Kamal & Tayseer

written by Nasra Shihab, Kamal & Tayseer’s mother

My Darling Sweet Boys, 

Kamal, meaning perfection, and Tayseer, meaning to make things possible – this is the first time I am able to write to you after so many years. There is not a day when I do not think about you and wonder what you would be doing now and how many grandchildren you would have given me as a gift. I miss being your mother, looking out of the window in our house in Nablus to see if you were on your way home, cooking your favorite meals and hearing you laughing and smoking together. I cannot bring myself to give your things away and your room has stayed the same. This is a room that I think will remain empty until one day we meet again.

Losing one of you was, I thought at the time, the most terrible thing that could happen to a mother. And then, Tayseer, you too, were taken from me and I thought that my heart would break into pieces.

On the day of your funerals, I would not let any of your brothers and sisters out of the house.  I had to keep them safe and protect them.  Of course your brothers escaped.  They had to say goodbye. How many more children would I have to lose before this madness ends?   Kamal, I often visit the apartment we were building for you and your bride to be.   I watch the curtains blowing in the breeze in the hills of Nablus and I can almost see you smiling. 

After you were killed, I wanted to run away from all the madness and take everyone to a safe place.  I roamed the streets at night and each face I saw, I thought it might be one of you.  I hoped it was not true that you were dead.

My dearest Osama took me to a meeting to meet Israeli mothers who had also lost their children.  I only went because I trust him and because he asked.  There,  I met an Israeli mother who had also lost a son.   I watched her crying as she told the story of her loss and suddenly I had the feeling that we shared the same tears and maybe we could bring a message of peace and stop the killing.

You would have been so proud of me, my darling boys.  I went to Germany with some of the members of the Parents Circle,  and there  Angela Merkel the Chancellor gave me a gold medal and listened to my story.  

I work with many Israeli and Palestinian women and have given many DIalogue Meetings for the Parents Circle, even in Italy. 

I love you always and you are in my heart forever.

My Darling Sweet Boys, 

Kamal, meaning perfection, and Tayseer, meaning to make things possible – this is the first time I am able to write to you after so many years. There is not a day when I do not think about you and wonder what you would be doing now and how many grandchildren you would have given me as a gift. I miss being your mother, looking out of the window in our house in Nablus to see if you were on your way home, cooking your favorite meals and hearing you laughing and smoking together. I cannot bring myself to give your things away and your room has stayed the same. This is a room that I think will remain empty until one day we meet again.

Losing one of you was, I thought at the time, the most terrible thing that could happen to a mother. And then, Tayseer, you too, were taken from me and I thought that my heart would break into pieces.

On the day of your funerals, I would not let any of your brothers and sisters out of the house.  I had to keep them safe and protect them.  Of course your brothers escaped.  They had to say goodbye. How many more children would I have to lose before this madness ends?   Kamal, I often visit the apartment we were building for you and your bride to be.   I watch the curtains blowing in the breeze in the hills of Nablus and I can almost see you smiling. 

After you were killed, I wanted to run away from all the madness and take everyone to a safe place.  I roamed the streets at night and each face I saw, I thought it might be one of you.  I hoped it was not true that you were dead.

My dearest Osama took me to a meeting to meet Israeli mothers who had also lost their children.  I only went because I trust him and because he asked.  There,  I met an Israeli mother who had also lost a son.   I watched her crying as she told the story of her loss and suddenly I had the feeling that we shared the same tears and maybe we could bring a message of peace and stop the killing.

You would have been so proud of me, my darling boys.  I went to Germany with some of the members of the Parents Circle,  and there  Angela Merkel the Chancellor gave me a gold medal and listened to my story.  

I work with many Israeli and Palestinian women and have given many DIalogue Meetings for the Parents Circle, even in Italy. 

I love you always and you are in my heart forever.