The Red Star

Akram Al Halabi



The light came out in the morning, and the town is on the mountain. 

The phone is ringing, and the sound of the toilet flush is echoing. 

Two are talking at the table. 

A boy is blowing a whistle. Someone is speaking through a megaphone; he is shouting with a megaphone while sitting on the hill and in between the trees.

Someone is walking in the street carrying a person as if he is not carrying anything. 

There is a person who is wrapped in a fabric, and he is being dragged by another. 

There is a woman who is wearing shoes, and she is cracking apples with her shoe.  

In the neighborhood, children are playing hopscotch. Children are playing with jumping rope. 

On the town’s landfill, someone is climbing over the garbage. 

The houses are cramped, and in every house, there is a megaphone; all the megaphones are shouting. 

Someone is screaming into a megaphone. He is facing the megaphone the wrong way.

A car is reversing in the street, and people are complaining. 

A person is walking forward but appears walking backward; as if he is on rewind. 

In each neighborhood there is a sound of a rhythm; the “Mate” sound; the “Mate” rattle. 

Someone is painting; he draws a line and erases it, draws a line and erases it, draws a line and erases it, draws a line, and erases it… 

There is a little boy with a rose in his mouth, and pages of a book turned by the wind. 

A woman made a Labaneh wrap and then nailed it to the wall. 

Someone is sitting on the toilet reading the newspaper, and another is shaving an apple. 

All this time, a man in the town opens the door and closes it. 

In the evening, a young man and a young woman are sitting in a restaurant. The plate. The food arrives. As soon as the food arrives, he puts his finger in the food.

People are stuffing. All the people are stuffing. They are piling mattresses, then a slipper on top, then mattresses, then some apples, then a blanket on top. Then they pile some plants, then a blanket, then some lettuce, then some mattresses on top, then some wood, some people, and more mattresses on top. Stuffing means: stuffing everything with everything. 

A young lady is walking between the apple trees. She has plasters. She is plastering the branches; the trees’ branches.

Some elderlies are writing texts on eggs. Their hair is growing. The hair is growing because it’s running away. It cannot help to stop growing. 


On the borderline, soldiers are dancing dabka. In the minefield, a young man and a young woman laid table and two chairs. They are drinking a glass of wine. 

Some people went to the apple fields. They wrapped apples with fabric. They set megaphones on each tree and started a conversation with each other. 

One day a cloud passed. It was raining roses. People went outdoors yelling with a megaphone: we want to sleep in peace. 

Someone runs towards a chair. He crashes into it. 

An angry little boy placed his hands downwards and stamped the ground with his foot. 

One day, it rained. People went out singing: Let it rain, let it rain on the roofs of the wilderness. Let it rain, let it rain on the roofs of the wilderness. 

One day the red star rose in the sky. People went out singing: we are the ones who colored the watermelons in red, we are the ones who colored the apples in red, we are the ones who colored the cherries in red, red, red. 

The red star is still out in the sky. People let down their hair and hung the door keys on their braids. They started to rattle: khish khish khish khish… 

One day people decided to reconcile. A decree was issued to allow handshaking. People went out to handshake. 

An eye and the eye is on the eye, a nose on the nose, a cheek on the cheek, a mouth on the mouth, a chin on the chin, hair on the hair, neck on the neck, a place on the place. No more and no less. 

All the people are walking on the seesaw, and swinging with the swing; seesaw and swinging with the swing; seesaw and swinging with the swing….