Amahl Bishara

Childhood Interrupted, Again

On Friday, December 8, six gunshots pierced the afternoon calm and six children started screaming. The cousins had been playing together with their usual gusto on the third-story veranda of their home in Aida Refugee Camp in the West Bank. A bullet tore through the slender body of one of them, a thirteen-year-old boy named Miras Al-Azzah. Several more bullets hit the stone house, and splinters of debris sliced into the bodies of the other children: Athal (10) and Rowaid (8), Miras’s younger sister and brother, and Maysan (12), Zaid (7), and Ansam (3). 

Assume the position: a play about prison is followed by arrests

“Nidal played the hero of the play who did not confess anything to the interrogators. He said that the play taught them about what to expect if they were ever arrested, and how to avoid giving up information even when manipulated. ‘Now,’ he said, ‘three of the actors are living the play in real life.’ Muhammad, who played an interrogator in the play, is lonely these days, having lost many in his circle of friends. With a forlorn air that almost suggested he only spoke to journalists because there was no one else to talk to, Muhammad said, ‘Before the arrests, there was movement in Aida, I could find people to chat with. Now, there is no one’.” Amahl Bishara and Nidal al-Azraq report on life imitating art in one West Bank refugee camp.