LEBANON. July 2006.
Abbas, a chubby young boy, sat on the side of a narrow village road, held his injured mother’s hand and wept. “Don’t leave me, mother, don’t go, don’t go.” “Take care of your brothers and sisters,“ the mother moaned softly, as her eyes closed leaving two white slits. A piece of shrapnel had cut into her chest and almost severed her right arm. Blood stained mother and child.
Abbas, his mother, brother, aunts and a grandmother, 18 in total, were cramped inside a small white minivan, fleeing their village in south Lebanon when an Israeli rocket pierced the roof of the car. Now the survivors were scattered on the road or in the shadow of a building crying, while inside the van lay the headless corpse of an uncle, a dead grandmother and a neighbor.
“Why are you leaving me,” Abbas started yelling at his mother, as her arm fell on the ground. He buried his face in his hands and wept. His brother, 12-year old Ali, stood on the other side of the mother, his hand bandaged and eyes staring into the horizon, as the Lebanese Red Cross started helping the survivors.
Photograph: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad/Getty Images