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In Memory Of My Best Friend, Jumana by Ghaydaa Owaidah

It took me 42 days to regain the ability to write. Writing about her is as difficult as accepting her loss.

Jumana, my university friend, is gone. A martyr.

Jumana, or Jeeji, as I used to call her, was her mother’s best friend, her father’s only daughter, and my heart’s delight.

She knew all the details and secrets of my days. She was the only one who knew my unrealistic dreams and encouraged me to pursue them. She answered all my silly questions with illogical answers. She was the best at understanding my glances.

She was everything. Now I have nothing.

I lost Jeeji on April 11. After the first cry, I became silent and remained so for many days, unable to comprehend my great loss.

Jeeji and her parents were killed when an Israeli missile hit a crowded market. There was no body left to bury.

Jeeji will have no grave. In Gaza, finding a grave for your loved one is a luxury. You are lucky if you find their whole bodies.

I don’t want to remember how Jeeji died. My memories of our conversations and time together and our photos are making me die slowly. I have aged quickly since her death.

Jeeji was the best face to see every day at university, though she often missed classes, which made me angry. She didn’t like waking up early, but our time together made up for what we didn’t like.

We would sit in our favorite place, first talking about lectures, then everything else. I loved bringing her a falafel sandwich, her favorite. We would eat, laugh, and take a lot of photographs.

Ghaydaa Owaidah is a writer, translator and voice-over specialist from Gaza.

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