by Tania Dawood
The tragic death of Razan Al-Najjar, a Palestinian medical volunteer who put her life on the line to treat wounded protestors, has people rightfully upset and heartbroken. The 21-year-old was killed by an Israeli sniper when she tried to help a wounded protester on June 1.
There has been media coverage of her family and friends in mourning, who shared tales of her bravery and the incident that took her life. Al-Najjar’s mother wants justice for her daughter, and only time can tell if justice could ever prevail in these sad circumstances.
As we remember Al-Najjar, how can we honor her sacrifice?
We can let her story guide us towards something beautiful.
Al-Najjar was an unpaid volunteer who left her house in pursuit of what she believed in, even knowing that it was dangerous for her to do so. She would reassure her mother on her way out that she was protected by her vest.
When we think of Al-Najjar we think of selflessness and bravery. Hopefully, these thoughts guide us to having a bigger heart and finding courage in our own lives for noble deeds.
Al-Najjar serves as a reminder to all of the resilience Palestinian women display. “Being a medic is not only a job for a man, It’s for women, too” she reportedly told the New York Times.
My heart lights up when I think of Al-Najjar’s assurance in her existence as a woman in her service.
Her statement and actions reflect the strength that women find within themselves in times of uncertainty. Women in the Middle East have time and again shown their gumption in aiming to live in a better world.
Al-Najjar worked and lost her life during the holy month of Ramadan. Not only did she refer to her vest while reassuring her mother, she also mentioned that God is with her.
As we struggle to maintain our spirituality through our hunger and even beyond the Holy Month, we can pray for Al-Najjar’s selfless soul and for ease on her loved ones.
Razan’s service shows the important role that medical personnel play in many instances of distress.
When you hear Razan’s name, thank the people who have gone out of their way to bring support and relief into your life like your family members, hospital personnel, friends and teachers. Even if it is their job, if their job has brought you a blessing, you can recognize it.
To remember Razan Al-Najjar is to think of the brave, the innocent, and the heroic. She is an example of the many who are driven by something greater than themselves. As Ramadan comes to an end, I think of her as I wonder in what ways a person can find a form of worship through thoughts and action. Perhaps if we place the intention of doing something to improve our spirits, our surroundings, the lives of others, and to remember God as Razan did, we can find a way.