego hand 

I let go my hand with a smile and disappeared through the crowd 
The girl also disappeared through the mighty crowd and my eyes were searching for my beloved sister 

“ADAAAM!” I heard Zeina from afar calling my name, so I ran to her 

“Oh who has built you up that way brother?” And she was extremely surprised 

I couldn’t answer, I never took a proper chance to know the girl who gave me pieces of her own self to build me up

This is unconditional love my brother
I look her way as she puts her hands on my shoulder and we attempt to leave this land of building 

She looks at me with so many sparkles in her eyes “Pure unconditional love is simply building another” and then she smiled

Black walls changing white

The sun was setting and kenzy has already used all the white paint she has taken from us since the morning. “You need more?” I asked 

“Her puppets waved yes, while she was too busy guiding the other puppets” 

“Who are those puppets?” Asked Eyad my beloved young brother 

“Those are her puppets!” 

Eyad looked at me with crossed eyebrows and round lips

“I mean those are all pieces of her, at the end of the day they jump back in her chest” 

Eyad was mocking not knowing I was actually saying the truth “is she a magician or what?” He asked 

“She is far more powerful than that” I mentioned 

We reached the back porch of the house were we had more paint for kenzy

“Eyad please hold this bucket and I’ll hold those two” I pointed to him

It was so heavy for him he couldn’t hide it

“Why does she need all this white paint?” He said while breathing heavily 

“She is painting her black wall white” 

Eyad skipped minute and then said “black walls changing white?” 

I look back at him while walking “yeah exactly” 

“This is much effort” he mentioned 
As we reached kenzy, we heard one of her puppets crying so we both stood behind the door and we didn’t make a sound. 
“I know that it sometimes gets really hard, but look around we have painted almost half of the wall white, keep going please” 

Kenzy was erasing the puppets tears with her hands, Each time a puppet falls dead of the effort kenzy attempts to support him this way. 
Eyad whispered in my ears after watching this scene saying “you mean each night after they finish their work, they jump into her chest?, how come?” 

I put the two buckets on the floor and answer him “yes, at first I couldn’t believe it too, how come one person could be so many little things? And those little things support the other little things! She is not a magician Eyad, she never was. I just sometimes consider her a worrier, she and herself are one army as you see” 
Eyad keeps watching the puppets dedicated to what they are doing, some of them painting patiently, others crying while painting, and some of them resting and looking extremely miserable” 
“ALMOST DONE KEEP GOING” shouted kenzy as she reached the door and saw me standing 

“Oh you got the paint?” She asked while smiling

“Yeah yeah I did” Eyad and I pushed the two buckets inside the room
“Is she always that strong?” Asked Eyad after she went inside the room again

“No not all the time, but she knows she is distant for greatness, that’s why she keeps going” 

Eyad smiled with shinning eyes, I have felt it in my bones, even though I haven’t looked at him at all

“LOOK” I pointed at kenzy 

Eyad couldn’t believe himself, all the puppets have left their brushes and paint buckets and started jumping in the core of kenzy causing severe light until the last puppet was finally gone. 

Kenzy put everything back in it’s place and she finally closes the door.   

“I swear She is a magician” Eyad said with an opened surprised mouth 

I smiled and hugged him until his head was on my chest.

“No brother, she is even more powerful” 

He is not a monster

Cages everywhere, I walk along this huge room of locked cages. Lina and Dina where both walking behind me. Savage sounds, beasts everywhere I look. Sharp teeth, claws waving our way. “How long have you been working here? It’s a nightmare” I hesitated while saying this to Dina

She pushes me to the back and she takes the lead again “would this make you any less scared?” She laughed 

We walked around watching cages of different beasts. Dina wanted us to come here since ages. We always refused to visit such a place. As we walk we hear sounds that we act like we didn’t hear. We rather look to each other me and Lina and we get axious.

Suddenly Lina jumped and held me and said “THIS ONE IS OUT!!”

 I looked around to see a huge beast, with no cage and sealed with a long metal rope. Nobody was around him. He was indeed the only beast with no cage in the room

I looked into his eyes, still eyes, desperate, weak. 

