Her tiny hands cover her mouth as she tells of the images that come to her at night, images of burnt and mutilated bodies. She heard an explosion last month just a few blocks away from her cousin's home.
"I got so scared," she says, her eyes getting wider. "We didn't know what to do, so we just lay on the floor."
Peshawar, where Saira lives, is on the front line of Pakistan's war against militants. In October, the Pakistani army launched its most concentrated offensive yet in northwest Pakistan, against the tribal strongholds of some of the country's most ruthless militants.
The government said Saturday that the offensive was winding down, although operations were continuing in the area.
The militants in turn are fighting back with a vicious bombing campaign. They are striking with frightening regularity anywhere and everywhere in the city.
That leaves the people of Peshawar caught in between, afraid, fed up and mistrustful of all sides: the militants, the Pakistani army and the United States, which is seen as supporting the push against insurgents.
Peshawar hospitals are overwhelmed with wounded from nearly daily explosions. Dozens of police barricades meant to catch suicide bombers slow the chaotic traffic on bigger roads to a crawl. Schools are shut periodically because of security fears.
Ten-year-old Kainat, who goes to Saira's school, calls her hometown scary and telephones her friends all the time now.
"I am just worried about everyone," she says. "I talk to them all the time, and I ask, 'how is your mother and your father and everyone is safe?' I just want to know that everyone is all right."
The school hides within a 10-foot-high metal gate with two guards watching it. One guard checks the small backpacks of the children every morning with a metal detector. The Taliban has routinely attacked schools, particularly ones attended by girls.