By: Najwa Ra'ad
Hafez snatched his pen and began writing his thoughts on
a small notebook that treasured his secrets and shared his
moments of happiness and sadness. The words were racing like
ocean waves to settle on the remaining empty pages. They
were dancing to the rhythm of the author's heartbeats, aided
by a cool breeze that entered through his window.
Moonlight was landing on the window of the house of Hafez's
father hence, sneaking in like threads that ended at that
notebook, which mirrored the secrecy of Hafez's survival.
The brunette young man wrote his last words coupled with a
smile that was mixed with tears of joy. It read, "I present
to you my Zahra a heart that beats with your love." Suddenly
he talked to himself: "Oh, praise to be God, this is the
He went to his bed and succumbed to a deep sleep. Tomorrow
is a new day that will begin the first page of his new life.
On the next sunny morning, everything appeared to be so calm
except for the tree leaves that were gliding left and right,
playing a roman music that glorified those rising temples of
The alarm rang its annoying tone and Hafez woke up quickly.
Today was going to be a hard day. He had a lot of issues.
However, that day was going to be a day of days because he
was going to meet his beloved girl whom he loved ever since
he was a boy. They both were going to buy an engagement ring
because Thursday was their engagement day.
His steps were light with his feet barely touching the
ground. He opened his wardrobe, donned his best clothes and
The sun shyly crossed half way in the sky of Baalbeck,
relaying its golden threads like someone making a dress on
top of the high school of Sayyed Abbass al Mousawi.
Suheil and Ali strolled together on the playground of the
school like every morning. Suheil asked Ali: "What is the
Ali replied: "It is twenty to eight."
Suheil said: "Damn, a few minutes and the bell will ring. I
miss the summer vacation."
Ali wondered: "Man, you miss the summer during summer
vacation, imagine how you feel now."
As usual, Suheil strolled each day kicking anything his legs
might find. It was like someone revenging from each stone
that belonged to the school. While he was in that situation,
he noticed a brown ball. At first, he did not recognize it.
Suddenly, he remembered the words of his teacher "Kamel" and
his lectures to the pupils. Perhaps it was one of the
He approached and examined the object then looked at Ali who
wondered about his behavior. After that he told him: "Look,
do not touch it. This could be a cluster bomb."
Ali was astonished and said: "I will call teacher Kamil.
Stay here and don't let anyone come near it."
Ali ran fast until he reached the principle's room and said
with extreme difficulty: "Teacher Kamil, we found a bomb."
The teacher scowled at him and said: "Go Ali, I am
accustomed to your jokes…"
Ali replied: "Teacher, I am serious, I swear to God."
After that, they rushed together like someone racing time
until they reached their destiny. They looked at it and the
teacher said: "Oh it is so. Well done both of you. Do not
touch it until I call for the explosive expert. I thank God
because it did not explode and hurt any student."
Teacher Kamil phoned Hafez in order to come to school. When
Hafez apologized and said he was unable to answer his call
and go to school teacher Kamil responded: "Please Hafez.
This is something important. I cannot tell you anything on
Hafez rushed towards the school. After a few minutes he
reached the play ground. He found teacher Kamil with some
students circling him and trying to approach with their
heedless curiosity while the teacher kept yelling at them:
"No one must approach. Please, stay away."
Hafez penetrated the crowd of students and reached near the
teacher. He asked him what was going on. Teacher Kamil was
satisfied to point to that strange ball. As soon as Hafez
saw the object, he shook his head and asked everyone to stay
Hafez was a professional deminer. His fingers were
accustomed to doing a unique jog. He handled the strange
ball and as soon as he started pulling the detonator he
realized that it tricked him like it tricked people before
him. It tricked children and many more…
A few minutes of silence and tranquility passed. It was a
breathtaking view for all those surrounding Hafez who
noticed how the features of his face gloomed with his eyes
encompassing all of them. He whispered some words and
embraced the bomb.
Back home, everything was quite in that bedroom that was
vacant of Hafez. Zahra stood examining the bedroom with all
its details. She came nearer to the bed, found a small
notebook with a red rose, which she presented to Hafez as a
gift not very long ago. She held the notebook and read those
words. She cried and laughed at the same time. She cried
again as she read: "To you my Zahra, my heart beats with
She closed the book like a last page of her life that has
yet to experience its prime and kissed it as a dowry of
* Inspired by the story of martyr Hafez Khalil Abbass.