“How come this monster is not in a cage Dina?” Asked Lina in a loud voice 

“It’s not a monster” she said 

The three of us looked again, this time rather further beyond his claws and teeth. 

“Ofcourse he is” shouted Lina 

I kept focusing on him, his eyes, his features. Something about him felt rather goodness covered with fur and claws. Dina kept looking my way, she knew I was going to see something beyond him, something Lina couldn’t. 
“Why do you keep him out?” I asked calmly 
“Because he is not a monster” 

This time Lina couldn’t disagree, I knew he wasn’t, even when It wasn’t clear upon my face, it was right there in my core. He wasn’t a monster. 
“But what is he then?” Asked Lina 

“Weak” Dina said 

I didn’t understand, why would they keep a weak monster out of a cage? 

And then she continued 

“I mean, we put him in cages all the time, he always attempts to break them, he cannot live in his own cage, it seems like too much reality for him that he cannot handle, so we set him free, now that he is free, he sits like this, harmless” 

He looks my side, poor eyes. The moment I gaze his outer features I get confused between his soul and himself. He doesn’t smile my way, he rather looks the other side and rests his head in silence 

“But he doesn’t look weak, monsters are never weak” said Lina in an angry voice 
“He’s not a monster” said Dina with a calm, confident voice. 
I suddenly found myself standing in front of him, reaching upon him with my fingers. I look very deeply and sincerely in his eyes, a universe, of infinite life, a breathing nature down his core, he is not indeed a monster, not even close. 
Dina pushed me to the back before I touch him 

” What are you doing???” 

I look her way with wet eyelids 

“You cannot pity him” she said 

A long eye contact has taken place between me and Dina. She knew I have unseen the monster in him. 

“Weak monsters ruin their cages, never pity a weak monster” Lina said and then she continued because she knew I saw through him rather than at him. 

He looks my way, and even though he waved his claws, and shows his sharp edged teeth.. 

“But, he’s not a monster” I said 

Blind rats

The clouds were grey, the weather was dead “Are you ready to leave?” Said Jamila 

I wasn’t ready, But I nodded 

She held my hand, we were both terrified, but she was definitely going to proceed, I on the other hand did my very best to look calm. 

Buzzz..buzzzzzzz

“Can you hear the buzzing?” She asked me 

I wasn’t aware until She mentioned, I looked around but the fog was covering everything 

“From where is that sound?” I asked, and as much further we have gone, the sounds were getting even higher

I close my eyes, and I keep holding Jamila’s hand. 

The sound was getting even higher, so I let my hand go from jamila’s hand and I cover my ears

“Hey, HEY!!!!” She Shouted, I opened my eyes and looked her way with wide eyes

“LOOK!” I had a quick look and the scenery, rats!! 

“Are those rats?” Jamila asked and then she continued “and what are they doing on these wheels?” 

A blunt scenery of a thousand wheels, each wheel holding a rat upon it running the wheel like a hamster.

“I want to leave” she started pushing me to the back 

I put my hand on her shoulder and I tell her to wait 

As we got closer to the wheels the scenery had eaten away the horrible sound of the wheels. Our minds were shut. 

As we got closer to one of the wheels, the rat had a head of a human being and a body of a rat. Jamila was really scared and she started to put her hands on her eyes, I let her stand behind me. “Are those humans or rats???!” She asked 

“Probably both!” I sad calmly 

Jamila observed the rat in front of us, that doesn’t seem like he could see us at all and then she looked at me

“He seems tired” she said

“Who is it??” Says the jogging rat in front of us, we both got frightened and we took allot of steps to the back 

“IS HE BLIND?” Jamila said in a hesitated voice 

“Not a decent thing to say little girl” said the rat 

He was breathing heavily, drops of sweat falling of him like raging rain. He was running; aimlessly  

“Why are you running on that wheel? I mean why are you all running on that wheel?” I point on all the other rats, despite knowing the rat was blind, it didn’t stop me from pointing out to all those rats so tired of doing simply nothing. 

