I was lying in bed with my mom and I asked her how she knew my name was going to be Hannah.

“I visited Palestine many years ago before you were born. There was a girl who was at your tender age who had been living a really hard life. I would go to the mosque every day and see this girl reciting with her sister and her mom. She asked if I would like to come for dinner. She said that they did not have much but she would love to share. So I went to have dinner with them.”

On my mom’s last day in Palestine she went to the mosque and saw the girl and her family. There were no emails and cell phones back then and the people from Israel would not allow people to send letters in or out of Palestine. So she knew she might never see or hear from them again.

And just as she was leaving, the little girl stopped her and said, “If you ever have a child name her after me.” I just burst into tears and kept thinking of the terrible things happening in this world. I once read a book that touched my heart about how families were being torn apart just because someone is greedy and power-hungry. It broke my heart reading this and just made think of the clothes and food I had and how I was so grateful for everything.

I asked my mom who was in charge of Israel but she said that she did not want to remember his name but that he had children himself. So why does he care so little. And that night I dreamt that I had met him and confronted him, “Just imagine your own children being taken away from you or killed or having to flee from their own country or your house being destroyed in front of your eyes. Or having to live under constant threats of being killed.” I wish I knew his reaction.

I write for myself. Though I know people are being punished just for speaking up for what they believe in. I think some people who will maybe see this and be grateful for what they have. Every night please think and pray for those who don’t have such privileges and not only in Palestine but in all the countries with poverty.

I have one more thing to say to South Africans living in townships and in places which are being run down with no water. When we have load shedding we always complain but these places go hours without electricity.

Now we have a Corona pandemic and everything is so awful. A few nights ago my mom had a call from a lady who she knew and she was asking for milk for her baby. That also broke my heart. I heard that their township had people being burned just because they refused to join a gang. Some of these people are drug addicts or just upset so they want other people to feel their pain and hurt. We can help them overcome their struggles.


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