AND Magazine Menu

A Child Of The Shadow War

Jeff d. Patterson
Middle East Specialist

The Americans say they are only going after terrorists with their drones, but I do not believe that.



One boy's life held hostage by the drones.

Drone

An unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV), also known as a combat drone or drone, is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is armed with weaponry and has no onboard human pilot. | Photo: | Drone, Uav, Unmanned, Military, War, Target,

One boy's life held hostage by the drones.

Jeff d. Patterson
Middle East Specialist

149.3K

Views/Shares

[Comments] My name is Abdulla. I am 12 years old, and I live in Yemen. I remember when I was a little kid how much I loved being Yemeni and living here. That is not how things are anymore though. Now I wish nothing more than to have never even been born, let alone to have been born in Yemen.

The past few years have been awful, and now I have a lot of problems that I didn't have before. I've started to wet the bed again at night like I did when I was a little boy. Sometimes I even get so scared that I wet myself when I'm awake. I also have nightmares almost every single time I sleep. They are so bad, and seem so real, that I am terrified of even going to sleep.

But being awake isn't any better. Actually being awake is worse because the nightmares are not only inside of my head then. When I'm awake, I know the nightmare is real.

I don't ever play outside with friends anymore either. It's hard being a 12 year old guy who loves playing soccer more than almost anything else and never being able to play outside with your friends. But that is how things are for us now.

The only way I know how to explain what life is like for me is to say that, when I'm asleep, and when I'm awake, I am trapped in a living hell. And as hard as I try, I cannot escape.

Some people just say that it is what it is. And this is true; it is what it is, but it is only this way because of what the Americans are doing to us'

These problems all began the first time I saw this thing flying in the air over our village. I did not know what it was at first, but I quickly learned. I learned that it was a drone, and that drones are what the Americans use to kill Muslims.

The first time I ever saw one of these drones was while I was playing soccer with my friends in a field next to my school. Or what used to be my school. The drone fired a missile that hit the school and blew it up. There were also people inside who were murdered when the missile exploded.

One of the people who died that day was my older sister. She was still inside the school because she liked to stay and get extra help from her teacher in science. She had a dream of one day becoming the first female doctor to ever come from our village in Yemen. But that dream was blown to pieces ' just like she was ' by the American drone.

The Americans say they are only going after terrorists with their drones, but I do not believe that is true. And even if they are killing terrorists, the drone-strikes always kill a lot of innocent Muslims ' like my older sister ' who are not evil terrorists as well. Every time I see one in the sky now I wonder if my time to die has come. Sometimes, I wish it would.

I don't understand why this is happening to us, but I wish it would end. I don't know how much more I can take. Literally, I don't know how much more I can take.

I can't imagine life being any worse; I have terrifying nightmares when I sleep, I am in constant fear when I'm awake, I never play outside with friends anymore because we are scared of the American drones coming and shooting at us again, our village no longer has a school, and my only sister, who was my role model and best friend, is dead.

All because of the American drones.


Jeff d. Patterson

Jeff d. Patterson, Middle East Specialist: While the ashes were beginning to settle in New York City with the setting of the sun on 9/11, Jeff D. Patterson was unpacking his bags far, far away from American shores; far, far away from his family and friends; far, far away from his homeland. He was starting a new phase of life in a region of the world he would call ‘home’ for most of the next decade. Jeff was taking his first breaths of Middle Eastern air, thinking of the world becoming a better place… In contrast to most... (more...)