Today felt heavy. I woke up at dawn, and prayed for the life of Amir Bedier. A man I had only heard of yesterday, when his brother and my friend Ahmed sent out this message: “Urgent please make dua for my brother Amir, who was just shot in the chest inside the Rabaa protest in Cairo.”
Moments after prayer, another message came through: “My brother Amir Bedier has returned to Our Lord. To Allah we belong and to Allah is the return. Amir was shot and killed by Egyptian police forces in Rabaa square today. We are proud of him and his courage to stand up for his beliefs and the rights of others. He was fasting and unarmed. He left behind a wife, two children, five brothers and his two parents and countless relatives and friends who loved him.”
A stream of condolences followed.
“إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون”.. “we are for Allah and for Allah we shall return”. The only consoling words. We are all destined for death.
My thoughts were on his children and widow, and the heart wrenching pain they are feeling and will feel for years to come. I felt the emptiness and loneliness they will experience when the anger and sadness lifts and they realize he is gone forever. His seat at dinner is empty, he’s not there to take them to Friday prayer or school Parent conferences. Seeing fathers supporting their children, hugging them, even reprimanding them becomes all they see around. Thoughts of “what would he have done” become questions that can never be answered.
The events of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Palestine are tragic. They are creating generations of orphans who are left with an emptiness that can never be filled. Their childhoods are scarred. Their psychology and emotional state is forever altered. Their economic status will never be the same. For many, they are catapulted into poverty.
It is the way of the world, and there will be a tomorrow. A tomorrow with orphans places an added responsibility on the rest of society; on us.. me and you…
a responsibility to give beyond reason,
to obsess about their rights and privileges,
to include their plans in our personal, family and community plans.
We must remember them when we are celebrating because they have non to celebrate with,
when we are traveling and they are unable to leave their camps or disadvantaged lives,
when put up our billboards forgetting the messages on it is only reminder of what’s beyond their reach,
when we embrace mother’s day and they are left to contemplate their missing loved ones.
I write this post as a declaration of what I am committed to, and a reminder to those who care to have a peaceful balanced world. The emotional and economic deficit born in the lives of orphans is our collective responsibility. Their security is the accountability of each and every one of us.
May Allah bless Amir Bedier and have mercy on his soul. May Allah give us the courage to do what is unreasonable for his children.