Harsh Innocence [Archives:2001/25/Focus]

June 18 2001
by Mohamed Kadri
Returning home at noon-time, I saw a five-year-old handicapped child holding a small cat from its tail, swinging it violently in air, threw it on ground and started to beat it with a piece of wood!
Unhesitantly, I rushed to save the poor cat, and beat the child! Thought that I had done the proper thing to stop that odd behavior, I entered my house.
Unfortunately, one hour later, while looking through the window, I was intrigued to see the same child repeat beating the cat, which now looked like a dead body!!
I can’t describe how emotionally destroyed I was. I can not even try recalling the scene as to convey additional details! My 16 years-old son said: “Dad, you would not believe that this is the fourth or fifth cat that has been tortured to death by the same child!”
The child, certainly, has done this unaware. He neither talks nor hears. Sometimes he opens his parents’ neighboring flat’s doors, enters, and escapes away! Day and night, he is in the street, moving aimlessly and playing with dust, stone and dirt. Here I had react. But being a very recent neighbor residing on the street, I talked to all I am now acquainted with, requesting that they advise the child’s parents to put him in a specialized center, adding that the street is not his right place. I had to deliver a short lecture of how such a center would benefit the child, protect and train him with a useful skill!
The gathering was divided: some showed negative emotions, as they believed the child was among the handicapped children, others sympathized with the parents’ feeling and how their hearts would be broken!
But, as the public case is so, I believe the public authorities are responsible! Laws and regulations are to be there, obliging families having handicapped children to put them in specialized centers, citizens knowing of cases have to report. And, avenues’ sheikhs must follow-up!