A Bird to sing about!

Featured Young Writers of the Month: Maryam & Nusaybah

Today we are happy to share not one, but two, featured young writers. Both are daughters of our very own Khadijah who works at Little Pickle Press as the Inside Sales Professional. Welcome these budding writers who wrote to tell us about learning when their big brother was safe. 

How Sweet it Was to Learn that My Big Brother is Safe

By Maryam Bint Khalil, 8 years old

I am so happy that my  brother is safe! I was so worried about him. For over a hundred days his village in Yemen was being attacked by people who wanted to take it over. He and his wife and children (who are my nephew and niece, isn’t that funny, because I am a kid?) could not get any food at all, or go to the doctor or anything. Mujaahid, my brother, was shot while he was praying in the masjid one day. Lots of his friends got killed. They were getting shot at and they could not get anything in, and they could not get out, not even the people who were sick or shot.

I have not seen him for a long time. The last time I saw him was when I was five. He didn’t even have Yasmeen yet, just Suhayb, who was one, and my little sister was newborn. That was three years ago. He is blonde and has blue eyes and is very, very kind and gentle.

I am so happy that he and his family are out of that village! As soon as I heard the news I could not stop bouncing. It was a beautiful moment. Just hearing the words that he was safe made me so happy! It was like a star lighting up in my heart. That feeling is never going to disappear, even though he is still in Yemen and we are here. When he visits it is like a million flower scents filling the air. In fact, it still makes me bounce just thinking about it!

I hope that he and his family come here to live on the farm with us. They could ride our horse, and milk our goats, and we could have a tea party with real tea and fancy cookies in Dani’s teapot and cups.

You simply can’t imagine how sweet the good news about Mujaahid made my life, and seeing him again would make it even sweeter!!


The Sweetness of Having My Big Brother Safe

By Nusaybah Bint Khalil, 13 years old

My heart sings every time I think of my big brother Mujaahid and that we may see him again.

The last time I saw my brother was about three years ago in Sana’a, Yemen. Whenever I think of him it brings back lots of memories.

The first one I remember was when I was about five years old. Mujaahid came one day with a surprise that delighted me! He was going to make brownies! I stood in the hallway and watched as he mixed and poured, talking all the while.

In the second one I was about six. Mujaahid appeared at the door and called me. I ran to him. He brought in my favorite black and white cat, Chip. I took him with joy and thanked him.

The last one I remember was the last time he stayed with us. He arrived with his wife and little boy. It was in Ramadhaan. We did a lot of fun things like shopping together and buying ice cream on the way home. I also remember once when the power went out. It was supper time. Mujaahid and my mother lit candles and we finished in peace.

I have immensely enjoyed and loved all of those times with him, and one of the sweetest things in the world would be to have him come live with us and make more memories.


Be sure to check out our new Pubslush campaign for Elizabeth O. Dulemba’s new book, A Bird on Water Street. For $7 you get the book with free shipping as well as an autographed bookplate from the author!

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15 thoughts on “Featured Young Writers of the Month: Maryam & Nusaybah

  1. I would probably not say it in such a colorful manner since I am a dignified grown up (not) but I felt just like Maryam when I heard that he was safe. I too, am hoping he will come home to see us soon.

  2. I can only imagine how it would feel to be in such a situation, but the words written here leave no doubt as to the absolute elation that the good news brought! Maryam and Nusaybah, thank you so much for sharing your beautifully written feelings with us today. I look forward to hearing about your reunion! 😀

  3. Maryam and Nusaybah,

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing these personal feelings about your brother. Your love for him is so perfectly expressed. It makes me smile to think of your reunion!

  4. Being safe is very sweet indeed. I think at times we take it for granted.

    Maryam, we jumped up and down at Headquarters when we learned your big brother was safe.

    Thank you for the heartfelt and sobering posts, ladies.

  5. Dearest Maryam and Nusaybah,

    Thank you for putting your words down and sharing them for us. The excitement and sweet love you feel for your brother is so obvious in how you wrote about him. Please know that we are equally as excited that he is safe! Keep writing!

  6. Both of you write eloquently and with feeling, Maryam and Nusaybah. It was so frightening to think of Mujaahid and his family in such danger, and I was bouncing with excitement myself when I heard they were safe. Big brothers are special to their little sisters, and I’m very glad for your happiness. Keeping fingers crossed for all of you that Mujaahid and his family end up sharing the farm with you. And hoping that you two will continue to share your writing.

  7. Maryam and Nusaybah, I enjoyed reading your beautifully written stories and pray that your big brother and his family come home to you soon. Impressive command of language for such young writers. I look forward to reading more of your work. Peace, love and laughter, Paula

  8. I have seldom read such feelings of joy so well put. Both of you girls are wonderful writers. I’m glad your brother is safe, too. It’s hard to imagine what you and your family are going through with his still being there. I marvel at your strength.

  9. Maryam and Nusaybah, I saved the link for your blog post to read until I got home tonight (I’ve been traveling and teaching) and I am so glad I did. Your words and images of your brother made me smile and brought happy tears to my eyes. Maryam, I can see you bouncing in my imagination, and Nusaybah, I can feel your joy. Thank you both for sharing your feelings and memories with us. I too, hope that Mujaahid and his family can come to the US and live with you on your farm. What a wonderful reunion that would be!

  10. The girls’ words flow like fresh river water over stones. Beautiful & pure. The figurative language and the simple memories convey such a delight in life and the wonderment of love for a sibling; for family. You are both on your way to mastering the writer’s craft. I hope that you continue to tell your stories. We are waiting to read them.

  11. The girls both thank you all for your replies! Maryam would write you each a letter if she could LOL!!!
    They were very nervous about posting these, thank you for being so supportive, each and every one of you, it means the world to them and to me!

  12. They are becoming blogging pros! What lovely little stories with huge messages about love and safety. I adore your children, Khadijah, and still have their precious letters. Such sweet gifts. I can’t wait to hug them. <3

  13. Maryam & Nusaybah did such a wonderful job writing these posts! They are both very brave for sharing their fears and stories. I can’t imagine how I would feel to live in fear for my brother for days on end! You must be so proud of your strong family of talented writers Khadijah!

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