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“It’s not always children’s stories that happen to children.”

For as long as she can remember, Nour has lived with Youmna. Youmna is beautiful and gentle and good, and she smells like the wind. She's also deaf. But Youmna is not Nour's mother, even though Nour wants her to be. Nour’s journey begins without warning. By bus, by lorry, into the sound of gun-shots, through adolescence and across borders. To join the woman who bore her, in a new life faraway, in a better place for girls like her. All she can take with her is a little box and the memory of Youmna's loving hands.

"The little box is on the shelf.

She is allowed to look at it and to touch it.

I am not allowed to open it.

She is not allowed to open it.

I promised.

She promised."


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