A Hand Plays only to Quit Writing

By Bushra Al Hamidi

With each new morning, Jawad Muneer Sarhan wakes up early to collect his books and put them in his backpack for school. He is a 14-year-old seventh-grade student who studies at Revolutionary Awareness (Al-Waie al-Thawri) School in Masaliya Village – Mashra`a & Hadnan District of Taiz Governorate.

On his way to school, his steps race against time. Once his feet set in the school yard, he heads towards the classroom where he seats and puts his school bag behind his back. Then the teacher begins to explain the lesson by writing it on the board before he orders his students to write it down.

Jawad says, “Here I hold the pen in one hand and pass it over every line of paper while my other hand is turning the pages.

The school day ended peacefully, and Jawad went to his brother’s class so that they can go home together as they do every day, accompanying his brother with his hand on his shoulder.

On their way home, they found a foreign object, a “non-explosive projectile” which the children did not know at the time that it was a projectile left by the Houthi militia as a souvenir or a sign proving they passed through here since they plant mines before they withdraw from any area.

They picked the projectile up as they were just children who would pick up everything strange or whatever caught their attention, unaware of what they were picking up, and they went back home.

Jawad says, “I put the bag and the toy (the projectile) next to it. I went to have lunch with my mother and my siblings. After we had finished, we took the projectile and went out to the rooftops to play. I didn’t know that it was explosive. While I was throwing to my brother’s hand, it exploded and I didn’t know anything.”

He adds: Everything happened suddenly. It was a few seconds that made the world spinning around. The projectile was no longer in my hand, and the voice of (my brother Muhammad) who was playing with me had disappeared. I knew nothing but that blood was flowing from me and the shrapnel had injured all my body. I felt that I was going to die.

Jawad and his brother were taken to the hospital. Their bodies were covered by shrapnel, and Jawad’s right hand was amputated.

That boy who once used to hold the pen in one hand and turn the paper with his other hand, is no longer able to write using one hand. Jawad says, “I don’t like playing while I see the pity in the eyes of others. It is difficult even to turn the paper. I haven’t had my hand amputated before, but the militia of destruction did it, as they put their criminal machine everywhere to mess with us and everything that is beautiful and to turn joy and happiness into pain that dwells inside our souls for the rest of our life.”

Jawad’s father says that his son’s mental state after the amputation of his hand is very bad as he refuses to talk to anyone and no longer goes to school and refuses to leave the house to play with his peers.

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