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And suddenly, the seams of childhood disappeared

Say to her, “My dear, my dear,
It is not so dreadful here.”

Hadil Ghabin, 9 years old, was killed Monday night after an Israeli shell struck her family’s home. 13 other members of her family were injured, including her pregnant mother, several toddlers, and her 10-year-old brother Ahmed, who lost his eye sight.

One-year old Rawan comforts her other sister, Rana

Hadil’s mother was baking bread when the shells began to fall around them. She gathered her children and they huddled inside the house for safety.

According to her aunts, Hadil loved reading, writing stories, and playing “make-believe”. Her Aunt told me :”She would always gather all the neighbourhood children and tell them all sorts of wild stories” .

And why not, for sometimes imagination is the only refuge we have here, the only realm that cannot be invaded.

The Israeli Army asserted today that despite the civlian deaths, which resulted from narrowing their range of attack, the shelling will continue.

Overcome with emotion, Hadil’s mother collapsed when the body of her daughter, limp and expressionless, was brought to the house for a final farewell.

Hadil’s 10-year-old brother Ahmed lost his sight in the attack.

Neighbours tried to comfort the grieving family, as they wept alongside them and threw fragrant basil flowers on her lifeless body before the burial.

Even as Hadil was being carried away, shells continued to pound the area, leaving billows of white smoke in the distance and an acrid smell lingering in the air.

The Ghabin household. The mother was baking bread when the shelling began, and gathered her children together in the living room when their house was hit.

“And suddenly, the seams of childhood

And the stories and dreams
flew away
like a kite”