Playgrounds in the Valley of Death

Hanan, I have found our dolls,
And all our chores are done,
And all our schoolwork is done.
The rest of the day is ours!
Come play with me, have fun.

Yes, yes, Leila, I am coming!
But first let me find my shoe.
And please will you tie the lace?
I cannot tie the lace.
I never do it well.
Leila, I’m glad that you do.

There, Hanan, your shoes are tied.
Come, let us go away
Do you have the doll’s clothes?
The ones that we made? The doll’s clothes?
Good, then we are ready.
We shall visit Maria today.

The Palestinian sisters
Skip gaily out of doors.
They run past the ancient olive tree-
Their family’s last ancient olive tree,
And try hard not to remember
That there once were many more.

Leila, it’s very muddy today.
Yes, Hanan, you are right.
The pathway will be full of mud.
Let us not go the way that has such mud.
Let us walk along by the road
Where the mud is very light.

Leila! I will not go that way!
There are war tanks along the road!
And the soldiers are so cruel-
You know they are always cruel.
You know they might shoot us for fun!
You shall not make me go!

Hanan, if we close our eyes up tight
As we pass them by,
Then to them we will be invisible!
They see not what is invisible.
They cannot shoot invisible girls-
They could not see to try!

So, holding hands and closing eyes,
The sisters ‘invisibly’ walk through.
Hanan still feels the fear in her heart,
But trusts her sister with all her heart.
The soldiers see them, but pay no mind.
For once, they have something better to do.

You see, Hanan? They did not see us!
Yes! Oh, Leila, you are so clever!
What a wonderful idea it was you had!
The best idea anyone has had!
We must tell this plan to our people.
Now we will be safe forever!

Just wait till we tell Maria
The wonderful idea you’ve had!
Think how happy Maria will be!
She will say it is too good to be!
Now all our people will be safe!
Oh Leila, I’m so glad!

Yes, Hanan, I’m so glad, too,
And here is Maria’s home.
And there’s Maria’s mother.
Let us ask Maria’s mother
If we can play with Maria today
To show her the doll clothes we’ve sewn.

Hello, Mrs. Fayyad, is Maria home?
Yes, girls, in her usual place.
Go ahead and play with her.
I know you want to play with her.
I know it makes you happy
To see her smiling face.

Thank you, thank you, Mrs. Fayyad!
And quickly away to Maria they ran.
Maria’s mother watched them go-
With grief-filled eyes, she watched them go,
And wiped a tear from her worry-lined cheek
With a trembling, calloused hand.

The girls came to a garden wall,
And there beneath a large fig tree,
Maria sat beside a stone-
A very round and large, flat stone-
A perfect dolly-party table
For baklava and coffee.

Hello Maria, how are you?
We’ve brought our dolls to play.
We made new clothes to show you-
In just a minute we’ll show you,
But first you’ll hear a wonderful thing!
Leila, tell her what happened today!

So with breathless words and sparkling eyes
Leila told Maria how all the while
They had passed the soldiers and been invisible
And were safe because they were invisible
And all Palestinians could be safe from the settlers now!
And Maria brightly smiled.

Can you believe this Maria?
God is great! Is He not?
Think! Now our parents will be so happy!
Now all Palestinians will be so happy,
Because now at last we can live without fear
Of being bombed or shot!

Maria’s beautiful black eyes shone
From beneath her curly head.
And her lips were oh, so happily smiling,
So beautiful, cheerfully, happily smiling,
And dimples marked her rosy cheeks,
But never a word she said.

Hanan, Maria, we must celebrate!
Here, have a piece of cake.
One for you, Hanan, and your little doll,
One for Maria, me and my doll,
And now, God be praised, we shall eat.
But Maria did not partake.

Soon, the day’s shadows began to grow long,
And Maria’s mother came.
Girls, you should be going back home,
It’s late, and your mother will want you home.
She will very soon be worrying for you.
you must stop your little game.

