Buried Twice: How High School Celebration Turned into Tragedy for This Palestinian Boy

Amira Ar’arawi shows pictures of her son Majdi, killed by Israeli occupation forces in Jenin. (Photo: Asem al-Jerjawi, Supplied)

By Asem al-Jerjawi

Two weeks after taking the high school final exam (Tawjihi), Majdi Ar’arawi was killed by the Israeli occupation forces during a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp.

Sitting in front of a small grave at the New Martyrs Cemetery in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, Amira Ar’arawi calls out to her son with a scream – similar to the one she let out when she first learned of her son’s murder.

On Thursday morning, July 20, Amira received a text message announcing that her son Majdi had passed the high school final exam (Tawjihi) with an exceptionally high score of 94%.

“My son, my love, my love, I am proud of you, my Majdi,” she kept repeating.

Two weeks after taking the exam, Majdi Ar’arawi was killed by the Israeli occupation forces during a military raid in the Jenin refugee camp.

Majdi, 17, was one of many Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces this year – 37, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

On July 3, the Israeli troops invaded the Jenin refugee camp and used lethal weapons, including missiles and attack drones against civilian areas.

They also used bulldozers to destroy homes and other civilian infrastructure.

“Majdi was killed by Israeli snipers while trying to rescue his friend Ali Alghoul, who was also killed by Israel,” Majdi’s mother, Amira, told The Palestine Chronicle.

“He was lying down covered in his blood,” she said.

The mother wept throughout the interview but insisted to convey her pain and loss.

Majdi and his cousin did everything in their power to save Alghoul, but the Israeli snipers targeted them as well. Majdi was murdered, while his cousin was seriously injured.

Amira told us that her son’s life was not an easy one.

Majdi was only 12 when his father passed away. Amira raised him and his siblings alone, in the Jenin refugee camp.

Majdi’s dream was to become an engineer and Amira supported him in every way she could.

The first serious step towards that dream was about to be taken.

Indeed, the Ar’arawi family had prepared a big party to celebrate Majdi’s great performance in secondary school. Amira told us that her son was an excellent student. Throughout his studies, he never scored lower than 89%.

However, the deadly Israeli invasion changed everything. Instead of celebrating his success, Majdi’s friends and relatives gathered at his grave and quietly said goodbye.

“When the results of the exams came in, it was as if the wound had reopened for me,” Amira told us. “I can’t feel any joy, it seems to me that I buried him one more time.”

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Amira now spends her days remembering her son’s hearty laugh and loving presence, but she cannot stop crying.

Majdi’s story is not unique. Among his family and friends, in fact, all Palestinains, it is a symbol of the injustice that all Palestinian youth have to endure.

Israel’s continuous raids, violence, arbitrary arrests, closure of crossings, and killing of children are horrific practices that have a major negative impact on entire communities and future generations.

The life and death of Majdi and his family is a perfect testimony for such an assertion.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Asem al-Jerjawi is a Palestinian writer, activist and journalist with the 16th October Media Group. He contributed this article to The Palestine Chronicle.

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