The fireworks were breathtaking to say the least. Different colors spread across a section of the sky, and if one looked beyond the boat shooting the fireworks for this show, one can see fireworks rise up in the sky everywhere else to welcome the new year.
My family and I got to be in the first row of the show by the Mississippi River between the smell of beer and cigars and people cheering.
“They BOOM! sounds just like how it was in Gaza this summer,” one of my younger siblings turned to tell me.
“They use this kind of sound to scare people, you know? And the BOOM! sounds are used to demolish people’s homes,” my other sibling added.”
I looked around me for a moment and saw everyone’s necks were stretched up to watch the color of the sky turn from gold to green to purple. The BOOM! sounded familiar. It sounded like the sound the T.V. played from July to August. It sounded like that, but this time, the BOOM! sound was coming from across the world on an occasion almost everyone waits for to “change.”
I thought of everyone back home. I thought of the struggles. I thought of the loved ones I lost, among them my beloved grandfather.
My mind drifted to Saji Darwish.Saji was a second year media student who was murdered at the hands of the Israeli occupation. I didn’t know him; I was introduced to him when he died. I was one of the many students that witnessed his funeral, exactly a year ago from today. I saw his smile on a poster, and for some reason, it became engraved in my memory.
A year ago from today, the person that murdered him got away. A year ago from today, the struggle stood as it still stands…as it has always stood.
At the end of 2014, I walked into the media building that recently opened on campus to help a few friends hang posters up on the issue of #BlackLivesMatter. When we entered the building, Saji’s picture was framed and hanging on a wall.
I don’t know what his dreams were, but I wonder if he dreamed of being a wellknown journalist whose face would be recognized by many. Who would have known his face would be remembered under different circumstances?
A year ago, everyone that was on campus stood in silence as Saji’s body was carried around campus bidding a farewell while we prayed mercy on his soul.
When the fireworks died out and the final cheers were cheered, the new year began without the people we imagined to be around for a long time.