Issued by the Catholic Center for Studies and Media - Jordan. Editor-in-chief Fr. Rif'at Bader - موقع أبونا

Published on Monday, 29 April 2024

The medicine is still absent

By Fr. Dr. Rif’at Bader :

Lara Jiryis Al-Sayegh, an 18-year-old girl who belongs to a pious family that relies on the grace of the Lord, has lived since the start of the war on Gaza at the Latin Church of the Holy Family. Her father, Jiryis, passed away with the start of the aggression due to a lack of medication and medical treatment, while Lara was injured by a shrapnel, which was not fatal at the time. As for her brother Fadi Jiryis, he  went through a different situation. He was on dialysis and when the situation deteriorated and there was no longer a possibility of receiving treatment, he went with great difficulty via the United Nations to Rafah, and from there his colleague in dialysis, Hani, went to Khan Yunis, and later died due to deficiency in medical treatment.  As for Fadi, he miraculously managed to go to Egypt,  where he is still completing his treatment. He was awaiting the arrival of the rest of his family to join him in the journey of life as well as the long and heavy “Way of the Cross”.


As for the mother and her daughter, they paid “a coordination rate’’ to proceed from the sheltering house at the Gaza Church to the south  where every person had to pay $5,000. Who is recipient of this sum? Honestly, I do not know. But this financial cost was not the entire sacrifices as proceeding from the Holy Family Church to Rafah abounds with bloody stories, with death lurking in the corner, including what is referred there to as the effect of death whereby neither paramedics nor ambulances are allowed to approach the Israeli checkpoint called the Natzarim Crossing, as it is incumbent to go on foot with temperatures reaching about 42 degrees Celsius. The girl fell to the ground unconscious. What happened? It was  a sun stroke that made Lara collapse motionless before her mother, who fell into a coma with no sign so far of recovery.


Parish priest Fr. Yousef  As’ad told me that during the months of destruction and siege, he conveyed the most sublime and the purest image of the good and faithful shepherd who sheltered hundreds of people in his church and gave them the most valuable thing, namely the feeling of safety in the presence of God and the daily prayers that comfort frightened people, in addition to his noble humanitarian efforts, namely the provision of food, drink, water, air, and medicine. He told me about the sadness that prevailed among those in the church over the loss of Lara who lived with them through difficult circumstances for seven months. Thank God, there was no direct destruction targeting the church, but over the past months they lost martyrs who passed away silently, and the main reason was the failure to receive medicine and the shortage of medical care to many of them, in addition to those who were martyred by sniper bullets, such as the mother and her daughter prior to Christmas.


The dream was great for the family to be reunited in Egypt, as a few hours before the arrival at the desired destination, the young lady Lara Al-Sayegh was martyred by the scorching sun as the fire of occupation forces was about to end her life forever. Yet, the scorching sun, coupled with deteriorating humanitarian conditions at a checkpoint where she stopped made her a martyr on the soil of beloved Palestine.


This saddening pieces of news to hearts--that still have conscience, and that are shameful to the hearts that are bereft of any human and humanitarian feeling--coincided with the disseminated news relevant to what remained of Gaza’s hospitals and their deteriorating services.  It states that a number of fetuses had been extracted alive from their martyred mothers who had fallen and are falling daily as a result of the continuous bombing and aggression, while orphaned children are born and they scream and there is no answer. Jiryis Al-Sayegh falls to the church floor, due to the lack of medicines and treatments, and his beloved son flees to Egypt, in search of dialysis, while his mother and sister try to follow him in search of freedom. The little girl is martyred  by the scorching sun, and her mother still suffers from a permanent coma.


This is one example of a family that has suffered from such calamities... like thousands of families who are still begging for the remnants of human conscience so as to be extricated from oppression and darkness. Who can bear this heavy load? The mountains cannot bear this. God bless you, O steadfast and patient people, for the Almighty God alone is the medicine and the healing physician.