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“Why, the whole world of knowledge is not worth that child’s prayer to dear, kind God! I say nothing of the sufferings of grown-up people, they have eaten the apple, damn them, and the devil take them all! But these little ones!”
The Brothers Karamazov
Waking up to a brand new day, to this flawed yet protected world of mine, I check the street I live in. Every single house is standing still, since there are no bombs falling through sky. People are outside, rushing somewhere, getting lost in daily life. Nobody puts a gun against someones head, against my head; my head is still at its right place, still hasn’t abandoned me yet. The “bell jar” that surrounds me is still there, being this transparent border between me and the rest of the world. Being completely safe and sound, I am all set, to get myself into trouble. I still hold the freedom of being open to this world where I reside, with all my possibilites, while somewhere, somebody is living in an extreme vulnerability, in complete chaos, where serenity doesn’t drop by. I encounter the Other’s trouble through a screen everyday, since this is what I intent, what i ask for: to get myself into trouble.
AJEnglish tweets on June 1st at 8.04 a.m: “Tortured and killed: Hamza al-Khateeb, age 13 – death in custody sparks further furious protests in Syria”. I follow the tweet till the end, and read the coverage. Hamza dissapears during a protest in Syria on 29th of April, and been held under Syrian custody until 24th of May, until returned dead to his family as just a body, that holds the marks of a horrible torture, reports Al Jazeera: “Hamza’s eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza’s chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.”
The famous nausea seizures me, real slow, making sure that I cannot get away with it. I have to go till the end, I shall take the burden on my own shoulders, so I dare to watch the censured video of the marks of the torture of Hamza’s violated body. Trying to collect the ghosts of this 13 year old’s existence, I curse to this nonsense, how on earth is it possible for the rest of us to move on?
Not being able “to die his own death”, his possibilities were taken away from him in hideousness. Hamza’s story drags me to Rilke, in whom I seek shelter, yet not comfort:
“God everything is presented ready-made. One comes along, one finds a life all prepared, one only has to put it on. One wants to leave or is forced to; no strain:
Voilà votre mort, monseiur (Here is your death, sir)”
Hamza became the symbol of the Syrian uprising: