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

Published on Thursday, 19 May 2022

Shireen... a name recorded in history

Fr. Dr. Rif'at Bader :

Shireen Abu Aqleh's name has been marked on the path of the Palestinian struggle; this is not the case only after her martyrdom, but rather before that through her  media work and dedication. I believe that this name will remain shining in the field of journalism and media, as well as in the world of struggle. This name is not confined to its traditional meaning, as there is verbal struggle and the struggle of the media which are essential in the life of people. Therefore, Shireen--whom we are used to watch while transmitting the suffering of the Palestinian people to all parts of the world through one of the largest satellite stations in the world, and who walked on the path of media 27 years ago--will remain a glittering name on the path of struggle, and in the entitlement of the Palestinian people to their independent state, God willing.

I do not want to address the reactions posted on social media networking sites, questioning the “legitimacy” of considering her as a martyr, and whether it is legitimate or forbidden to seek the mercy of God on her since such views are based on convictions, instructions, or upbringings since childhood. But, frankly speaking, this matter has aggravated grief in the hearts of millions who were affected by this tragic death of martyr Shireen. The concern, the hope, and the past are common, while the future will undoubtedly be common. What we have witnessed  by few tweetings on social media was saddening  as some queries were made whose answers are supposed to be axiomatic as to whether it is permissible to convey condolences. It is permissible to seek God's mercy? Is it permissible to refer to her as a martyr being the one whose blood  was shed one morning on the land of the media, while the occupation armies continue to kill people and destroy homes?

I view this virtuous lady as being committed to justice in her homeland, to sincerity of her belonging to the Palestinian soil, as well as to genuine patriotic feelings. She was proud of being a Jerusalemite, even though she lived in Ramallah with her origin that can be traced back to Bethlehem, thus we have all this combination of several Palestinian cities. Furthermore, she has this wonderful intrinsic faith that we are proud of in Palestine, which is the implication of the Christian Arab life.

The Christians are present and steadfast as their brethren in fate and conflict are. But their number that was affected in the past years as the number of Christians is originally small numerically, and in light of the emigration or rather the forcible displacement which the occupation practised against the Palestinian people, including Christians whose numbers decreased. In Latin America, the number of Christians far exceeds the number of those who have been steadfast on their national soil and who still experience these disputes on their national land.

I am addressing Shireen, the vigilant, creative, and committed journalist. How badly we need nowadays rational and sensible media men and women who are not attracted by modern media while posting photos, and exposing new fashions and make-up. This media woman focused on conveying solemn news, rather than on the glamorous media successes as has been the case with several media people who draw attention to side issues that have nothing to do with media.

The blood of Shireen that has been shed on the Palestinian land is very precious. When Christians were persecuted in the first centuries of Christianity, the reference to this was made by saying, "The blood of the martyrs is the seed of faith." Today we say, may this innocent blood have great repercussions by pressuring the international community to end the occupation because it is still the main problem and the main issue that the whole world must express solidarity with in order to end it.

Eternal rest grant unto Shireen, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her. You are a heroic martyr, and history will immortalize your name, God willing