Palestinian newborns named after slain journalist Shireen Abu Akleh

Palestinians named their female newborns ‘Shireen’, after the name of the Al-Jazeera correspondent, Shireen Abu Akleh, who lost her life with a bullet to her head during her fieldwork in the city of Jenin, in the northern West Bank on Wednesday.

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There are many forms of solidarity in which the Palestinians have expressed their grief over the death of the Palestinian journalist.

Among them, 30-year-old Jamal Harbi Omran from the town of Burin, north of Nablus, named his daughter ‘Shireen’ who was born on May 11.

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“We woke up to the news of the Al Jazeera correspondent being martyred, and two hours later, my wife was scheduled for a cesarean birth at Rafidia Hospital, and the newborn was a girl, whom I named Shireen,” Omran told Al Jazeera Net.

He said that he felt the loss of something great in his life, after learning of the death of Abu Akleh. “It is a voice we have been accustomed to for years, especially in the (2002) invasion of the West Bank by Israel,” he said.

He said that naming his daughter Shireen is part of “self-condolence for this great affliction.”

Omran hopes that his daughter will grow up and study media, to be a journalist like Abu Akleh.

Jamal Omran holds his daughter, Sherine, who was born on the day of the assassination of Shireen Abu Akleh. (Photo: Al Jazeera)

Coinciding with the birth of Sheerin at Rafidia Hospital, Maram Mufleh, wife of the young Thaer Dwaikat, was also giving birth to her newborn at the Arab Specialized Hospital who was also named after the slain journalist.

Father Dwaikat told Al Jazeera Net that he was aware of the voice of Shireen Abu Akleh while she was covering the news of the second intifada and its successive events. He did not want this voice and name to disappear and hence named his daughter after Abu Akhleh to ensure that her presence remains permanent.

Like Thaer and Jamal, Muhammad Omar Musallam also named his daughter Shireen, who was born on Wednesday in Kamal Adwan Hospital in the city of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip. Muslim wrote on his Facebook page, “In honor of the knight of media and the free word.”

Sheerin’s name and her image also shone on the shore of the Gaza sea after Palestinian artist Ahmed Totah wrote her name in sand on the seashore, while artist Mohammed Al-Sharif painted Sheerin’s name in bright red on a large mural in his city of Jenin.

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