Photo: Ahiya Raved
Mourning the day after
Photo: Ahiya Raved
Photo: Ahiya Raved
Stunned silence over fresh graves
Photo: Ahiya Raved
Thousands honor attack victims
Emotions high as Shfaram buries four terror victims. Northern town inhabited by Muslims, Christians and Druze awash with flowers, candles, and black ribbons, as pain unites everyone
A day of mourning: About 10,000 people took part Friday afternoon in the funeral of Hazar and Dina Turki, 21 and 23 respectively, murdered Thursday in the terror attack aboard a bus traveling in the northern town of Shfaram. Later, murdered bus driver Michel Bahus, 56, and Nader Hayek, 51, were also laid to rest. 


The funeral procession left the young women's home toward the city hall building, and from there to the Muslim cemetery in town. At precisely 12 p.m. church bells began ringing, and a short while later Friday prayers at the mosques got under way.


Thousands attended funerals


The pain over the attack seems to have brought the various communities residing in Shfaram together. The town's population stands at about 35,000, half of them Muslim, 35 percent Christian, and 15 percent Druze.


"These two angles are now with God'


Across town there are flowers, candles, and residents carrying anti-racism placards. Meanwhile, young girls light up candles, wipe away tears, and observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims.


"What can be said about such disaster?" says Aiman, one of the girls at the scene. "How can you comprehend that these two angels are now with God? What a disaster."


Jamal Turki, the two slain women's cousin, said the family is having difficulties digesting the disaster.


"We do not belong to any political side and are frustrated, because we have nowhere to turn," he said. "We are simple people who make a living from hard work."


Meanwhile, dozens of television crews and journalists from across the world flocked to the town. On the streets, youngsters handed out black ribbons to drivers, for a moment looking like young anti- and pro-pullout activists handing out orange, white, and blue ribbons to motorists.


"Those children were supposed to have their last day of summer camp today," one woman said. "Instead, they have to hand out black ribbons."


'It's my flag too'


The Hayek and Bahus families, who lost loved one in the attack, were sitting at the Catholic schoolyard in Shfaram's Bab al-Dar neighborhood, where hundreds of dignitaries and acquaintances flocked to in order to offer condolences.


Members of all faiths attended funeral


Nader Hayek's cousin, Yusef Mor, had difficulty hiding his pain.


"Of all places he came to Shfaram to carry out this attack? Of all places, where people loyal to the country live? I love this country, this state. It's my flag too."


"When a terror attack happens in Netanya I cry like I cry now, because they are all my brothers," he said. "The Jews and Arabs are like one big family. The government should press those people, where the terrorist came from. This one incident here won't affect our way of life and the coexistence between people, or our loyalty to the state, but the government should do something."


First published: 08.05.05, 15:22
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