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Terrorism Steals the Joy of Mothers

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Asma al-Mohattwari

Hassan, a child of six, bought his mother a gift to give her on Mother’s Day. He kept it with his aunt to surprise his mother on Saturday.

On Friday, Hassan’s mother prepared her son for Friday prayers. Before he went with his father, she kissed him and said, “Don’t be late for lunch.” She didn’t know that these would be her last words to him and his last kiss. She never imagined she would not see him again.

Death and terrorism stole Hassan before he had his lunch, celebrated Mother’s Day, and before he gave her the gift.

On Fridays, fathers, sons, brothers and uncles go to the mosques to pray. No one expected that terrorism could target the houses of Allah and kill worshipers. Four suicide bombers blew themselves up amid worshipers, ignoring the children who know nothing about politics. In the mosque attack on Sana’a on Friday 20th at least 13 children were killed and 19 were injured. The attacks claimed the lives of at least 137 people and injured more than 300.

Ali and Mohammed were two of the children killed. On Friday morning they were playing and laughing with their mother and one of them told her that, “We are preparing a gift for you with Dad and we will give it to you on Mother’s Day.” His brother said, “Dad told us it is a secret!” She hugged them and told them, “You are my gift and my happiness every day and every moment.”

While they were leaving with their father to the mosque, Ali turned and whispered to her, “We will buy a gift for you this evening.”

She didn’t know that these words were her last to them and their smile was the last she would see. She didn’t imagine that the clothes they wore would be a shroud for their bodies.

She heard a loud explosion that shook all parts of her body. She opened the window and saw people running out of the mosque. She cried “My sons!” The answer hit her like a thunderbolt, “Your sons are martyred now, and their father was injured and taken to the hospital.” She fainted and everything disappeared in front of her. She awoke to see nothing but some books, pens, and games, only memories and the sound of weeping and wailing. She stayed in the yard waiting for her sons to come back and refused to enter without them.

The attacks on the Badr and Al-Hashwsh mosques embody terrorism in its ugliest form. After the attack, one could see the bodies of a father who hugged his two sons who all died, a child crying on his father’s dead body, and a father carrying his dead son.