In this three-part blog series, stories about the work, life, and legacy of Shireen Abu Akleh are told to us by some of the women who were closest to her. In family, friendship, and profession, Shireen's loss is insermountable.
Shireen Abu Akleh was a Palestinian-American veteran correspondent for Al Jazeera. On May 11, 2022, she was targetted and killed by an Israeli sniper while covering an illegal raid in Jenin. Abu Akleh was visibly wearing a blue “PRESS” vest and a helmet when she was hit by an Israeli live bullet, as witnessed by other journalists, and confirmed by several independent investigations. Through these testimonies, we learn what Shireen meant to her friends, family, and Palestine.
"I remember watching Shireen working on her TV assignments as she sat at the dining room table in our house. My late grandfather would make her Nescafé in her favorite white mug that had a picture of a bear fishing, and bring it to the table as she got some work done. I was always excited to watch her on live TV, but it was even more inspiring for me to sit right next to her and watch her report live over the phone from home," writes her niece, Lina Abu Akleh.
"I remember how furious she was when we spoke about Israeli settler and soldier attacks on Palestinians in Jerusalem last May. When my nephew was interrogated and beaten by Israeli interrogators in Jerusalem during these events, she helped me find a lawyer, and supported my sister and I through the agony," writes her friend, Nadia Naser-Najjab.
"In April of 2022, we discussed ways to keep the Palestine story alive over Ali Baba wafers, sitting in a Jenin hotel lobby after a long day of reporting on Israeli raids across the city. The cause is just, [Shireen] said, It will always resurface and impose itself on the news agenda. We just have to keep our eyes open; there are stories that need to be told everywhere," writes her friend and colleague Rania Zabaneh.