A lot has happened in nine years, since we buried Tariq on a stormy evening where it rained after the dirt covered him and his friends forever veiling them from the eyes of their loved ones.
The map of the world has changed and so have the hearts of people. Since then many young men Tariq’s age are under the earth pushing daisies while their mothers sit at their graveside and weep. Some are Americans sent to kill people of other nations, some are Syrians who wrote a graffiti defying Bashar Asaads cruel and ruthless regime, some are boys who have walked across the Pakistan border from war-torn Afghanistan only to be killed by the Pakistani army. Some are snatched from their own homes in Palestine by Israeli military, never to be seen again. There is no dearth of tears from the mother’s eyes that watch on helplessly.
I am thankful that my son is not being tortured in an Israeli or Syrian prison, I am thankful he is not being used as cannon fodder for a war which fills the coffers of the rich corporations.
I am sad as I miss him, his humor, his laugh and his irreverence for the staid and proper and his passion for the underdog.
I miss his keen photographic eye, which picked up the mood and action of the subject……….and yet as I see the changing map of the world, the wall in Palestine erected by the Israelis to keep out the Palestinians, the wall in the US erected by the US corporations to keep the poor of Mexicans out, I am thank full that he is not here to be used and misused.
This is a testosterone war where the old dogs are out to get the young ones. Impotent old men sit at their desks and send their drones to take out vibrant young men in far away places. Sometimes they send their 18 years olds rejects from society battling their ADD to the front without any coping mechanisms in place.
The war is making American young men insane from PTSD. Suicide and homicide in young soldiers is climbing steadily and seems to have no end to it.
This war is making people homeless all over the world and a new generation is coming up that live in the street and are on their way to becoming street people, very much like the 12 million stateless Palestinians who live for the moment “on the street”.
In all this horrific helplessness, I watch on as mother after mother falls to her knees over the body of her son…………they all look the same, grief paints them with the same brush, be it Syria, Gaza, Afghanistan, Pakistan or Iraq.
I shudder but hesitate to ask, “When will the help of Allah come” because I know the answer…….. There has to be men and women of istiqamah present to receive it. Right now they are nowhere to be found.
I am grateful, though sad…mothers must rise to end this insanity called war!