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Official PA daily romanticizes suicide bomber's last hours before attack

Op-ed by Issa Abd Al-Hafiz

     "He [Raed Barghouti] held the arm of his young brother, Rayyan, and took him to the market to buy him school supplies for the new school year. Later, he took him to a [photo] studio to have their picture taken together. Rayyan didn't know that this was to be his brother Raed's last picture, before he joined the procession of Martyrdom (Shahada) and Martyrs (Shahids)...

He [Raed Barghouti] implored his mother to be pleased with him and to pray that Martyrdom be his lot. His mother's heart skipped a beat as she begged him to change his mind...

Sept. 3, 2001. Raed donned new clothes, left for work at the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid where he taught - or at least that's what his mother thought until she received a surprise phone call from him from Ramallah, during which he told her he had paid his brother's university tuition. After [his] mother thanked him, he added that there was no reason to worry, and that he would spend the night in Ramallah and leave for work at the school the next morning...

A mother's heart is her guide. She couldn't fall asleep until late, and then dreamed a dream of truth. [In her dream,] she was standing in front of Raed's house, which he had recently built, when, suddenly, the house collapsed on its foundations and its bricks turned to dust. The mother leaped out of bed, horrified by what she'd seen. [Later,] the mother of Martyr (Shahid) Raed and her neighbor were baking bread together. The moment the bread finished baking in the oven, she turned on the TV; [the news] spoke of a Martyrdom-seeking operation (i.e., suicide bombing) in Jerusalem and broadcast images of the man who had carried out the operation - or what was left of him. His mother cried out, 'Allah help his family' - without realizing that she was praying for Allah to help her.

His brother was unable to tell [the truth] all at once to his mother, who kept asking him insistently about Raed and whether he was at the school in Qarawat Bani Zeid. The brother replied that he had asked about him everywhere, but hadn't found him. After a [moment of] silence mixed with tension, anticipation and worry, he murmured: 'Mother, eternity belongs to Allah alone.' The mother could not bear the shock. She started screaming, then fell down unconscious...

In his will, Martyr Raed entrusted the care of his younger brothers to his fiancée Amani; left behind testaments to his people, the first of which [says] that 'the night is darkest just before dawn.' Allah have mercy on our Martyrs (Shahids), who fell so that we might live. Allah have mercy on the Martyrs of our Arab nation, from the [Atlantic] Ocean to the [Persian] Gulf, who died for the glory of this nation, at a time when defeat follows upon defeat."

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Raed Barghouti - a suicide bomber who blew himself up on the Street of the Prophets in Jerusalem on Sept. 4, 2001, wounding about 20 people.

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