This picture was published in Jerusalem's Al-Quds Newspaper (Jan 4, 2009) - the caption reads as follows.
Gaza - During her funeral in the Latin Patriarchate Church, a citizen kisses the forehead of the martyred Christine Turok (14 yrs old) who was martyred due to a heart attack from fear of the Israeli bombardment. (Reuters).I found someone else who has written an article on Father Manuel Mussallam. When I read his article, it seems as if we were experiencing the same emotions as we heard this story. Just one of the many stories of the People in Gaza who have suffered through this brutal assault by the Israeli military. The article is on the RamallahOnline website - "news about and from occupied Palestine".
In Father Manuel Mussallam's letter he describes the tragic death of a young Palestinian girl, Christine Wadi al-Turk.
"Christine was in the tenth grade and she died this morning, Friday January 2, as a result of fear and the cold. The windows in her home were open to protect the children from flying glass caused by bomb blasts. The bomb that hit her neighbour's home caused her whole body to shake in horror. She could not bear all this, so she went to complain to her Creator about her situation and request a home and a refuge where there is no crying, screaming or wailing, but joy and happiness."And now dear reader, I must tell you that I did not believe at first what I saw in the comments of this article. Christine's sister read the article and replied with the following comment. Here is the entire unedited comment from Julie, Christine's sister.
As me being Christen's older sister, I need to clarify that she had no problems in her heart and there has been no offical or Medical resorces that have said that she died from a Heart attack, all what has happened was that she woke up with difficulty in breathing. My sister died of fear.And here is an article eulogizing the young Christine Turok from the RamallahOnline website. I hope they do not mind that I have copied the text in full.
Here's the story of that night and all of what has happened, please read it to know the truth..
Thank you and God Bless you..
That night was as black as coal, as cold as pole, an as loud as more than you could imagine. The sky was full of black clouds which smelled like burn, and about every two minutes as explosion is heard. That night was the 7th day of the Israeli’s war on Gaza Strip. The ”cast Bullets” war!
My, 15 years old, sister, Christen, was sleeping beside my other, 16 years old, sister and my, 6 years old, brother, on a mattress, on the ground. Beside the mattress, my parents slept on a single-bed. My whole family was sleeping in the same room, that night.
During the shelling, Christen suddenly woke up, on the sound of a very big explosion, near our house, with difficulty of breathing. The extreme number of the rockets and missiles were too much stress for her that she got scared and couldn’t tolerate the continues shelling for 7 days in a row. Although it was very dangerous to go outside in the streets, my father took risk and held his youngest daughter to the car to take her to the hospital in attempt to rescue her. He was racing the time, ignoring the voices of shelling, pretending not to notice the rockets flying above their heads and forgetting the danger they are going through; my father drove under a fire-raining sky, and through an atmosphere full of fear. Despite the fear, the fire, and the danger, her young soul dared everything around her and left her body between her father’s arms and said goodbye to this earthly hell she was living in.
That night, the 2nd of January 2009, another innocent victim has been recorded dead, in order to increase the pleasure of the Israeli’s addiction to the Palestinians death. That victim was my little sister. My little sister who shared me her dreams and ambitions. My little sister who used to always laugh and bring joy to everyone around her. She was a close friend to everyone she knew. Christen knew she was living in an occupied country and her life is completely not the same normal life of other people her age around the world. According to that truth, she tried to make up a world of her own. A world of joy, laughter and dreams; hoping that the real world might change one day. I don’t know if that is a mistake (to try to live the life however and try the best to laugh and dream) but it seems that the answer turned out to be a “YES”; it is a mistake and we, the Palestinians, are forbidden from our least rights in laughing, dreaming, and hoping for a better future.
That night, the war didn’t just kill my sister alone, it left an entire family die every second of a broken heart. The tears and the screams are not enough to describe what am I feeling deep inside my heart, while the sorrow is tearing me apart. There is no words can explain the suffering of my parents neither any condolences can cool down their burning hearts. There is no cure for my other sister’s pain and I of losing our beloved little sister and there is no toys or magical stories can make my little brother forget the memory of that night.
Christen was not the first or the last to die on the Israelis hands, but she was a sample on how simple these monsters can kill.
As an 18 years old girl, I can do nothing to bring my sister back to life, neither do anything to stop the Israelis from killing my nation; all I can do is asking God to rest my sister’s soul in peace and to bless my family and my country, Palestine.
Finally, I am begging whoever have a sense of feelings, to stand up, hand in hand and say ENOUGH to the crime against Palestine.
In a phone conversation today, from Gaza the Latin Patriarchate Church priest, Father Manaweil Musallam, clearly shaken, said, "her name is Christine, a tenth grade student. Her father is a doctor and she lived near the YMCA in Al-Remal area. She died of fear. Since the war started she felt apprehensive of the danger. She suffered from neurotic disorder and a hysteric situation just as many children are suffering. On Friday, during the shooting of F-16 missiles, she fell on the ground due to the dreadful sound. Her father tried to help, but he couldn't. Then he held her in his arms hoping to rescue her in the hospital, but she died before reaching there."Related posts
He continued, "the Latin Patriarchate school [where Christine attended] did not face any damages, however, the Rosary Sisters School did face physical damages, since it is located near to the Preventive Security building. Today, no one attended Sunday Mass, no one was able to reach the church...we tried to find an alternative place in the school to do the prayers...I tried to gather the nuns with my own car. Today, the area in which the church is located was shelled, we cannot go there."
Being part of the Greek Orthodox Church, the other congregation in Gaza, means that Christine and her family were looking forward to celebrating their Christmas on January 7th. Instead, they will bury Christine at a time where funerals are a rare commodity, for Gazans cannot keep pace with the mounting dead.
This is one child. One story. There are hundreds more and yet hundreds more about to happen tonight, and tomorrow, and the next day...until this madness ends. When the dust settles and the all the dead are buried, some in mass graves, Gazan's children will return to their overly crowded classrooms to find many empty seats. Another Palestinian generation is being destroyed by Israel's killing machine. The US cares less. The UN cares less. The EU care less. The Arab League cares less.
Palestinians are depending on themselves and all those grassroots solidarity communities around the world to weather this madness.
Christine, farewell. I never met you but love you like I love my 14-yr old daughter Areen nevertheless. Christine you lived 14 years in constant fear. I apologize that I, and the world, could not act swiftly enough to bring you a normal life, a dignified life.
Christine dear, you are one of the older ones to be killed and we need you to be brave to look after all those young children and infants being sent your way by US-supplied Israeli weaponry.
May you rest in peace and find yourself in good company with all those other children. Please look after them and yourself.
You will never be forgotten. Never!
P.S. More words below...words that are starting to feel less and less important as we learn of the massive loss of life.