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Shireen Abu Akleh: The Death that Hit

I grew up seeing and hearing Palestinian/ American journalist, Shireen Abu Akleh, on Al Jazeera TV. She was an icon and a household name across the Arab world.

While I was sitting on the couch casually scrolling on Instagram that day of May 11th 2022, my gasp came out as a shriek as I read the post from Al Jazeera announcing her death.

I fell into a long silence. Shireen's death hit something deep inside me. A long lost part of myself and who I am. A longing for a home buried deep within the flesh of my heart, that was never meant to see the light of day.

Shireen was killed while covering the most recent Israeli army raids in the city of Jenin in the northern occupied West Bank. She was shot in the head by Israeli forces while wearing a press vest and standing among other journalists.

I spent much of my youth advocating for Palestine. But, the only people who would show up to Palestinian advocacy events were those who already knew the story. In everyday life, no one really cares. Especially living in the West, the plight of the Palestinian people is a 'them' problem.

In any case, from those in Palestine fighting the occupation on a daily basis, to their descendants in foreign countries sharing, liking, and speaking up on the injustices against the Palestinian people, no matter what we do, it feels like it all falls on deaf ears.

In fact, it seems like we lost the last bit of our voice and dignity when Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco joined Egypt and Jordan in establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

Now, the biggest media voice for Palestine has been killed.

Shireen was a prominent voice for Palestine and Palestinian aspirations for freedom across the Arab world. Her death serves as another reminder of the loud whispers of Palestine in the back of head, a reminder of who I really am and where I am really from. It's a longing for a feeling of belonging that I may never live to experience.

And a reminder that our voices for Palestine will never be truly echoed into the ears of those who have the ability to make a difference.

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Unknown member
May 14, 2022

Thank for you sharing your thoughts, Lujayn. We can only hope that this will be one more final nail in the coffin of the rogue state of Israel. No oppression can last forever. كما قال تميم برغوثي، اسرائيل كفكرة فشلت

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