Guest contribution by Deena Kishawi
“Kubayyit barrad yakho” you shout to the guy at Kazem as he takes your shekel.
He hands you a cup of icy yellow slush.
Flavor: mystery —
Or rather, TOP SECRET.
No one knows how it’s made.
No one can replicate Kazem’s barrad.
Banana flavor? Mango? Pineapple? Lemon? Guava?
Only Kazem knows.
A corner on Omar Al-Mukhtar Street is home to the city’s favorite colorful ice cream shoppe.
The clear plastic dixie cups with
The clear plastic straw and
The yellow concoction
Bring a smile to any Gazan’s face,
Young or old.
As it melts down the side of the cup,
Your hand becomes sticky,
Even stained yellow.
You can’t help but smile.
In a city that’s overpopulated,
Dotted with broken concrete, dust, bent metal, shrapnel,
You hold a glimmer of hope,
A refreshment in this scorching hot day,
A cup of barrad.
Deena Kishawi is a senior in high school who devotes her time to raising awareness about the occupation of Palestine and the use of Islamophobia as a strategy in mainstream media. Her family is from Gaza City.