Photo credit: Benedicte Kurzen
Date taken: May 2004
Location: Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, Palestine
A mother comforts her young boys during a funeral for one of her other sons who was shot and killed while sleeping in his Khan Younis home.
What was racing through this mother’s mind when she heard Israeli soldiers firing shots into her refugee camp in Khan Younis? Could she have ever believed that a day would come when one of her children would be laid to rest by act, a bullet seared through his body as if his little frame posed a threat to an invading army? Will her youngest son, the one on the left, remember anything about the brother he once had?
The Palestinian narrative is too often condensed into a series of dates and statistics. And while these numbers are important to keep into consideration, they often mislead us into overlooking the singular struggles.
Here is a mother who is a product of dispossession, so grief is nothing new for her. She is fully veiled but her scarves cannot hide the terrible grief she must be feeling.
Hers is a singular struggle. Take away the context and you have a distressed mother comforting her remaining children. Add the context and you have a national narrative. She is not the first and she is not the last mother to go through this.