A Perfect Family Photo – What Doctor Ruba Wrote on Facebook Shortly before Her Death

The Abu al-Atta family on Ruba's graduation day. (Photo: via social media)

Ruba Esmael Abu al-Atta had it all. The young Palestinian woman from Gaza City was well-educated, had a successful husband and two exceptionally beautiful children.

A single photo perfectly depicted that once happy life: Her two children, Sinan and Kinzi holding a graduation sign that read “Mama Ruba is the most beautiful doctor and pharmacist.” In the background, Ruba stood in her graduation gown holding onto her husband, the well-known Palestinian football player, Ahmad Abu al-Atta.

On June 21, an Israeli strike shelled the Abu al-Atta family’s home in the vicinity of the Latin Monastery Church in Gaza City, killing the young couple and both of their children, along with a number of other family members. 

Local media reports in Gaza suggest that the entire Abu al-Atta family in that neighborhood has been wiped out in the Israeli strike, thus removing from the civil registry any evidence of their existence.

Dr. Ruba, however, along with her family, did exist. The traces of their existence are now on social media, depicting images of Ruba and her children and that of the famous ‘captain Abu al-Atta’, one of Palestine’s best football defenders.

Before joining Al-Ahli, known among football fans as the Red Giant, Abu al-Atta played for Gaza Sports, Al-Zaytoun, Al-Sadaqah, Beit Hanoun, and Itihad al-Shejaiya. 

Last March, another top football player, Mohammed Barakat, was killed when his family’s home was bombed on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan. He was the first player in Gaza to score 100 goals for a single team. Like Abu al-Atta, Barakat also played for Al-Ahli and represented the Palestinian national team.

According to the Palestinian Football Association, Abu al-Atta’s murder raised the number of Palestinian athletes killed since October 7 to 157, more than 90 of them being footballers. 

Though the once-perfect family photo now only exists in the form of a social media image, Ruba died shortly after leaving a single clue on Facebook, predicting her own death. 

“If we die, please know that we are in peace, and that we are steadfast, and tell the world that we are people with rights.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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  1. As I’ve said before, this is consonant with a nasty settler colonialist habit, of killing those who might be prominent or are in a position to be prominent in the indigenous society, so that others fear more. Examples – see the Ghost Dance on Native American reservations in the 1880s; the Parihaka movement in New Zealand from the 1860s-80s. See also the Death Star’s first target, the planet Alderaan, in the movie Star Wars, which encapsulates the reasoning.

  2. In line with another comment here…
    This is: when a new Empire sets up shop they eliminate all the cultured, intelligent people; as well as those who contribute to the well-being of society. This also resembles Oriental cultures invoking punishment upon, and executing all 3 generations of a family.
    So why is the American Empire doing all it can to facilitate the Israeli Empire?
    A ” changing of the guards ” perhaps? Another violent coup to establish the New Normal in the Middle East? As an American citizen, born and bred, i resent what my so-called government has done in my name. If i complain, i’m punished. That’s Fascism boys and girls.
    I object!

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