Salaam. Hello. My name is Mustafa. I am 11 years old and I live in Ramallah, and I am in the fifth grade. I like school (except for math class) and I have a lot of friends. We like to play soccer together in the school yard.

We got special treats today in school because my friend Yousef was celebrating. He brought in special candies for everyone in the class because his uncle was just released from Zionist prison. The teacher let Yousef speak in front of the class about his uncle. Yousef said that he never met his uncle before, but he had heard from his parents what a great hero his uncle was. His uncle had broken into a house of the Zionists and killed a woman and a baby with his knife. He was then caught by the Zionist army and sent to jail for twenty years. He was supposed to be in jail for much longer, but the Zionists are weak and cowardly.

I live not far from the central square in Ramallah. I wanted to go to the celebration of victory at the square last night and see all of the heroes coming back from the Zionist jail, but my father said that it was too late for me. He said that I had to sleep to be ready for school. I woke up in the middle of the night because I heard gunshots and celebration coming from the square. I am a bit upset that my big brother Hassan, who is 14 years old, was allowed to go, and I wasn’t.

Our teacher talks a lot about the Zionists and about how they steal our land. When I grow up, I want to fight the Zionists also. Our teacher says that we will only have peace when we can return to the whole land of Palestine. I would like that because I love swimming in the sea, and I haven’t been there for two years, since I got a permit from the Zionists to go to Tel Aviv.

My neighbor next door used to have a son named Ahmed. When Ahmed was 18, he went to Jerusalem and exploded a bus. He killed lots of Zionists, about 15 I think, and many children, but he died also. Everyone in the neighborhood was excited. Even Ahmed’s father and mother were excited at first. That happened a long time ago, and I don’t even remember Ahmed so well. Now, when I see Ahmed’s parents, they always look sad. I think they miss Ahmed, even though he is a Shahid, a martyr that is in heaven, in a very good place.

A picture glorifying Palestinian martyrs in the West Bank town of Hawara. Credit: Avraham Hermon

A picture glorifying Palestinian martyrs in the West Bank town of Hawara. Credit: Avraham Hermon

When I was younger, I thought that I would be a Shahid. I thought that I would die killing Zionists and freeing my land. But I don’t want my parents to be sad like Ahmed’s parents. I see that it is still possible to fight for my homeland and to kill Zionists, without being killed, and I can return home.

If I use a knife and sneak into a house in a settlement and kill Jews while they sleep, I will be a real hero. I will be like those boys who killed most of a family in the settlement Itamar. They are in jail, but they will get out too, and live happy lives. Even if they catch me, I will return to my family and to my town, just like Yousef’s uncle. Maybe I will be able to get a gun and shoot from far away. I won’t be killed, but I will be able to hurt Zionists and fight for my land. I will be a hero.