|A photo of Mohammed Naim standing in front of Gaza port|
Unable to believe that the war came to an end, unable to comprehend that life was supposed to move on, I locked myself at home completely overwhelmed with sadness and helplessness. War, at least, kept us busy with our nonstop attempts to survive mentally and physically. Right after the long ceasefire was announced, emptiness and grief overtook my entire being. Images and faces of the martyrs started passing through my mind, images of people running for their life, looking for a safe haven forced themselves into my mind. I couldn't help but fall to depression.
As an act of moving on, I had to go back to work. I did miss my students and I wanted to check if all of them were alright after the war but I was scared to go. I was afraid of hearing any bad news. I entered the center and my students started coming. I thanked God whenever a student comes in alive and safe. They all came but one, Mohammed Naim. I asked the administration if they called him, they said they sent him a message and that he's coming soon. I asked his classmates, they were reluctant to tell. After a pause, one of them said that Mohammed was killed. The phrase struck me and left me unable to utter a world. I couldn't believe them. I remember reading all the names of the martyrs, his name wasn't among the names" I said in a broken voice.
I made the administration call his mobile again. His phone was off. I was still having hope that he was alive, not until I searched his name on Facebook and found "Rest in Peace" written above his photo.
I remember him; very calm, hardworking and always neat. I used to call him Naim because there were three others called Mohammed in the same class. The last time I saw him was two days before the war erupted. I gave the students a quiz and he was the last to leave. He wouldn't leave any question unanswered even if that meant sitting two hours thinking and trying to answer it. He handed me the quiz, I wished him a good day and then he left. I had no idea that, that very moment was the last to see Mohammed.
|Mohammed Naim, the one with a green shirt, during a class just two weeks before the war.|
Mohammed was killed the first week of the war. His father owns a bakery in Al-Zaytoon neighborhood. Mohammed and his younger brother, Hossam, went to distribute bread to the markets in Al-Shijaia. There. An Israeli warplane targeted the bus they were in and killed them instantly.
Mohammed was just a student dreaming to graduate and to have a proper job. One missile cut his body to pieces and turned his dreams to ashes. Mohammed and his brother are just two out of thousands whom Israel killed in a cold blood.
I wish there was a way to tell him that his memory will live on forever. I will remember how good and quiet he was every time I start a class. Mohammed Naim, may you rest in eternal peace.