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Sahab’s Diary \ مذكرات سحاب بالإنكليزية 1-2-3-4-5


Sahab’s Diary

مذكرات سحاب


Story\Mryam yamak

Translation \ Mona Helal


They say I’m still young. Yes, I am that. Well, I’m only nine, and this is young if you compare it to their ages. They also say that I’m very smart and that I understand everything they say, even if they allude to it. I heard them say once: “be careful what you say in front of Sahab, she is very sharp; she doesn’t miss a thing; she knows the hidden meanings”.0 Yes, they’re right. How I wished I weren’t like that! Their words hurt my feelings and cause me a lot of pain especially when they talk about my divorced mother and her family. This also happens when they want me out of the way and revert to some stupid tricks and excuses which don’t fool me one little bit.0 They sometimes say that I inherited my genes from my mother and her family who are known for their intelligence and intellect. 0 On the other hand, if you ask me about my father and his family, I’d say they are semi-educated. I won’t say they are ignorant. 0 There is one thing they have plenty of though and that is cunning. This leads them to make mistakes that don’t usually work in their favour. They nevertheless always think it’s the right thing to do, especially

الأصل العربي


One day, I was watching TV with my sister Soha in the living room. My stepmother was breastfeeding my baby brother Sameh. My sister Hoda was playing with her doll, which her uncle Saeed had given her for her birthday the day before last. Soha and I were watching a TV presenter talking to a little girl who had red satin ribbons in her hair and was wearing a beautiful dress with lots of colours and lovely flowers. I was so entranced by the scene that I thought I could smell the scent of the flowers coming through the screen and into our small living room. Oh, how I wished I had a dress like that! I felt a teardrop about to fall on my cheek which burned by the agony in my heart, but I managed to hold it between my eyelids. I could see from the corner of my eye how my stepmother was looking at me in a very strange way. A moment of silence passed which felt like ages. My stepmother asked me to turn the TV off and go to my room with Soha to help her with her lessons. Her excuse was that I was older than Soha and was ahead of her in the school by one year. I obeyed; catching a falling teardrop in the palm of my hand as I silently got up and walked to my room. I waited for Soha for a long time, but she never came. I heard the sounds coming back from the TV, louder and louder. The girl with the colourful dress was singing a song that made my tears pour hot and fast. I couldn’t hold them back; they flowed unchecked in turbulent sadness and pain. They ran thick and fast and I could taste their saltiness in my mouth; they burned the cracks on my lips and ignited the agony of my soul. It was then that I decided to write my memoirs in my diary the same way my friend Tala did.0


At night, after I made sure everyone was asleep, I took out a small notebook from my schoolbag. My teacher told us to write some notes about our lessons at home and at school. There were still lots of blank pages in it. I decided to use the second half. This won’t interfere with my school notes; besides the school year was nearly over anyway.0

I turned the dim light in my room on, and sat at the edge of my bed. I was careful not to make any noise. I was so worried Soha might wake up crying and my stepmother would wake up and scold me.0

I started thinking about everything that happened to me since I started making sense of what’s around me. I was living with my paternal grandmother. They had taken me away from my mother when her family refused to send her back to my father. She was divorced when I was still inside her tummy.0

My heart is beating faster now!0

What if my stepmother woke up now and saw me writing in my diary?0

I don’t even know what a diary is, but my friend Tala told me how she writes everything in her diary for the future.0

I liked the idea; and here I am writing in my own diary when everyone is asleep.0

Frankly what made me start writing today was my stepmother’s reaction when I was watching that girl with the colorful dress on TV. I felt heart-broken. If she were my own mother, she wouldn’t have done this. She would’ve left me to watch that girl for as long as I wanted to. She would’ve even bought me that same beautiful dress and satin ribbons too. I would wear them and look beautiful just like that girl. I would stand in front of the screen, dance to the music and my mother would clap with happiness.0

Oh, mother! Why did you leave me to my stepmother?0

Why did you and father use me as punishment to inflict on each other?0

Here I am alone with no one to feel my pain … my grandmother was much kinder than my stepmother. Well, at least she was afraid of my dad. She knew how much he loved me, and how he would get angry if someone upset me. In spite of all that, I cared too much for him to tell him about the things that used to upset me during his absence.0

I will sleep now because my heart is aching and my eyes are burning from want of sleep.

