Basem the 10 year old brother of Deah cried, “I want to see him again. I didn’t get to say bye.”
When I was 6 years old, I lost my baby brother to an illness. He was not even a year old. While I have other siblings, Alhamdulillah, every now and then I cannot help thinking, “What if”. Basem Barakat will never forget his big brother, but he will Inshallah move on and hopefully will follow his hero’s footsteps and be OK.
Growing in a war-torn country, I always knew why people got killed, not that I understood it, but I could see how it had happened and it was easily explainable. “A missile was fired when he was walking to school.” or “He was a soldier fighting in the war and became martyr.” or “A bomb exploded in the park where he was playing football.” As sad as each situation was, I think in a bizarre way, when it happened in a war zone, it made it easier to find closure. It is as painful of course, but the fact that you are able to explain it, might somehow make it easy. Similarly when a terminal illness takes a loved one, you know the reason, you know the limitations and you will deal with it. But this–this unnecessary tragedy; how can anyone explain this, how can anyone move on from this. A family broken by the tragedy caused by terror and hate. How will they find peace, how will they move on. They will eventually, Inshallah but the pain will always be there, the regrets, the unrealized dreams will not simply disappear.
Pain of losing children is not something one could get over and move on from. The families of Barakat and Abu-Salha are probably still in shock trying to come in terms with what happened to their loved ones. But how could anyone come in terms with such a tragedy and how can a parent deal with such a loss.
Earlier I watched Suzanne Barakat’s interview with CNN. I admire how this brave sister kept her composure. I couldn’t. I fell apart by listening to her. You could see how she was trying to deal with a complex set of emotions; shock, denial, sadness and anger. Her struggle to keep her emotions in check and speak with Anderson Cooper with utmost bravery was exceptional. You could see through this brave woman, the kind of brother Deah must have been.
Similarly, looking at Deah’s and Yosur’s families, standing strong comforting each other, remembering their loved ones by how they lived and not how they perished. May Allah have mercy on them and make the families anguish bearable.
The unnecessary tragedy such as this, displays the true face of evil. Surely, police and media will spin this however they please, but the fact that this man’s hate of religion and religious people led him to go to that extent shows that Islamophobia is real in the west.
Life is precious and every person’s life is as important as the next one’s. We need to refer to what makes us the same, our humanity and that way we will be able to see beyond the colour of skin and the believes we hold sacred. Sanctity of life should win above all.
If anyone slays a human being-unless it be [in punishment] for murder or for spreading corruption on earth-it shall be as though he had slain all mankind; whereas, if anyone saves a life, it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind. Qur’an 5:32
I am ending this post with one of Deah’s recent Tweets:
It's so freaking sad to hear people saying we should "kill Jews" or "Kill Palestinians". As if that's going to solve anything SMH
— Deah Barakat (@arabprodigy30) January 28, 2015