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  • Nada Serhan

Roots and Broken Pieces

(This is an excerpt from a story I am writing. It is about how as a 9 year old kid arriving to war torn Beirut from war-driven Kuwait in 1990, I perceived the bombed buildings in Downtown Beirut).

Age 9 was the age I started biting my nails (and I still do to this day). Age 9 was the age I stopped diving into pools (I can't even jump into a pool now as opposed to winning diving competitions held amongst me and my neighbors). Age 9 was the age I stopped racing my bike and stopped cycling all together due to the crowded roads in Beirut and almost zero spaces for kids.

I feel stupid writing that sentence. Lebanon, Beirut was half bombed to the ground.

What spaces?


Downtown was a space of rubble, little buildings still standing where war had taken vicious bites out of their sides, leaving their skeletal bones and nerves visible and vulnerable to all: our gazes, nature's gentleness and cruelty, and to themselves occupying planes with missing limbs.


Yet their foundations strongly rooted under the earth they couldn't let go or fall down dying. Their foundations remained stubborn, holding up broken pieces and insisting on keeping them on display for all of us to see.




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