On Friday morning the Athenian streets were calm, unusually calm for a week day. The lack of traffic and noisy traffic jams strangely merged together with the peacefulness, which was ruling over the Keseriani cemetery in the capital. The place where relatives and friends said their final farewell to Hamidula Nadjafi – the 15 years old boy from Afghanistan who became a casual victim of a blind terrorist attack on March 28th this year.
At the entrance of the cemetery park there were cars of television squads, journalists and reporters staying in groups waiting for the grieved family. The cameramen from public and private television stations were silently stretching the cables and installing the cameras in front of the entrance of the park. Inside the porch in front of the ritual hall was placed a wooden coffin covered with flowers and plastered with pictures of the boy-victim. Covered with the Afghanistan flag the coffin was the symbolical memorial of this absurd loss. It was empty as the funeral of the child will be made in Kabul on Monday, April 11. In front of it were silently staying young boys, classmates and friends of Hamidula who had also come to pay their last honors and support to the family.
Minutes later arrived the parents of the killed boy. In the father’s eyes there was silent grief. He was stepping calm and slow towards the wooden coffin and the look of his own child was staring at him from the picture printed on an A4 paper and hung on the country flag. Behind him was walking the mother dressed in a black dressing gown and with a black cloth on her head. She was surrounded by relatives and friends, women and children and young girls who were walking along with her without saying a word. The mother who witnessed with her own eyes the cruel sudden death of her fifteen years old son was not crying, not whining, not murmuring and was not even making a sound, while walking towards the symbolical coffin of her child. A piece and silent grief was radiating from her.
Her appearance caused a quiet confusion among the photo reporters. The clicks of the cameras could be heard from all sides while she was walking as if there was nobody around her and the reporters were invisible. From both of her sides were holding her women from the Afghanistan community and her eyes were focused on the wooden pedestal in front of her.
All people present gathered in front of the coffin. Up front were the two parents, next to them the chairman of the Afghanistan community in Greece and behind them the Deputy Minister Spiros Vuias from the Ministry of civil defense. Around them gathered all the rest of the present people, most of which were fellow countrymen of Hamidula, Greek journalists and photo reporters. A representative of the Afghanistan community started to sing a prayer in their mother tongue. All Afghans were repeating together the song prayer for the dead with their palms turned towards the sky. You could also hear the silent cry of the mother and the tears of the young boys classmates of the dead child started to fall. First the father and then the mother went in a circle around the four angles of the coffin while saying quietly the traditional prayer. The song of their fellow countrymen was still going on while the two parents were making the ritual for saying farewell to their first child. After the end of the prayer on the stairs in front of the memorial of Hamidula Nadjafi gathered a group of young children, first generation Afghans, born in Greece, who sang a song dedicated to the deceased child.
At the end of the ceremony the father expressed his gratitude towards all the people who showed their empathy in the worst moment of the life of their family. Regardless of the deep grief he found the strength to thank the Greek doctors and the whole society for the support they showed in the days after the tragedy. “The loss of my child Hamidula has to become a starting point for each member of the society and the institutions in the country in the fight against the blind violence and terrorism. We left our home country Afghanistan and we found our second home in Greece as our strong hope was that we have forever left behind us the bombs and terrorism. It turned out that it is not like this.” In his speech the father was talking with no passion, but also no blame in his voice.
“The tragic faith of the young Afghan sets the beginning of an new way of control over the blind violence and our main goal will be to prevent such events as the one on March 28th this year from happening,” said Spiros Buias, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of civil defense. While the only representative of the government was giving a statement for the Greek media, the family and friends took the coffin-symbol of the lost child in their hands and took it to the funeral car. The noise of the city slowly deadened the song of the people in grief who followed the mourning coach outside the borders of the cemetery park.
The last trip on earth will take the 15 years old Hamidula Nadjafi posthumously in his country of birth Afghanistan which he and his family had left years ago searching for a more secure future. The child, murdered by a bomb in times of “piece” in Greece will be berried in Kabul.
The little sister of Hamidula lost completely the sight on one of her eyes during the lethal accident with the bomb in the Athenian neighborhood Kato Patisia. The other eye of the 11 years old girl will be subject of a third surgery after the tragedy. The doctors hope that this will be the last surgery and that it will be successful. The Greek red cross endowed one thousand euro to the Afghan family for the funeral of the child in Kabul and the Greek government will cover the expenses for the transportation of the body of the young boy.