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Under the acacia tree

Latest moving comment from Unite’s Joy Johnson
Joy Johnson, Thursday, November 14th, 2019

On a Yemeni farm

it was the spring planting season.

Fourteen year old

Raja Hamid Yahya al-Oud

that day with her mother,

as on any other,

rested under the acacia tree.


On a Turkish beach

Alan Kurdi from Kobane

red tee shirt, blue shorts,

lay face downwards.

An image as distant as can be imagined

from the photo left behind.

His older brother and a teddy bear

as big as the two of them.


On the Arabian peninsula in Saada city

the school bus was packed.

Twelve year old Khaled

chattered and laughed.

A younger boy

slept through the babble


Children doing what

children do the world over.


Until this.


From the moment Khaled

witnessed the carnage

of his school friends

play ended.

His childhood dreams turned ugly.


Until this.


The seas still swallow refugees.

Alan Kurdi washed up onto

that Turkish beach

never to be forgotten.


Until this


Her body twisted.

The cluster bomb scattered

its fatal munitions

under the umbrella

of the acacia’s sweet smelling leaves.




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