Last winter, whilst the Israelis were pouring rain and hell fire upon the people of the Gaza Strip, most of the images shown by media were those of women and children. Not so much attention was given to the men. In fact, the men were almost ignored. But Palestinian men were very heavily targeted.
I searched everywhere for a breakdown of deaths that included males in their statistics and found none. None. Accordingly to almost all statistics, only women, children, minors and Hamas members were killed. Does this mean that, due to gender alone, males, especially young males, were assumed to be terrorists?
Here is a typcial example of findings: "The PCHR said 894 of the dead were civilians, including 280 children and minors, age 17 and under, as well as 111 women. Of the remaining 390 dead, 167 were members of Hamas' civil police, many of them killed on the job during Israel's surprise attack on dozens of security compounds on the first day of the war "
In a powerful series of photos by Palestinian Peace worker/journalist/photographer, Samah Habeeb, taken in one of the hospital emergency rooms, I found this series of the passing of a young martyr. As I examined at the shots, I realized that Sameh had actually filmed the young man's last moments of life ~ captured the moment his spirit flew free from his fatally injured flesh.
For weeks I had been looking at brutal images of the dead and dying, but the passing of this young man upset me more than most. For many days, my spirit was dark; every time I closed my eyes I saw pain and suffering his eyes.
However, I did not post these photos at the time because I did not want his passing to be lost in the horrendous mountains of blood, bones, and broken bodies already stunning the world and awakening them to the brutality that is Israel.
It is now time to honour this young man. I do not know his name. Nor have I any idea of what he was doing when he was injured. All I know is that he must be honoured, his passing acknowledged. And his family, may they heal from this loss, taking solace from the knowledge that he has found peace.
until he enters Paradise.
~ The Prophet, as reported by Abu Sayeed al-Khodri
The business of the final moment will be accomplished
in the twinkling of an eye, or even less time.
God has power over all things. ~ Qu'ran, An-Nahl, Surah 16:77
~ The Prophet, as reported by A'ishah bint Abi Bakr
He is merciful and compassionate.
~ Qu'ran, Al-Baqara, Surah 2:163
for I am overcome with feebleness.
Ennoble me once more,
for I have been cast down.
Sustain me, Lord,
for I am impoverished.
~ From the prayer book, "Al-Hizbul-A'zam"
bewildered, seeking help,
and then comes hope as a ray of light,
and grace prevails.
~ Al-Sarraj, "Rabi'a the Mystic
Never shall they know want, nor will they suffer old age.
~ The Prophet Muhammad, as reported by Abu Hurairah
Sameh A. Habeeb, B.A.
Photojournalist & Peace Activist
Humanitarian, Child Relief Worker
Gaza Strip, Palestine
Skype: Gazatoday, Facebook: Sameh A. habeeb