by Amirah Al Wassif
We are five women who shared a rented room in Nairobi. We are five different nationalities and religions with two beds, one public bath and many, many posters of women breaking rocks and stones.
We used to write letters to ourselves, for ourselves, as a humble consolation.
If you plan to visit our worldwide room, you may find our letters entitled: From Katherine to Aisha, From Aisha to Elizabeth, From Rachel to Karina and From Karina to Aisha.
You may find the smell of our common room is a mixture of salt and honey.
We are five women covered with sweat and blood, full of pain and power, looking for our tomorrow from our narrow upper window.
We have nothing but us. Every morning, we feel ready to go to our daily fighting yard. Every day, the broiling sun calls us to come and dissolve ourselves under her boiling rays, and we can't say no because this is the way to make our living.
Although we have grown tired of everything, we never break the rocks with heavy hearts. Although the sun of Nairobi pours her boiling anger upon our heads, we never decide to flee away.
Our fingers are horrible looking. If you plan to visit our room and settle for a while, you may discover many wishes carved on the walls, written in the papers that reveal how long we wished to buy some beauty tools to make our fingers normal fingers, to turn them into women’s fingers.
If you decided to rent our room, you would figure out how our finders were terrific and unusual, and believe it or not, our boss’ fingers were nicer than our fingers.
We were five sisters who shared one single rented room and a hundred unforgotten memories.
We were five until that day. We were together until that accident.
Today, I am the only one who survived that explosion in our breaking rocks yard, and I am writing to ask you if you plan to rent our worldwide room in Nairobi, keep our memories alive and give our room to people who would share love, peace, and bread.