Why do Palestinians Celebrate Martyrs’ Birthdays in Gaza?

Palestinian journalist Wael al-Dahdouh holds the body of his grandchild, killed in an Israeli airstrike on October 25. (Photo: via QNN)

By Abdallah Aljamal – Gaza

The families of the Palestinians who were killed by Israeli airstrikes cherish beautiful memories with their loved ones.

Since the beginning of the brutal Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023, with the death toll exceeding 10,000, the families of the Palestinians who were killed by Israeli airstrikes have cherished beautiful memories with their loved ones.

Muhammad Abu Shamlah lost many members of his family in an Israeli airstrike on their neighborhood in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in the heart of the Gaza Strip last month.

“After the airstrike that hit our home and residential block on Wednesday evening, we lost my parents, my brothers – who were my heart’s delight – Aiman, Isma’il, Ahmad, Ibrahim, their wives, and the majority of their children, in addition to my beloved son Kareem, and the child Muhammad Wisam Ziyada, and my wife’s sisters,” Abu Shamlah told The Palestine Chronicle.

“I, my wife, and my son Sameer survived the Israeli annihilation, along with my brother Hussain and his son Sameer, and his daughter Asma, as well as Muhammad, the son of Aiman, Salma, the daughter of Isma’il, and my brother Ahmad’s wife, and my wife’s family who were in my apartment at the moment of the airstrike.”

Happy Birthday to My Beloved Child

On the occasion of his son Kareem’s ninth birthday, which falls on November 5, 2023, Abu Shamlah commented, saying, 

“November 5th is Kareem’s ninth birthday. Oh God, how much he has been looking forward to this day for more than three months, counting every day, estimating how long is left until his birthday. All his cousins and aunts had already made plans for the party he was going to have.”

“Just two hours before Kareem was killed, as we were having lunch, he told me that there were only 10 days left until his birthday”, he remembered.

“What eases our hearts, Kareem, is that you are with our Lord now, along with your grandfather Sameer, your dear grandmother, your uncle Aiman and his children Sameer, Yamen, Mira, Aboud and many others.”

“Kareem, have a joint birthday celebration in paradise, and be very joyful. Take as many gifts and toys as you want, play billiards and PlayStation as you like. I won’t nag you this time. Now, it’s time for sleep,” Abu Shamlah added.

“Kareem, your brother Sameer sends his regards and asks about you all the time. Your mother talks to your picture every night. Come to us in our dreams for a little while, but don’t stay too long, so your grandfather Sameer won’t worry about you. May God make it easy for you, our light. Happy birthday, my dear,” he concluded, 

Mahmoud Loved Life

November 4 marked the birthday of Mahmoud Aldahdouh, the son of the Al-Jazeera journalist Wael Aldahdouh. Mahmoud was killed, along with his mother, sister and dozens of others, in an Israeli airstrike on their relatives’ home in the Nuseirat refugee camp. 

Wael Aldahdouh wrote on his Facebook page, “Mahmoud loved life, and he was always full of energy and vitality. On every occasion, Mahmoud was the occasion itself.”

“Mahmoud used to eagerly await the birthdays of his father, mother, brothers, and sisters to celebrate and spread joy at home. Today is Mahmoud’s birthday. May God have mercy on your soul, the soul of souls. Happy birthday,” Wael added.

As the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza continues, the people in the Strip live with memories of those who were killed, amid the pain of loss and departure and rare moments of fleeting joy and celebration.

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

Abdallah Aljamal is a Gaza-based journalist. He is a contributor for The Palestine Chronicle from the Gaza Strip. His email is abdallahaljamal1987@gmail.com

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