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Support the Fund for Victims of Terror

Shirahan Alwakily and Leila Talalka

Shirahan Alwakily // Coordinator for Terror Victims from the Bedouin Community

Leila Talalka // Mother of Samer. Samer was kidnapped and taken to Gaza, where he was accidentally killed by IDF fire, together with the hostages Alon Shamriz and Yotam Haim.

Leila Talalka doesn’t sleep at night. She imagines where Samer slept, how he passed the long hours of captivity, and called out to him from her disturbed sleep. “Samer, Samer, where are you?” 

Seventy days after he was kidnapped to Gaza, the tragic answer arrived: When freedom was closer than ever, Samer, together with his fellow hostages Alon Shamriz and Yotam Haim, were accidentally killed by IDF fire. 

“I feel like I’m living a bad dream,” Leila, who has two academic degrees and teaches mathematics and Arabic in a high school in the Hura regional council, says. “Samer was my oldest son, we started building him a home, he was supposed to marry soon. I spend the whole day looking at pictures and clips of him on the telephone. The pain is so great that I can no longer cry. How did it happen? Nobody has any answers.” 

“Sometimes in the afternoon I go and visit Samer’s unfinished home,” his father says in an interview with Ynet. “I sit crying in one of the rooms, smoking a cigarette and drinking coffee – and wait for him, wait for him to return home. One of the neighbors suggested that I continue the building, but I’m not capable of it. How can I continue building Samer’s house when he’s not here?” 

Two years ago Shirahan joined the Fund for Victims of Terror, and thanks to her special personality she became an anchor for the Bedouin population in particular, and for terror victims in general. With sensitivity and love, Shirahan accompanies Leila and her family and supports them in coping with the loss that shook up their lives and the entire country. Out of her deep knowledge of the Bedouin community, its challenges and special characteristics, Shirahan helps Leila and her family in their painful mourning and checks that they always know they are never alone. 

The Jewish Agency for Israel

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