The Monster of My Dreams

I hope this poem moves you to reject the inhumanity we see around us, and to strive for reconciliation with God and mankind.  The person in this narrative is a fictional character, one who is responsible for the death of Zainab Al-Hosni, a young Syrian girl.


I spent many years in my childhood clinging to my mother and father. I was terrified of scary beasts. I knew it was just around the corner or hiding in the dark. Little did I know that I was the beast.

I used to have nightmares of hairy monsters with sharp claws and drooling teeth. Little did I know that it was my own image I dreamt of.

In my dreams I was always chased by that beast with huge claws that only wanted to snatch me up for food. Little did I know that I was that mutilator.

I used to cry out for help, saying, “I’m still so young! What have I done?” Or sometimes I pleaded just to see the world before my time to die. Those are the same cries I hear now.

The ‘Flower of Syria,’ that is what they call her. Yes, she was a flower of only 19 and I ended her life. I am the beast who did it.

Jasmine, the unofficial flower of Syria

It was I who did those horrendous things to her, it was I who killed her. How did I turn into my worst fears?

I saw the funeral as I walked home that day. I saw her grieving mother. The whole town wept with her. It was my fault they wept.

That night my son woke up crying, scared of a big, evil monster. I held him close knowing that it was only getting closer. Was it me he feared?

I rocked him back and forth saying quietly, “Run, run, or else you’ll be like me.” As he cried, I wept.

When did I become the monster of my dreams? Am I even human?

“Ya Allah, ya Allah!” I cried out, “Irhamny, ya Allah!” I wept.

Whatever humanity was left in me, I would seek. Whatever hope I had left from God, I would give to others. There was no other way I could live my life from now on.

Ya Allah, ya Allah


For more information on Zainab, please click here.

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