Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Unique Face Before Death

Hujam Surchi shown in a video moments before being killed by an Islamic State fighter.

This is a picture of Hujam Surchi, a man moments before being beheaded by an Islamic State (Isis) fighter. He has such a unique look that I personally have never seen before! A face that that no matter how hard I try I can’t accurately describe in words.

He hears loud words from his killer, speaking the same language as his: Kurdish. He understands every word his would-be killer says. He hears the man, who holds a big knife, saying that his defensless subject is going to die because he deserves it. Hujam doesn’t blink his eyes, just looks at the camera straight. He doesn’t utter a word to interrupt his killer. No attempts at arguing or begging for his life! He simply accepts his fate as if it’s destined for him.

But in his eyes, as you look deeply into them, they appear to be those of man deeply immersed in thinking. Anyways, that is the only freedom that even his captors fail to take away. In a series of flashbacks, he may think of his childhood, the rare peaceful days he spent in homeland “Kurdistan,” when kids discuss their future dreams. He could be thinking about the day he got married and the day he became a father. He may think about all the promises he gave to his 10 children, but probably failed to deliver them. He may be happy that a few months ago he was willing to put aside all the pride he is exuding in this picture in order to appear on a local station to beg the country's rich to help his handicapped daughter get a surgery abroad. “I am asking for help because my child is a girl not a boy,” he said on television, knowing the amount of value his society places on beauty and good health for women.

Was he not a good father? He may wonder as moments of his life are increasingly numbered. Another question that may cross his mind is why he should be killed by a fellow Kurd, the group he tried so hard and for so long to protect. As logic fails him, he may turn to God for answer: How could any religion justify the killing of a man who did everything he could to raise 10 children during multiple wars? Why would a man, who never had power to be unjust or wealth to abuse, face such a destiny? What can his children do without him in the faraway Kurdish village? The questions could become countless and forever unanswerable!

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