Yes, Mrs. Fayyad, we will go home now,
And we shall tell you a wonderful thing!
But goodbye, Maria, we will see you soon.
You can be very sure we will see you soon.
Oh, Allah be praised for His goodness!
And the happiness He brings!

Later, alone in the dusky twilight,
Maria’s mother strode to the rock,
Where Maria still sat there smiling-
Maria sat motionless, blankly smiling.
Her mother touched the hard little face
And gasped through a strangled sob.

For this Maria was her daughter’s doll,
And her own Maria was dead!
Her form had been ripped by machine gun bullets.
That demon-soldier’s machine gun bullets
Had torn through the body of her little darling,
And to death, Maria had bled.

And at noon, the next day, a hard wooden box
Had been carried away through the streets,
That bore the corpse of Maria.
All the townspeople mourned for Maria,
And cursed the race of invaders
Which again had destroyed what was sweet.

But Maria was loved by Hanan and Leila
So much, that when after she died,
The two little girls found Maria’s doll-
Maria’s favorite, beloved doll,
And pretended it was Maria herself,
So that from their grief they could hide.

Oh precious girls! They should not know
The gnawing, sickening pain of dread!
And their poor little dreams of being invisible!
For they can live only by being invisible.
And Maria the doll is loved and caressed…
While the Maria the child is dead.


15 comments so far

  1. Sami Joseph on


  2. Hesham Tillawi on

    Anne Frank has nothing over you stef

  3. Curt Maynard on

    Wonderful. It’s blogged at the Politically Correct Apostate and deserves to be seen all over the world. God bless!

  4. Howard Dietrich on

    Hey Stefania,

    Well Done!! You’ve done it again! Keep up the excellent work 🙂

    May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you!

  5. Uncle Bill on

    Very Nice indeed!

  6. Mark Dankof on

    This moving testimony will soon be blogged at Al Bawaba in Amman, Jordan. The testimony of Stefania Glenn, along with her parents, reminds me once again of the Theology of the Cross as St. Paul, Augustine, and Luther understood it. God bless all of you.

  7. Joe Cortina on

    Stefania – well done my child. The only ‘flaw’ in your story is that it is true – brutally – frightenly – and sadly TRUE. The brutality that you portray will be – with the exception of those uf us who KNOW and LIVE the TRUTH – taken as exaggeration and the ‘overactive mind of a child’ The sadistic brutality of the Jew must be witnessed to be believed – for the simple reason that decent civil human beings cannot bring themselves to believe such perverse animalistic remorseless evil can be emblematic to any ethnicity. The Jew is living proof of the necessity of the existance of a ‘hell’.

  8. Joe Fields on

    Once again….WELL DONE, Stefania.
    Will forward far and wide!

  9. Rehmat on

    Good work dear – but I am afraid Palestinian Muslims and Christians will never get their freedom from Zionist settlers, as long as, they have such leaders among them.

  10. Hesham Tillawi on

    Did I say that it is published on the Current Issues TV website? it is

  11. Ruth B. on

    Whoa dude… that is very deep & AWESOME.
    Well done is an understatement!

  12. Ray Goodwin on

    Maria would not have been murdered but for the US government. The Israeli tail wags their American dog.All the while, ignorant americans who feel they are so informed wonder why their nation is despised by thinking people all over the world. Thank you Stefania for the reminder that we Americans should be eternally ashamed.
    Keep up the excellent and touching writing.
    Ray Goodwin

  13. Kyle Hammans on


    I could sense as I read that this story would have such a twist, but yet again you make it more poetic and more hard-hitting that one could imagine. Your poetry hits me hard, not just as a human, and as a Christian, but also as an American whose outlaw military rule/corporate government supports the terror reflected in your piece. Please continue to be open to share these sentiments with us.

    God Bless you.

    Kyle Hammans

  14. Peter on

    Very touching and powerful writing.We in the West should be ashamed of our role in the Middle East and of our inability to stop our leaders supporting Zionism.

  15. Lin on

    This was so beautiful and though harsh and true, it is something the world should know and read. Thank you

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