Part of memoirs of a Palestinian physician from Tal al-Zaatar

Selected by Faezeh Sasanikhah
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevissan


June 25

I always had a transistor radio with me to listen to the news. But which news? The news comes true. Do we hear the news? No, we make them, we create them. but...

The enemy started bombing earlier than usual. Having distanced thirty-two attacks that were repelled by our devotees, we were waiting to face another attack on another day. The air downstairs was really stifling. The wounded were lying on the ground. The beds were all filled. The corridors were full of wounded. The power generator had not started working yet and we had to use candles. But where do we get candles from?

One of our brave men, named Hamada, came to me with another group of fighters and gave me the candles they had made. I asked them how they made them, Hamada said that they found a lot of paraffin in one of the warehouses and after heating it, when it turned into a liquid, they poured it into jars and put a wick in it. After cooling, when the paraffin returned to its original state, they could remove the candles by breaking the glass. This brave guy did a great service to all of us by doing this initiative.


June 26
The 32nd attack of the phalanges failed. The hills of Abu Ibrahim and Abu Nadal, which surround Tel al-Zaatar, were still firm and fixed. Elmir Hill, located in the east of the camp, had remained resistant. The morale of the nurses was also excellent. They would happily go to the internal ward and return to the emergency ward again. Tiredness did not mean anything to them that day. It was 3 pm. A nurse came to me and said that Captain Badr was hit by a bullet that entered his neck and penetrated his spine in the route of "Deir al-Ra'i al-Saleh" (located in the heights of Tel al-Zaatar). He was in critical condition. He had been carried to the hospital on wooden planks.
First of all, I performed the necessary first aid on Captain Badr. He got a little better. During the entire wound dressing, he asked his mother, whom he had not seen for nine years. Two days later, Captain Badr lost his life.
On that day in the early morning, Feryal, a nurse working at the hospital, woke me up and said that Captain Badr was breathing hard. I witnessed his last breaths. I did my best to save him, but it was fruitless. Badr was martyred. His mother will never see him again. After 9 years of being away from him and enduring not seeing him, she still has to endure.
Who should we cry for? A loved one is lost every day. Will the tears be of any use? Will the tears affect our destiny?

We put Badr in a wooden coffin and buried him in a very big hole where there were 30 other coffins. The coffins of our martyrs were gathered there, because there was no opportunity to bury them, and on the other hand, we thought it might be possible to carry our martyrs to West Beirut and bury those dear ones in the resting place of the martyrs.



Source: Eraqi, Yousef, Surrounded by fire, Memoirs of a Palestinian physician from Tel al-Zaatar, V.1, 1372 (1993), The Art Center of the Islamic Propaganda Organization, p. 39.

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Full Name:

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