She’d been through a lot, through something many had only heard of but were never really able to grip onto as a reality. I say this because I am one of those people that heard the screams and cries for help from Syrians who asked why? Why is he killing us? I was sympathetic at the time, as were many but it was only when I first witnessed in my midst a barrel bomb attack that I could really understand what these people were going through, what this child had seen.

I asked her if she was in pain, a shallow question driven by the selfish grasp I gained from this child’s resemblance to my daughter. With her back rested against a banged up truck and her hands tucked under its side she shook her head so very slowly and smiled at me.

I paused there beside her staring as deep as I could into the shape around her pupils with hope I would see her thoughts. I miss this child already, I worry about her. I remember the whistling of a barrel bomb racing through from out of the sky preparing its prey for devastation, destruction and and pure harm.

Hanadi spoke to me about her parents who died in that attack, she also spoke of her brothers who she has not seen since but is confident she will see one day once she looks beautiful again.

Beautiful again? I don’t think I’ve ever glimpsed so much beauty in my life, I can’t explain the amount of feeling I hold for this child, I don’t know her well but I love her well.

I’m sorry Hanadi, I am like many who have left you to deal with the ugly realities that Syria faces. Please forgive me as this time I promise I will not leave your side.

By Rami Jarrah