Rida: 16 years old ( Martyrs Day )

Witness: Nazir
Rida: 16 years old
On 3/8/2014, I was sitting in the office, a little bit close to our house. It was 5 PM when I heard the sound of an aircraft and a nearby raid. People immediately went to the bombed place to help the casualties. I do not know what made me stay in my place. A few seconds later the aircraft returned and struck the same place.

A few minutes later, my father came to me asking if I had seen my brother Rida. I said “no, where was he?” My father started crying while telling me that when the aircraft had bombed for the first time, Rida rushed to the street, and did not return yet.
I ran towards the place targeted by the air strike. The destruction was great, and there were many injured people, and many were under the rubble, and people trying to pull them out.

There was lots of blood and screams. I was looking for my brother but did not find him. I went to the emergency room to see if he was there but did not find him either. Then, without knowing why, I thought of going to the morgue, where the martyrs were taken. The way was very long and I was telling myself that after finding Rida, I would scold him and tell him to stay home during bombing. I got to the morgue. There were many martyrs in coffins, lined up next to each other. I looked at their faces to see if my brother was among them. I passed by a body, I told myself “this is Rida… no… this is unreasonable”. I walked and searched among the rest. All my thoughts remained with the dead body I had seen. I went back and approached to take a closer look. It was really him, his face was full of blood. I lost my mind, and did not know what to do… to scream, cry, or go to my father and tell him.

We took Rida and returned home to have the last farewell and to bury him. It was so painful, especially when we took him to my mother to have the last look at him. I didn’t want to do that but feared that my mother would always blame me if I did not.
His dream was to be a football player and to play with FC BarcelonaClub. We always argued over football, because I was a Real Madrid C.F. fan. On the same day of his martyrdom, I took him in the early morning to play with us. It was the first time I saw him playing very well, and because of him we won the match. It was the first time I did not argue him or shout at him. On the contrary and unlike my habit, I was very friendly with him.

Rida liked to help our mother in cooking. On the same day, he was helping her in making bread. When he heard the sound of the warplane, he left everything and went to help the casualties. The neighbors told us that they had seen him carrying a little girl and running to the ambulance. After putting her there, he went back to the bombed place. The aircraft returned and carried out the second attack, so he was martyred.

After his martyrdom, we put his photo on the living room wall, against the sofa I sleep on. When I get up every morning, his picture is the first thing I see, and I remember how he always liked to be beside me, learning from me, considering me his role model.
He loved jokes and laughs. Him and my sister Ruba, loved each other so much, and used to make the house full of joy. After he had left, Ruba changed a lot, and got sick. We rarely see her laughing.

Rida, I want to tell you that I am so sorry because I was not that ideal brother to you. I want to tell you that I love you and miss you very much, and that you do not leave my mind.
Rida, I want to tell you that we have changed a lot. You know I did not use to sleep at home that much. After your martyrdom, I come daily to our home, see our parents and try to compensate them for your absence. But no one can fill your place or make us feel comfortable. Whenever your name is mentioned, your father cries. Your sister’s son, Ali, took your toys and told me he wanted to keep them as a reminder of you. We miss you so much, and I wish we meet in Paradise.
#MartyrsDay