Fiction: The Gates of Madaya by Ayeni Tolulope
Here is a flash fiction which tries to explain the life under siege of the people in Madaya, Syria.
“The trucks are here” Al-Tunji screamed as he ran into our shelter to call me. The gates of Madaya had been locked for months, there was a siege on our town by the Hezbollah group. It made no sense to me, why did the want us locked behind this mountains.
The repercussion was we had nothing to eat and no one could leave Madaya to source for food. Just last week I had to kill the family dog and cook it in grass, dog eating is totally against tradition but we must survive. Tamar was a good dog, but men can’t die and dogs live. The food supplies had arrived but today was a different tale.
Before the siege, whenever supplies arrived from the West the children would rush down to the streets to welcome them and even the adults would wear a bit of smile on their faces.
It was all different today, the long trucks strolled into our lonely street, with no one to welcome them, most people had been rooted to their beds by hunger.
The children who cheered, were either dead or suffering from extreme malnutrition. The adults had nothing to smile about, it was all pain.
I hobbled and followed Al-Tunji outside to see the supplies. There were four trucks with peace symbols.
“Just four trucks?” I quizzed myself.
Again it all felt like a death sentence, how could we possibly survive with this?
Today was the first time in four months the gates of Madaya had been opened. No one on the planet knew when next it would reopen. Four trucks can’t last this community a month, not to talk of three. I dropped my crouches and sat on the floor. I began to think of the war, before this war I was doing fine with my shoe business, a big one, but war respects no business mogul.
Al-Tunji says I am even lucky to be alive and that is all I should be grateful about. I have survived two air raids, I lost my first son Ali Farzat in the first air strike and I lost a leg in the second attack. My husband Al-Tunji walks up to me and uses his top to wipe away my tears.
“Cry not Asmahan” was all he could mutter as he soon joined me in tears.
Written by Ayeni Tolulope