We have the winner of the English short story competition!

The winner is Kyösti Mäkelä from Finland for his short story “Survivor” inspired in the picture “Hebron, one of the streets of the Old City” taken by Miriam Ramos (Palestine’s volunteer). Congratulations!

Members of the jury: Maria Chiara Lesi (GVC), Carmen del Vecchio (Haiti’s volunteer) y Erika Bozzato (Lebanon’s volunteer).

Jury’s explanation: “The Survivor  was laborated on such an essential photo. Each sentence is very accurate and the writer’s feelings can be really felt. From the story the reader can imagine step by step exactly the situation. The writing is tragic and passionate at the same time, building on the photo and integrating with it.”

We received 7 short stories and we also would like to thank all the participants!

MIRIAM - Pal - Hebron, one of the streets of the Old City

2) Miriam Ramos – Palestine – «Hebron, one of the streets of the Old City».


I walk down the streets.
All I can see is destruction.
I can see our history, shattered.
It’s just a shadow of its former glory.
Shadow of peace.

My grandfather told me about this place, but I can’t recognise it even I try.
It can’t be the same place.
I don’t want this to be it.
That place I was told about was full of happiness.
Full of live.
Now it’s gone.
Dreams has been buried here.
And for what.
For fairness.
For greed.
I pass a building.
As I pass it I can hear a voice.
I look carefully inside.

There’s a child.
Someones first.
Someones pride.
Observing the world as he sees it.
Whit out hate.
He doesn’t see the things as I see.
I envy him.

The boy is sitting on the floor.
His mother is sleeping next to him.
She has given everything.
She has done her best.
That’s enough.
Enough for now.
They are in a room that use to be someones home, someones sanctuary.
Now it’s just pile of rocks and dust.

I take my backpack off from my shoulders and I take a small packet, filled whit food.
I leave it on the table, next to the broken window.
They will need it more than I do
I need to do it for them.
I need to do it for myself.

I arrive to the place my grandfather told me to come.
I can recognise it, but I still don’t know why I’m here.
I sitt down and look at it.
I’m there trough the night.
As the sun starts to rise I think I finally understand.
I know now why I needed to come here.

I have never thought about it.
Maybe because it’s nothing special.
It’s a shame.
I should have given it more respect.

There’s a three.
Three that I planted as a boy.
It has no leaves on it, just small buds.
Its naked figure is just dancing in the wind.
It’s been there.
It has seen a lot.
It’s one whit it’s environment.

You can rip off its body.
You can hurt it.
It’s helpless against your violence.
It doesn’t matter.
It will die anyway.
It does every year.
But still, it’s something.
Something that matters.
It’s a survivor.

When the times are at their darkest it will hide it’s self.
All the energy it haves.
It will wait.
It will try to hang on no matter what happens.
Patient is it’s strength.
When the sun will rise again so will it.
It will bloom again.
Its just have to wait.
Times will get better.
Even if it can’t be sure about it, it has fait.

When the sun will shine upon it once again, it knows.
It knows when to take action.
When to try again.
When to give everything you have.

Sun is rising.
Now I see more than just shadows.
Now understand what my grandfather wanted me to learn.

He saw what I was becoming.
He saw that I needed to learn.
Learn how to give up my anger, my bitterness.
Act of violence wouldn’t be the way to change things.
I would be just changing myself.
It wouldn’t change anything else in the end.

As I head back to my loved ones I see a graffiti on the wall.
I stop at it.
I look at it and I see the truth in it.
It makes me calm.
No matter what happens this will always be it.

+ See all the stories (pdf)

+ See the winner of the Spanish short story competition

+See #PicsVolunteers content basis

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