All the wars in the world, covering distant geographical spaces, many a times not even connected by land, yet they all have one same story to tell as they all have one single sky above them. They tell you the stories of women of war, wherever you go, whoever you ask, no matter if the war was fought with machine guns or shells, with tanks or arrows. All the war in the world has one loss in common, breaching past the boundaries of race, colour and religion- the loss of the women of war. The war is different for men and women when they are in a land at war. For men it’s Kalashnikovs and tankers, for women it’s their sweat and skin.
Of all the struggles in the world, the struggle of being a woman of war is the hardest to endure because as a woman her body is never her own. The body has coups and camps, facing off, slitting each other’s throat to claim victory over the parts she is forbidden to be seen being touched. It has the sanctity of temples which the men of the world wouldn’t let her enter. It has the mystic beauty of the monuments the men of the world will turn into ashes between the gaps of her breath. It has the piety of the scriptures the men of the world will keep her illiterate to read, and she possesses the art in her that the men of the world will keep her from being.
As a woman, her body is not her own. It is of the patriarch, her father, her brother, her husband, her state, her religion, her government. It is for them she covers her skin, for them she learns to see the world through a veil, and stumble at the hems of her burqa.
As a woman of war, her body is her land where the raiders invade. The cries of children on the street are the whimpers she allows her body when the invaders sleep. Each death on the streets is a breath she skips in her sheets with every thump of intruders’ force into her skin. All the land on fire is her body mutilated for lust and desire. All the overthrowing of power is her body being tossed in the game of thrones.
And she bears it all, the woman of war, in her eyes that scream of a right that has been denied- the right to die, like the men of war.
But the war ends and she survives, listening to the fables of war, by the men of war, when the real war is in her, breathing, mapping territories of the invaders she can’t recall. The land may lose or win the war, but the women have always lost in war.
The loss is disgraceful for the men to face, so they sell them in stories printed in books, write them in scriptures ensuring their penance and compose in songs shielding the savage men of war. They try to veil the horrors of war with cloaks that couldn’t cover the women of war. They try to compensate for the ruins that still haunt the women by trying to reinstate the buildings that reek of the bestiality of war.
And when the war is over, the woman is raised again, as an embodiment of endurance, during the time of war, to let another war come and break the little she could build from her ruins of war.