Friday, August 11, 2006

on needing and wanting




Diana, the sister of the Rabbit Killer, is renowned for her claws. She has left scars on the back of an older boy and has left him with swollen eyes: "he got on my nerves", she justifies. Her mom overlooks the entire scene from the school windows and has given specific instructions to the Rabbit Killer, the Cat and their brothers to hit back at anyone who pisses them off. And they're following instructions.

The mood around the school is a bit tense. With some families leaving and others settling in, there is constant tension between adults over space and resources. The kids feel the tension between the adults and manage to take advantage of it sometimes. Little 4 year-old Mohammad who spends his time biting off other kids and crying for being hit back, complained to his mom that his friend got a bigger toy than he did. The mother, in all confidence, takes the friend's toy and breaks it to pieces: "Now, honey, yours is bigger".

Miss Gyps is still hanging on to the gyps. Her mom thinks that her arm has not yet healed because the four year old is so thin that she still needs more time with the gyps. I wasn't sure of the medical justification, but looking at Miss Gyps, it made perfect sense.

But it's official: I have succeeded at spoiling the kids as much I wanted and as much as the other volunteers warned me not to. As soon as the kids see me, they hold my hand and lead me out to the ice cream shop. They twist, they crawl, and with their –not so credible – big tearful eyes, they cry: "I need some ice cream", the difference between needing and wanting being a bit unclear.

3 Comments:

Blogger Ghassan said...

The way you describe things Zeina, the behaviour of the adults is not helpful at all under such difficult circumstances, no?

August 12, 2006 10:01 am  
Blogger Paul Alonso said...

As a reader, I want to congratulate Zeina H. for her good literary writing focus on facts, on stories that function as metaphors of wider realities. It seems that you have had deep contact with journalism. I am a devoted fan, and I´d love to see you in Austin soon.

August 12, 2006 5:50 pm  
Blogger zeina h. said...

Hi Ghassan, I'm not into censorship in this blog and my role is not to beautify a situation or a community and to strip people of their human side that we may or may not appreciate.

This site is about humanizing the people that other media are objectifying whether positively or negatively.

Thanx for your comment.

August 12, 2006 9:23 pm  

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