I’m pleased to present this new short story, “First Leaf” which is available to read online for free as part of FIYAH Literary Magazine‘s Special Palestine Issue.
This story is what I call a feminist fairy tale and, due to its emotional nature and message, it was more challenging for me to write than many of my other stories. This is one that I felt in my heart and my bones.
My grandmother, Salwa Saba, who gave me my Palestinian heritage through my father, is present in the words of the story. Her love and her sharp tongue both have echoes in the character of the older woman, Ikma.
Today I’m wearing a scarf of Teita Sally’s that’s infused with her perfume, to honor her memory as this story enters the world.
Without further ado, I hope you enjoy this story of courage, love, and empowerment.
First Leaf by Elise Stephens: