Strange Boat - Organ Donation Awareness


Heart of Jenin

Twelve year old Ahmed Khatib was shot by Israeli soldiers when he and another child who had been playing in the street were caught up in an exchange of fire between Israeli forces and Palestinian gunmen. An older boy ran, carrying Ahmed, trying to reach a hospital in Jenin where they lived.

Ahmed clung to life for two days. When it was clear the hospital in the refugee camp did not have the resources to treat such serious wounds, his father called his wife's brother, Muhammad, for help. He lives on the other side of what is called 'the green line', drawn up in the 1949 armistice, separating Israel from the occupied territories. As an Israeli citizen, Muhammad could request his nephew be airlifted to an Israeli hospital with better facilities. Ahmed was flown to hospital in Haifa. His parents were refused permission to accompany their dying son. By the time a permit to exit the West Bank was granted, Ahmed had less than 24 hours to live.

In the final hours of Ahmed's life they were surrounded by other parents all praying for their children. "As we sat reading from the Koran, other parents read from the Torah. Then one of the mothers came over to us and began to pray for Ahmed, and we went and prayed for her son," Abla said.

When it was clear that Ahmed would not survive, and in the full knowledge that their son's body would probably be transplanted into people of the same nationality as the soldiers who had shot him, Ahmed's parents sought permission from the most senior Islamic cleric in Palestine before telling the hospital of their decision. Ahmed's organs helped six desperately ill Israelis. Two were Arabs and four were Jews - five of them children.

"We are all mothers and fathers. We all love our children. The message we wanted to send with what we did was, stop killing children".

"A sense of common humanity is much bigger than any feelings of bitterness and revenge" said Ahmed's father, Ismael.

(This story is courtesy of "Transforming Lives" an inspirational book produced by Legacy of Life


 Ismael Khatib, father of Ahmed

View the documentary "Heart of Jenin" which tells the amazing story of Ahmed's gift of life to six Israelis following his tragic death at the hands of Israeli soldiers:





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