This On Being podcast is the most powerful and emotional one that I have heard so far in this semester. It is about two people who lost their loved ones in the war. But instead of turning their pain into more violence, they decided to understand the other side — Israeli and Palestinian — by sharing their pain and their humanity. Robi Damelin lost her son David, and Ali Abu Awwad lost his older brother Yousef.
To Ali Abu Awwad, his brother was like his best friend, his father, and his mother. Yousef was killed by an Israeli soldier who shot him in his head. He had nothing to do with the hostilities but was still killed. I can imagine how hard it was for Awwad to hear the news about his loving brother’s death. There’s one thing that was very touching to me, he said, “We — it's a very special life with Yusef. So at that moment, Yusef, for me, was another life, and I lost that.” A very great point was made by Awwad was that killing other Israelis doesn’t do anything good. It doesn’t ease the pain of losing his brother, and it certainly won’t bring Yousef back. Instead of becoming hateful and seeking vengeance, he decided to live better for his brother’s memory. He was introduced to a new idea of using this pain in a human way to protect people and lead both nations towards nonviolent.
The same thing happened to Robi Damelin. She lost her wonderful son and was very depressed about it. But when she saw the parents or the family members of her country’s enemy were also in great pain, she realized that she should use this pain to stop the violent and prevent more families from experiencing the same tragedy.
It was very touching to me to hear these stories and it was very inspiring to me that we can use our humanity in a way to stop wars and violence and bring peace to this world.
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