By Jalal ALZUHAIRI.
In that morning’s training assembly, I noticed a little boy standing alone. He was a little bit withdrawn, and barely venturing a diffident smile. Soon, in a flash, he retracted that smile, as if something struck him, and stole that smile. But what is the real reason behind this change of mood, as I painfully learned later, is that this 9-year-old boy had a flare of memory that reminded him of those sorrowful and agonising reality that he is caged in, and still had to endure the suffering.
By the end of my conversation with the supervisor about my duty as per the program as I’m one of the new volunteers, I can’t see the boy he had disappeared from eyesight.In these moments the supervisors start allocating the volunteers to function-specific groups. It turned out that the boy would be in the same group which I’m in.
When I saw him later, I asked him his name. In a composed voice, he replied, “Sajjaad”.
“Which year are you in”? I asked.
“Fourth”, he said.
“Is this your first time here”?
“Yes”, he said, to which I immediately said, “the same goes for me”, pretending that I am sharing something with his plight.
I carried on with my questions, trying to find something, which I could use to find out more about this boy, to break the ice, and offer help, if I can. Then we took to a bus awaiting us and headed to the park.
Sajjaad had kept to himself and was always looking sad. He kept looking outside the bus’s window, but I could see that his eyes are telling, and anybody who is carefully watching him, that he is not in the bus. He is in a far-away world. Yet, he was surrounded with all those seemingly joyful kids! The supervisors encouraged everyone in the leisure trip to join-in and repeat the playful rhymes they were singing. This was thought to re-invigorate some life into these kids like it is coloured voices it is a light of hope.
It didn’t work for Sajjaad, though. I could see tears coming out of his sorrowful eyes, and the kid kept trying to hide them from the rest by looking-still through his window. At a distance from him, I started feeling the misery of those memories that the orphaned Sajjaad is recalling using white and black colours.
My heart is being torn-apart now, but what could I do more than what I am already doing? Nothing more I could do, at this point of time. At this very moment, one of supervisor volunteers which was there she approached him and gave him a hug. She wiped the tears, and cuddled him earnestly. She tried to make him forget those memories, and promised him that we will all play and enjoy the trip. She pulled out her mobile phone and let him speak with his mum. The kid’s mum, understandably, was concerned and wanted to know how is he doing. As soon as she put the handset on his ears he put-up a smile. I dare say that this was the unlocking key. In that moment I start hearing the coloured voices seeing that light of hope.
What this virtuous supervisor did made me believe that we are doing the righteous thing. Through this humble work, we can make a difference to the lives of these orphans.
Respond to the orphan child proof that we are capable of doing something are able to overcome the difficulties are able to do our duty towards these orphans are able to provide that hopefulness light with Iraq builders, as you can do it. To be continued…