My Name is Yasmeena, I am from Kashmir, nobody in the world understands what this means.
On July 8th Moeen, my 7-year-old brother left the house a to join a protest.
In Kashmir, everything is protest.
Breathing is protest, our very existence is protest.
Recently the valley has been under curfew. Call it a siege.
We are locked into our homes by armed forces
We have faced decades of torture, rape, murder, brutality at the hands of the Indian state.
So why should we not protest?
Watch this video where Sanaa Sultan narrates Yasmeena’s story for the #DoNotForgetUs campaign.
Would you not protest if you were held at gun point for no apparent reason except that you were born into an occupied territory where somebody else hold the keys to your freedom?
Mooeen left to protest. When I realised I was terrified…
You see in the last days of curfew they have killed so many,
In 2010 they killed Sameer when he was 8 years old.
They beat him to death, Sweets still in his mouth,
they literally murdered his childhood. In Moeen I see Sameer.
When they tell stories of how Sameer was beaten to death
I look at Moeen and I pray that Allah will keep him safe.
I pray that I can keep him safe.
So realising he is on the streets manned by thousands of Indian soldiers, In the middle of a protest is terrifying.
It is terrifying because in Kashmir protesters face live ammunition,
In Kashmir, protesters die, become martyrs and nobody even blinks an eyelid.
Without thinking twice I left to find him, keep him safe, bring him home.
As soon as I left the house I saw him in the clutch of an armed soldier,
He was trying to break free. Imagine your 7-year-old brother fighting for his life, like that.
I ran to him to help break him free, I ran to save his life.
We fought with the men until we had freed him
And then we heard more screams
Gun shots, Screams, Gun shots.
The troops were firing at the protesters, live ammunition, into a crowd of human beings asking for freedom.
The metaphor hurts.
I grabbed Moeen and I ran, and ran, and ran.
Then it hit me, A loud sound, a gun shot. I raised my arm to the back of my head,
And found my fingers covered in blood,
And then came the pain, I fell to the ground,
A bullet in my head, I was one of the dead.
My body still on the ground, blood on the street
I was another martyr
In Kashmir, if you take to the streets,
To save the world from more dead children,
You get shot in the head and killed.
My name Yasmeena,
My mother and cousins carry my body to the hospital
On their shoulders,
They carry me across this blood stained land.
Their shoulders heavy with resilience and hope.
They fight soldiers who try to stop them from taking my body
To a hospital.
And when they finally reach,
The doctors declare, That I am dead.
Probably died from the bullet at the scene
that very moment.
Who will save my brother now?
Who will embroider flowers into Kashmir,
To save my family from the grips of poverty.
Who will comfort my mother,
Pull them through this difficult time.
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