Zahra's Dad is from England, and her Mom is from Iraq but she was born in England. When Zahra was seven years old her Mom suggested that the whole family go back to Iraq to see her side of the family, and she wanted to stay for awhile so that Zhara and her sisters and brotherts could really get to know them.
Her Dad thought it was a crazy idea that her Mom was out of her mind after all, there was a war going on, it was dangerous, and not everyone there in Iraq was guaranteed to survive. But her Mom felt very strongly about it she wanted Zahra and her sisters and brothers to see the place where she had been born and raised, where her family was their grandparents and other relatives. And so, finally, their Dad gave in and agreed that they would go war or no war and they moved.
Everything was fine for a couple of years, until Zahra turned nine. One night it was actually 4:00 AM Zahra woke to the sounds of yells, screams, and crying. She was confused at first, but something was definitely going on outside on the street. She went to the window and there, across the street, an entire building was on fire.
She rushed into her Mom's room, woke her, and dragged her down the hall to her own room to show her. Her Mom let out a scream and then went quickly to wake the rest of the family. It didn't take long for them to realize that the war had come to them, their city was being attacked. Bombs were falling. There was nothing much they could do, in order to survive they needed to shelter in place and try to wait it out for as long as they could.
But, after a few weeks they were running very low on food they had been inside trying to avoid the war and survive since those first bombs fell. Her Dad saw that they wouldn't survive much longer without food and supplies and so he and Zahra's older sister packed some gear, gave out hugs and kisses to the family, and set out into the war torn city in search of food.
After four days without any sign or word from her Dad and sister her Mom started to panic and they all started to fear for their safety and survival. They began to lose hope as time continued to drift by without their Father and sister returning, and finally, they felt there was nothing they could do except to pray, and so they did and, a miracle, a mixed blessing, but a blessing nonetheless their father appeared out of the smoke and haze of the street, alone.
He was injured, exhausted, and not in good shape, crying Zahra's sister was gone, forever.
It has taken time, but Zahra has faith and a strong belief, and she knows that there was a purpose for her sister leaving this earth. And, she realizes that now her sister will be with her, by her side, forever and no matter what.
As soon as they could they moved back to England, and now at thirteen years old, she is happy again. Her life is good and full of blessings. She survived the war but lost her sister, and she misses her of course, but, she also knows now that no matter how tough things get, even in war, they can and do get better.