“I was seven when I started writing in my diary. It was in the middle of the civil war and the basement of our building which was a clothing factory became our shelter. From my little window I could see the snipers aim and bombs falling on Beirut. I was so affected by the war that I would write down everything I saw and felt. My diary had a beautiful green cover and it became my best friend, my all time confidant. Every time I finished writing I would hide it as a treasure so no one could find it. At some point our neighborhood became a hotspot. Bombs were flying around so we had to flee. I was afraid of losing my diary so I hid it very carefully in the shelter where I was sleeping. One year later, when we returned, the building had been rebuild after all the damage of the war. The first thing I did was look for my diary but it was nowhere to be found. For many years I searched until at some point I came to realize that I would never find it again. I couldn’t write for a long time. I felt that I had lost my story. Sometimes, I still stand in front of that same building and I feel like that 7-year-old-girl again who wants to go into the shelter to try to find her diary, to find her story.”
(Beirut, Lebanon)

“In the winter of 1944 me and my brother had to leave Amsterdam because of the Hunger winter. My mother wasn’t able to provide food for us so we were send by boat to a family in the north of the country. The worst thing was that we didn’t know if we were going to be reunited ever again. We lived on a big farm with a very wealthy family. They were very good people but I remember being incredibly homesick. We were too young to really understand, but old enough to know there was a terrible war going on. In may our country was liberated from the German occupation and we returned back home to our parents in Amsterdam. Even though I was young I remember it very well. On the 8th of May 1945 the American and Canadian tanks we riding through the city of Amsterdam and the feeling was indescribable. We were finally free.”