top of page

Engineered paradise designed for the mutual expression of grief, despair and  mourning.




I hear a scream. It’s Baba and then all of a sudden I make a loud thump. I fall on my knee and then on my elbow as I try to brace the fall. Before I know it Baba is over me with a horrified look taking inventory of the scrapes and cuts. This is the closest he’s ever been to me. I had never realized his eyes  were so green. He’s asking me questions, but I’m mesmerized by his face. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it so close before. As soon as I tell him I’m fine and he immediately changes his expression. He scolds me for climbing the olive trees. I can’t hide in their leaves anymore. Baba slowly begins to walk away after his rant. He looks back only once to make sure I’ve gotten up and goes back into the house hiding his face.


My body aches and I just want to cry. Baba tells Muhammad all the time that brave men don’t cry. I want to be brave, but I feel so sad. I start to run, I can run really fast. I beat all the boys from my street in a race a couple of weeks ago. They were mad. I run to the bottom of the hill, and take the road that leads to the Babel-Zawiye market. I run past all the vegetables and the fruit stands and make my way to the square. I’m running around the square looking for the entrance. I can’t remember where It is, I’ve only been There once before. All of a sudden a soldier appears, he says something I don’t understand. Since I haven’t been to school yet, I haven’t been taught Their language. But seeing one of Them always makes me a little afraid and stand up straight.


All of a sudden the soldier turns pale. It is as if he had seen a ghost, like in the American cartoon shows Muhammad plays on the computer. He grabs my arm and starts to shake it asking questions I don’t understand. I look straight into his blue eyes and he is startled. He finally tires of repeating whatever it is he was saying  and with an almost sad look turns around and walks away. I’m confused, but at least he’s left, and now I think I know where the entrance is. It’s at the northern end of the square by Zaid’s house. I run towards the elevators that take me to the walkway. My knees still hurt but I tell myself I just have to be brave for a little bit longer. I walk above the city towards the big stair towers. They rise above me me as if they had been expecting me. But today I won’t climb the stairs, I’ll take the elevator. 


Once inside, I calm down. There’s no need to run anymore. I am where I need to be. The doors open revealing the cylinders. I can see the vapor inside their walls rising towards the sky. There are others in the sanctuaries but it doesn’t matter. No one talks to here. There are just people alone with their thoughts. Leaving their pain to be carried away by the vapor. I don’t have to be brave anymore here. I go into the smallest chamber sit on the bench and begin to cry. I cry because I wish my Ummi, my mamma, was still alive.

bottom of page