A cup of hope

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

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.

There are 4 comments

  1. Roba Abushaaban

    I visited Gaza few times since birth. Both my parents were born in Gaza and lived there until high school. But the few times I visited, I tried the Barrad. I love it. I tell me kids about it. I even bought the food coloring and the flavoring to make it at home. It is so easy to make. If you want the recipe, let me know. Salam.

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