“Love is always meant for the first lover”
An Arab saying
I try to reconstruct the scenario in my head; rolling in my bed, my body is tensioned and I think of all the atrocities. I had this case once when my panic attacks overruled my daily life in Damascus in 2012, stopping me from going out alone, my biggest fear was to be arrested or kidnapped at a checkpoint of the regime, where no one can know where am I. once I am in the black hole of Assad, but I never knew that check points can come to people.
Thugs of the check point right under the building came up to the first floor, knocked the door at the evening of 18th of February 2014, Rahaf’s father wonders, as a retired general from the Palestinian Liberation Army, he always went to bed at 9.
I am on my bed surfing facebook before sleeping, while scrolling down I see the photo title: “rest in peace Rahaf Abo Khalil” I scroll down to the image, as beautiful as she always used to be. Rahaf was murdered with both her parents and her 7 months pregnant cousin, in a regime held area with 4 regime check points just under her building.
Rumors told the story of a small fight between her father and a mix checkpoint of Hezbollah and the regime downtown Damascus. The soldiers tried to bring her out of the car, the father, off course, expressed his anger, they followed them home and located the place. They came back and slaughtered the whole family in what seemed to be a failed rape attempt. The crime didn’t stop here, apparently two strange men were executed earlier that day, the soldiers brought the bodies and threw them in the apartment, putting a knife in the hand of one man, in a very cheap attempt, as usual, to cover their crime stupidly.
Nobody knows how the crime was discovered or how the horrific details were leaked but rumors also spoke of written words on the walls of the flat holding the responsibility to Ahrar Al Sham and Jabhat Al Nusra, in an ultimate sick try to hide truths. The tragedy didn’t stop here, state owned TV and Dunia propaganda channel might do reportage on this crime, manipulating truth and telling the residents of Midan – the conservative Sunni area – that you are not even safe in your houses downtown Damascus.
Regardless of who committed this crime, solely Assad troops or other agents of Hezbollah, it reflects facts we can’t ignore, taking into consideration the central location of the house, the relative calmness of that specific area which didn’t witness any clashes even when Midan was raided back in Ramadan 2012, we will witness more organized ethnic cleansing in the heart of Damascus.
Rahaf was my girlfriend for 6 years, I can see perfectly what happened there, she was coming home alone one day, from university or from work, the checkpoints all over the city harassed her, as another beautiful young woman, but the check point under her house knew her, knew her entire family and understand the routines of the house, they harassed her once, twice and three times. But the strong personality of hers drew the limits and maybe reacted angrily, she most probably insulted them, just by turning them down, but I bet that Rahaf didn’t only refuse, she expressed her anger loudly.
In all times of war, a man with a weapon believed that he can get any woman her wants, this time the woman was Rahaf and the man with the weapon was another sick pathetic human raised to be a slave for Assad who don’t take No for an answer.
Names of the victims:
Najah Abo Khalil, a retired general from Palestine Liberation Army, father
Khadijeh Hadid, UNRWA school manager, mother
Rahaf Abo Khalil, 24 years old woman, student
Rahaf’s cousin, 7 months pregnant woman
2 male bodies