4 thoughts on “Sahab’s Diary \ مذكرات سحاب بالإنكليزية 1-2-3-4-5

  1. zahya12 Post author


    I stood tonight at the shores of misery. The sea was turbulent with its black waves lunging at me with its long fangs and sharp claws. They reminded me of the big bad wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood’s story. I saw its red eyes flashing horrible sparks at my heart to burn it. There were no barriers of warmth or tenderness to shield me from the armies of agony and misery charging at me with painful injustice from the closest people to me.0

    Tonight, before I lay down, and before I reached for my little notebook “my secret keeper”, I was in the living room with my stepmother and my siblings. My stepmother looked at me with a wry smile then asked me to go to sleep. She didn’t ask my sister to do the same. I left the room without protest. Well, it’s something I don’t have a right to, anyway. I went to the kitchen to get a glass of water. On my way to my room, I heard my stepmother whisper to Soha: “we will have ice cream when Sahab goes to sleep.”0

    I went into my room feeling miserable, and a sudden chocking sensation gripped my throat. 0

    Here it is; my stepmother kicks me out of the room with her cunning tact to have ice cream with her daughter, when she knows damned well how much I love it. No consideration of fair treatment between us sisters, or that my father is the one who pays for it, not her or her family. May God forgive you, mother! I wish you would bring me ice cream. I will eat it here in my room and won’t let this stingy stepmother of mine see me. 0


    All the events that I lived in the past came flooding into my head; all begging to be recorded in my little notebook. There are too many of them and I didn’t know where to start. They are all different; each one has a story behind it. I decided to write what comes to my mind first. I hope one day I can write them all and complete my diary. I will then give it to my teacher ‘Alia’ so she can keep it for me in her school cabinet.0

    I love my teacher very much. She is very kind. She too loves me and calls me during the break to give me chocolate biscuits.0

    She always tells the other children: “you should all try to be as good as Sahab is.”0

    One day she told me that she knows my mother, that she is a friend of my aunt Sabah’s and that she always visits my maternal grandfather’s house. I was so happy when I heard this and became even fonder of her.0

    Many a time she would forgive me for not handing in my homework, because she knew I help my stepmother with all the housework. I am the one who washes the dishes after dinner, and clean the house when my stepmother is busy making food. I was very young when she taught me how to do the washing up. She would put a small stool next to the sink so I can wash the dishes and glasses. My hands were still too small to wash the pots and pans, so she would do them instead. My back hurts when I stand for a long time to wash the dishes.0

    One day I told my father that my back hurts from the washing up every day. He got very angry at his wife and said: “Sahab is still too young for this type of work. Fear God in what you do to her. Your children might go through the same agony if I divorce you or if I die”. My stepmother screamed at him: “No, darling, I’m not like Sahab’s mother. My dowry is very high and I have strong supporters”. He shut up straight away, and never opened his mouth again whenever he saw me at the sink. He didn’t want a repeat of what he went through when the court forced him to pay my mother’s dowry after he divorced her.


    The sound of thunder woke me up tonight. It was dark, but the lightening illuminated the sides of the room and I could see everything very clearly. The door was closed and my sister was fast asleep and the house was quite and still. I was scared of the continuous clapping of thunder. It was so loud it felt as if the whole world were coming to an end. I got out of bed and walked to the window. The rain drops outside looked like lines of thread joining the sky to the earth. I was startled when my stepmother opened the door suddenly and asked me why I was out of bed so early. The surprise got me all tongue tied and I couldn’t answer. I walked back to my bed and wrapped myself in the covers. I heard her say, “Don’t leave your bed again. You might wake your sister up and the sound of thunder would frighten her.” I whispered, “Is the thunder going to last very long?” She said, “Only God knows” as she walked out of the room.
    I put my fingers in my ears to block the sound of thunder then started reading ‘Surat Al-Ikhlas’ while my mother’s image filled my vision.0


    I met her in my maternal grandmother’s house for the first time in three months, maybe four. Sometimes I wonder how a mother could bear being away from her only daughter all those months.0

    I miss her a lot and I love her very much. I don’t know why she doesn’t ask for me to visit her every Friday like my friend Nouhad’s mother does? She sees her once a week; sometimes more. Her mother takes her to the zoo to see the monkeys, the gazelles, the birds, the fish and Sony the cat. She called him Sony. She plays with him from outside his cage. One day he scratched her hand. I wish my mother would take me to see Sony and play with him, but I don’t want him to scratch my hand.0

    Nouhad is like me; her parents are divorced and she lives with her father. She often tells me about the cruelty of her stepmother. Sometimes her father would beat her up if she doesn’t help her stepmother of if she answers her back.0

    Thank God, my father doesn’t beat me up or allow anyone to beat me up. But he doesn’t know that he is the reason for my constant sadness. I wish he would bring my mother back to me. She is still not married; not like Nouhad’s mum.0

    I love my mum and dad and I often wonder if they love me too! Well, if they really loved me, then why did they divorce and deprive me of both their love?0

    I wish my mother would return to my father and have another brother and sister for me. I wish my stepmother would go to her parent’s house without her children. After all, they are my father’s children and he has the right keep them.0


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