Africa · Musings · Opinion

REMEMBERING GARISSA

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Garissa happened last year

This sentence has reverberated in my mind for most of the past month, sometimes abruptly at a lecture, while taking a bath, or in the middle of the night.

Garissa happened last year

I say it like its an anniversary of a joyous occasion or a memory of a wonderful event and not the gory massacre that it really was: the violent murder of 148 people, the vast majority of whom were students, by gunmen on the morning of April 2, 2015 at Garissa University in Kenya.

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Garissa happened last year

It still feels personal even 365 days later; even though I didn’t know any of the victims, and their families, personally or that I live over 3000 kilometres away from Garissa.

Garissa happened last year

There have been numerous terrorist attacks before and after the Garissa attacks. Each one brings with it feelings of anger, sorrow, despair and shock, all at once. Still, thoughts of Garissa take these feelings up a hundred notches.

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Garissa happened last year

I can still remember the victims’ life stories. The first of nine siblings to go to college; the officer who had previously lost a brother to fighting Al Shabaab; the girl who expressed her love to her boyfriend in a really heart rending message just before she died; the man who left behind a pregnant wife; the lady whose dream was to be a teacher.
I wish I could remember the names. I wish I could remember the faces. I wish the whole world would know cos maybe then I would not be scared that we’d I’d ever forget.

Garissa happened last year

148 worlds died that morning. Worlds of dreams, hopes, ambitions. Of family, friends, loved ones. And for the families, the survivors, for all of Kenya and for anyone who still remembers, it feels like yesterday. The wounds are still fresh; the pain still unbearable; the hurt still palpable.

Garissa happened last year

But we still care. We’ll hold on to memories of the victims, their dreams, their hopes, their aspirations; whatever we can, however we can cos we will never forget.

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6 thoughts on “REMEMBERING GARISSA

  1. This touched my heart. I do not recall this, so if it was reported here in the U.S., it was likely only a brief mention. Sadly, it often seems that the philosophy of the press here is that if it didn’t happen here, it doesn’t matter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sadly, it’s not only an American problem. We love to complain about how Western media never pay much attention to things like this but local media here are guilty of the same thing. Thanks for leaving a comment.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ikr. I also realised one thing yesterday. We don’t talk much about the survivors. They’ve been scarred. Mentally and physically. A lot of them haven’t still recovered from the events of that day!

      Liked by 1 person

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