Sat 25-May-2024

Tragic loss: Heartbroken young woman’s demise amidst Gaza news

Friday 22-December-2023

The heart of the young Palestinian woman, Shaza Al-Kafarna, could not bear the suffering endured by her family in the Gaza Strip due to the horrors of war and displacement. The shock was greater than she could handle, and she passed away in sorrow and distress.

As soon as the war broke out in the Gaza Strip on October 7th, the life of 23-year-old Shaza turned upside down, and all her concerns focused on the safety of her family.

Shaza, a graduate in multimedia from the Gaza Strip, had moved to Istanbul, Türkiye, to live with her sister about two years ago, and she had planned to achieve many of her ambitions and dreams there.

With the start of the Israeli ground offensive and the accompanying brutal indiscriminate shelling of the homes of innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip, the Al-Kafarna family was forced to flee their town of Beit Hanoun in the northernmost part of the Strip to Rafah in the south. The impact of that was like a lightning strike on her.

The SAFA news agency quoted her sister, Walaa, as saying, “Shaza was extremely worried, tense, and fearful for our family, and she followed the news minute by minute, living in constant anxiety.”

Shaza’s close monitoring of the details of her family’s life in Gaza was not in vain, as she was the “spoiled little one” among her siblings, and she had a unique relationship with her parents and brothers. She could not imagine the suffering they were going through.

Walaa adds, “Shaza was very spoiled, light-hearted, and loved by everyone. In fact, my brother named his daughter after her because she was so beloved.”

The heart of the young woman was breaking in sorrow due to the deteriorating living conditions of her family amidst the ongoing war and killings. She couldn’t imagine her family taking refuge in a school with thousands of displaced people, in extremely difficult humanitarian circumstances, after they had lived in a beautiful home and a stable and happy life.

“She couldn’t bear to see her family in this situation, and she was in a lot of pain. She followed the harsh details of their lives, and what bothered her the most was their exhaustion and need, wishing she could bring them to her,” says Walaa, grieving for her sister and companion in the journey of exile.

The young woman’s heart couldn’t withstand all this pain for more than two months. She suffered a sudden heart attack on December 7th and was admitted to the intensive care unit of a hospital in Istanbul for about two weeks.

The news of Shaza’s heart attack had a more painful impact on her family in Gaza than their own catastrophic reality. They found themselves in an even worse situation, suffering from war, displacement, scarcity of food and water, and now their daughter’s condition.

Walaa continues, “My family forgot about the war and all its disasters. Their only hope – instead of their safety, an end to the war, and returning home – was for Shaza to recover from what had befallen her and return to how she was.”

At a time when Shaza’s family eagerly awaited news about their expatriate daughter’s health, Israeli occupation forces cut off all communications and internet services to the southern part of the Gaza Strip for consecutive days, adding to the already difficult situation. The fire was “devouring” the family’s heart every second.

After 12 days of conflict, specifically on December 19th, the young woman’s heart succumbed to its fate, and she passed away in grief over the situation of her family, which had further deteriorated due to the Israeli aggression on the Strip.

Although the possibility of her death was anticipated by her family due to her poor health, the news of Shaza’s death struck her displaced family in Gaza like a lightning bolt. However, they had no choice but to surrender to the will of Allah in the face of all these calamities.

Hours after informing the family of their young daughter’s death, the occupation forces completely cut off communication and internet services from the southern part of the Strip. Shaza’s family are still waiting for news to reassure them about her burial and dignified farewell, but they are unable to find out due to the communication blackout.

Walaa concludes by speaking about Shaza’s personality, saying, “She loved life immensely, full of movement and activity. Her spirit was cheerful and beautiful. Anyone who knew her or saw her knows how kind-hearted she was. She was an angel on Earth.”

What consoles Walaa in her grief and exile is the presence of one of her brothers by her side in Istanbul. Fate had brought him from Gaza to the Turkish city after he wanted to visit his two sisters to check on them. However, the war broke out while he was outside the Strip, leaving him stranded there. But his presence was essential for his grieving sister.

Although the war is taking place within the borders of the Strip, more than two million Palestinians living there have relatives and loved ones abroad who feel their suffering and pain moment by moment. Some of them have fallen victim to this ongoing brutal aggression for 76 days, in addition to more than 20,000 martyrs and 52,000 injured in Gaza.

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