“Go get your wheel little girl, you are missing out much” he says 

“Ofcourse not” I said with confidence 

“Then you miss out your life my girl” he mentions in a tired voice 

“And besides, leave me alone am tired and weak” he says

“And you’re blind!” I added 

“AM NOT BLIND” he shouts 

The blind can never see their blindness 

I look around, millions of blind rats running wheels, tired and done for. 

“Get off this wheel, this is aimless” I mentioned 

But the rat has gone deaf too, blind hearts and deaf minds 

Jamila holds my waist ” let’s go please, could we?” 

She was so desperate, her eyes were tearing up 

I look at the rat again, I can’t seem to leave it this way, but Jamila was much of another weight I wasn’t able to carry

The rat stared running even faster and faster 

“Are you heading somewhere?” I asked 

He took a longer time to answer this time, finally he opened his lips and said

“Yea of course am heading somewhere, I just seem like never to reach there” he went silent for a moment and then continued

“Sometimes I wheel slowly because am deadly tired, sometimes I wheel a little faster hoping to reach, but I never seem to catch up anywhere” 

“And you’re tired?” I ask him 

“Very” he says from the bottom of his heart he breaks again “very tired my girl” 

I had nothing to say, I could have pushed him off the wheel, but all I could do was hold Jamila’s hand and leave 

“We don’t belong here” I tell her 

“We are not blind, that’s why we carry the weight of life my dear, that’s why!” 

I let our hands become one, and we start heading off; away from this world of wheels, buzz sounds and blind; extremely blind rats.

The painting 

Waves were eating away the sand at the edge of the sea, the weather was hitting my face and the sun was about to fall. 

From afar I saw a young girl washing away the oil colors in a blank white canvas that was standing right infront of her. Her scarf was flying around her, and her feet was naked, touching the sand. When my eyes fell on her all I could feel was a tender calm feeling in my soul. 

I smiled her side, even though she wasn’t looking. I kept watching her without showing, usuing different colors, moving her head both sides to check where her painting has gone so far. 

I started walking her side slowly without realizing, I was finally behind her with a decent distance, despertly watching her painting. 

“Grab a canvas and some paint and paint with me” she uttered 

I was suprised she spoke to me, I was a stranger. 

“Me?” I asked while I got near her, she didn’t lock eyes with me, insted she would continue painting. 

She nodded 

I didn’t grab anything, insted I got closer to her  to have a closer look at the painting. 

“You like it?” She finally locked eyes with me and smiled, I have never seen a smile with such tenderness like hers. 

I didn’t answer her, “what’s this?” 

“It’s Goodness” she answered while painting again 

I went silent for a moment and then said “What?” I didn’t understand 

She smiled but she didn’t look me in the eyes and she went silent 

“I don’t understand” I had to ask, she was something, to me I’ve never seen someone so calming to be around as I felt when I was around her 

She turned around and looked to me and said “it’s goodness, all the goodness in the world” and then she continued 

“Am actually trying to do it for myself” 

And then she went silent looking for a brush, but I went suffocating in my head, how could she make it look so easy? How could she make it look so beautiful? 

“You want to paint your own?” She asked 

I hesitated, I didn’t know how to paint, neither did I know from where to start, it was a hell of a job for me, yet I really wanted to. 

“I would like to, but…” 

the moment she felt I wanted to paint she gave me an empty canvas and a brush. And she went away again in her own painting. 

“I can see in your eyes that you want to drop it and leave, stay here and try to paint it for yourself” she uttered 

So I grabbed my brush and started to figure my canvas out, but insted I watched her paint her own painting and I kept admiring her. 

She was blending, not only with the paint and brushes, but within ; she was blending with her own soul. She would finish a part and she would look my side and smile, she noticed I wasn’t paiting but she didn’t say anything more about it. Insted she would try quickly to finish her own paiting. 

I guess she knew it was hard for me to paint my own, all she wanted for me was to work for my own painting. 

