13 July 2015

Wake Up Bomb

I had been up all night for the 5th day, recovering from food poisoning and dehydration. I had only slept 1 hour. I was exhausted, emotional from the lack of sleep, and very out of sorts.

A small bang, then the thunder of an ear-popping explosion ripped through the house; which then began to shake, and shook for 5 minutes. Wait, is it another rare earthquake? Was that an explosion? I hoped it was a gasline , who wants to explain to their parents who have never lived in MENA region about a bomb near them? 

I shouted my husband's name, but before I could finish, he covered me and protected my head as I was trembling in fear. He kissed me, told me he loves me and held me tight as our little world was rumbling around us.

The bed felt like I was in Disney's 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks' and was about to take flight. 

Then, it stopped. 

Assessing the damage...

The windows opened, curtains and a few dishes fell. Running to the balcony, neighbour's laundry falling down. Smoke puffed in the air a street away.

As scary as this was for me and as much as I freaked out and was unable to go back to sleep, this is as much as many families feel every day. How do they do it? In Syria, Palestine, Yemen, I could go on and on.

The look in each other's eye of 'is this it? The last moment, last time to say I love you? Last prayer? Last Ramadan?' That look chills me. 

I've seen it over a dozen times in pictures, on the news, and in the faces of refugees and orphans that line the Mugamma building daily. It's the look of hopes and fears, of life and death.

What is even scarier is the possible next look. Eyes that turn into vacant stares. Eyes that never reopen.

As I close my eyes to sleep, in my safe home, lying in my still disenchanted bed; I pray for these families. That windows rattling never bring them calm, never make them silent. 

Help these families today: http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49c3646c347.html 

Author's Bio

Jillian Pikora is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where she studied the Middle East, Global Perspectives, and Political Science. After working on several political campaigns, extensively with the Girl Scouts, and several Muslim non-profits, she became a writer & journalist. 

She has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, Huffington Post, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Jillian has appeared on Al Jazeera, CNN, FOX, and CSPAN. She also has written blog posts for the UN as a former UNA-USA Blogger Fellow at the UN Foundation. She currently lives in Egypt where she contributes to several lifestyle magazines and websites. In her spare time she studies Islam at Al Azhar. Jillian is blogger and YouTuber follow her site for updates: jillianpikora.com

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