Palestinian pilgrim: King Salman’s Hajj gift relieved pain of son’s death

Palestinian pilgrim: King Salman’s Hajj gift relieved pain of son’s death
Palestinian pilgrim Hussain Rayan. (AN photo)
Updated 05 September 2017

Palestinian pilgrim: King Salman’s Hajj gift relieved pain of son’s death

Palestinian pilgrim: King Salman’s Hajj gift relieved pain of son’s death

MAKKAH: Palestinian press photographer Rami Fathi never thought his hobby would be the cause of his death at the hands of Israeli soldiers.
His 68-year-old father Hajj Hussain Rayan, from Gaza, told Arab News while on pilgrimage in Mina: “I had my first child, Rami, after 14 years of sterility. We were so happy, and remained so until he became a victim of an Israeli sniper. The wound of our loss remains so painful.”
He spoke about how his son, who has two boys and two girls, joined the Palestine News Network. “Despite attempts by his mother to dissuade him, he used to say, ‘we have to expose the crimes of the Zionists to the world’,” said Rayan. 
“He recorded many stories about the courage of Palestinians. We saw his photographs on international news agencies and satellite channels. So he became a target for the Zionists, who wanted to block stories and photographs of what was really happening by intimidating and killing journalists.”
Rayan described how three years ago, his son, who was 26 at the time, went to Shuja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza to record aggression by Israeli soldiers on camera. They violated a three-hour truce and attacked people. Fathi was hit, fell next to his camera and was taken to hospital.
“I was at home. My wife was listening to the news, and she told me about the battle in Shuja’iyya. I asked her to turn off the radio because I didn’t want my blood pressure and diabetes to get worse,” said Rayan with tears in his eyes.
“Later I went out and found the neighbors at my door. They told me Rami had a foot injury. But on my way to the hospital, I met a Palestinian soldier who told me my son had been martyred. I passed out, and regained consciousness at the hospital with doctors around me. We’ve suffered ever since.”
But Rayan said having his Hajj expenses, and those of his wife, covered by King Salman “has relieved that deep pain by his gift for us to perform the pilgrimage for the first time. Throughout Hajj, we’ve prayed for King Salman and our martyred son.”
Meanwhile, leaders of Islamic institutions and centers in European countries praised the efforts exerted by the Kingdom led by King Salman to serve pilgrims in performing Hajj.
The president of the Spanish Islamic Community, Mohammed Kamal Mustafa said: “The Kingdom exerts major efforts to unify Muslims. It has always worked toward the success of matters related to the Islamic nation, despite the political, economic and cultural challenges it is facing. It has assumed a great role in fighting terrorism, and it works toward world peace and humanitarian action. Thus, the Kingdom is the leader of the Islamic world and the heart of all Muslims.”
He said that Muslims around the world appreciate the efforts exerted by the Kingdom to serve pilgrims and guests, expand the Two Holy Mosques and equip Makkah, Madinah and the holy sites.
The president of the European Islamic Institute in Brussels, Cheikh Abd Al-Hadi, also spoke of the efforts of the Kingdom as reflected in the expansion of the Two Holy Mosques and the reception of over 2 million pilgrims who were able to perform Hajj this year.
The executive director of Al-Risalah Scandinavian Foundation, Hussein Al-Daoudi, thanked the Kingdom for its efforts in Muslim-minority countries in the West and the ongoing attempts to achieve success in Islamic matters at the regional and international levels, especially the Palestinian cause.
The governor of Strasbourg Mosque in France, Cheaib Al-Sukari, said that the Kingdom seeks to unify the Islamic nation and advocate for just causes in order to overcome obstacles. He emphasized the important and effective role of the Kingdom in supporting the joint work at the Arab and Islamic level, and assisting the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in development and cultural spheres in Islamic member states.