A Palestinian boy with a gun to his head asked if I was OK. I still think about him | Tariq Jordan | Opinion | The Guardian

As we sat silently, staring down the barrel of his gun, the 13-year-old boy sitting next to me turned and asked if I was all right. I simply nodded. He smiled at me and said: “Don’t worry, it will all be fine.” I suddenly felt rather embarrassed. Embarrassed that a 30-year-old man was being comforted by a child. The soldier began walking along the bus and at that moment I needed to feel good about myself. So what did I do? I acknowledged my sympathy. I felt for this kid sat next to me. I reminded myself no child should have to stare down the barrel of a gun. I reminded myself no child should have to feel the fear of death. I reminded myself this was all so wrong. And I ultimately reminded myself that my sympathy did nothing for my 13-year-old companion. This lad looked to me again and observed that I was nervous. “Smile, it will help!” he said before asking for my passport. I didn’t even question giving my British passport to a 13-year-old child. He placed the passport visibly on my lap and said something that made me realise my sympathy was futile. “This is Kryptonite, remember that.” The soldier arrived at my seat and pointed his gun in my young friend’s face, while the boy sho

Source: A Palestinian boy with a gun to his head asked if I was OK. I still think about him | Tariq Jordan | Opinion | The Guardian