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One Man of Many Dead

Had Khaled Nassar not been eager to lend a hand, his heart would’ve still been beating.

“We had just finished praying when Khaled insisted on heading to the 6th of October bridge to help carry dead bodies,” said his brother Ahmad Nassar.  “He wanted to see what was going on. The army and police force were shooting live ammunition at peaceful protestors.”

This was the first time Khaled’s brother attends the protests with him. “I was here for a reason,” he said. “It’s like God sent me with him today to make sure someone’s with my brother when he dies.” Otherwise, his body would’ve been lost and maybe even burned by the forces. “They burn the bodies,” he said. “I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”

On the day of the Raba massacre on Wed, Aug. 14, the forces burned down the hospital with its injured, with its dead, and with live people inside. They continued to go further and burn Raba mosque, which contained the rest of the bodies with their mourning families.

Before knowing that his brother met his fate, Nassar received a phone call from his sister, Hanaa Nassar, asking if they were okay. “We’re fine,” he replied. “Where’s Khaled?” “He’s fine.” “No, Ahmad. Your brother is dead.”

She had received a phone call from the person who carried him to the hospital. They had called the last dialled number from Khaled’s phone.

After searching the bridge piece by piece without any luck, Nassar headed to the field hospital where he found Khaled’s body.  The hospital was over populated and they had run out of medical supplies. He carried his brother’s blood-dripping corpse on his shoulder and headed to the nearest Hospital— Sayyed Galal Hospital.  “I’ve never seen so many dead bodies,” he said. “There was no room for anyone to stand. Blood was everywhere and sorrow filled the air.”

“I waited there for hours and hours,” said Nassar. The following day, the prosecutor didn’t show up, even though he knows there are thousands dead. To get things “finished quickly,” they had two options: just take the body and leave, with no record of him being dead; or sign off a waiver that says he commit suicide. Both options help the forces to decrease the death count. “I can’t believe they still wanted to cover up,” said Nassar. “We ended up going to the prosecutor ourselves with a lawyer to try to get things done legally.” They were finally able to bring Khaled’s body back home for a proper funeral; a blessing many martyrs did not have.

Khaled was shot in the heart, with an extreme bullet force that moved across his entire chest. He was shot with a 7.2 cm bullet— a bullet the size of a human finger.

“Khaled wasn’t a terrorist,” said Nassar. “He was the kindest, bravest man I knew.” Khaled’s funeral was attended by thousands in his hometown –one of the biggest the town has ever seen.

Khaled was 39 years old, and he didn’t just die; he was murdered.  He was killed because he didn’t want to live a slave in his country; because he expressed his mind; because he wouldn’t allow the January 25 revolution to be stolen. He simply wanted a safe haven for his children. His wife is pregnant with their second child. A child that will only hear about the bravery of his father, but never actually get to meet him.

When Khaled’s pockets were emptied, a white paper splashed with ruby red blood was found. It was a note from his 10-year-old daughter that read, “Dad, please come back home safely. I’m waiting for you. We all are.”

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