“The things you are really running from are inside you” she sunddenly said while putting her last edits on the painting 

I was suprised, I fell in love with the fact that her words had so much effect on me. I know she wanted me to put my fears to sleep and start painting, insted I smiled and I put my thoughts to the grave, her words made me think and that was the last thing I wanted 

“Here you go” she said while giving me her painting 

“What?! Why?! It’s yours” I said 

“No it’s all for you” she smiled and started collecting her things while I took a long minute to admire her paiting  

After she packed her things she looked me and said “I gave you the canvas and I was sure you will not paint your own, I wanted you to try, but it’s okay” she smiled again 

I didn’t know what to say

“I thought if you couldn’t do it for yourself, I’d do it for you” and then she broke a desperate smile and she gave me her back and waved her hands with a different smile 

I looked at the painting, and how beautiful it was, I look at her leaving the beach, leaving the painting and all that mattered for me in that moment was how she spoke farewell so fluently

The passenger 

It was approaching six pm and the train had only ten minutes to reach the platform. I’ve been driving this train for a long time now, I was glad we were finally reaching the station. I seriously needed a rest. “Close the engine we will stay for a while” said Sayed one of the waiters working on the train. 

“Am glad we will, I feel like i’ve been on this train forever” I said while catching my bag and wearing my jacket. 

People, like ants, scattered everywhere, I stood on the door looking at them, breathing, hundreds of them escaping this land of mine and a hundred other approaching. I like to watch the sound of their feet gone. A moment they are all squeezing each other on the platform and another moment they are all gone, and it’s just me, and this train all together laying down in the platform.

This station was one of the most remarkable stations in the city. Where you could find a huge number of things to entertain you.  

I got my coffee and I went to rest for a bit in the captains room until it was time to leave again. 

“Your jacket!” Murmured a man from behind my back, I looked around and smiled and grabbed my jacket “Thank you” 

“You must be the driver of this train, first time to find a woman doing this job” he said,

I smiled, I remembered this man “I know you” I said 

“then it must be me” and he moved one cheek to the right and his eyebrows flew in the air. While rolling his eyes I knew it. I remember his dimples, his eye glasses and bushy beard. I remember the way he smiled, a smile of uncertainty. 

“What are you doing here?” I said desperately. He didn’t answer at first, instead he would change the subject with something that concerns me. 

“What are you doing here?” i asked again, I knew it was going to hit him that time.

“Wandering” he said and then he got out a cigarette and he started to smoke 

“Would you stay?” He said, his eyes were sharp, honest and purely desperate. 

I hesitated “but I…..” 

“I know, but would you stay?” He wasn’t the kind of person who would ask someone for something, neither was he the person who would show needing. 

He smiled again, a smile of uncertainty

“You know what I like about your train” he went silent for a moment, I always liked the time he takes between his sentences. He would go silent for a moment hesitant between uttering his thoughts or putting them into the graves 

I looked like a desperate listener and I smiled. 

He blew out smoke and then said ” the way you have a destination” he looked around and then his eyes came back to mine 

“You are like a train, you know were you’re heading” I felt flattered, but the fact of realizing how found I was; wasn’t my major concern, my major concern was mainly in his sense of loss in telling me those words. 

“hey, we’re leaving in 20 minutes” shouted sayed from afar. 

“You could come with me” I put my hands on his shoulders. 

He hesitated and blew smoke again. 

“I’ve never left his station before, neither do I know another place” 

“Come with me then” I really wanted him to come, but his energy was so heavy, I could feel it from afar, all he wanted was to leave this station but all he did was stay. 

“I want, I really want” 

“Come then” 

“I can’t” he said while his eyes fell on the floor for a long moment 

(Train heading to Cairo leaving in 10 minutes) said the announcer 

We both looked up at the speakers, and then we looked into each other’s eyes 

I closed his palm and I put it between my two hands, and I shut my fingers around them. I hug him with my soul. He didn’t look me in the eyes, instead he would close his own and feel something, something uncertain 

If I had a capability to carry him I would have

“I have to leave” I finally said 

His eyes were strong, unsteady. His hand fell from mine, I smiled and closed my jacket 

I gave him my back and walked away, I put my feet on the train and I look at him again sitting on a chair in the station, smoking his cigarette, doing what he does best. 

“Get inside captain we are all waiting for you to leave” said sayed, I smiled to him and put my hand on the engine, and even-though it was the train leaving the station behind, it only felt like the station was leaving us ahead.