Tomorrow marks 100 years since the end of WW1, like many in this world our family suffered a mysterious tragedy that stayed till today unsolved, my great grandfather, Ali Hashem, went to the war and never returned
My grandfather, Hussein, was 3 when his father was summoned to fight with the Ottoman army, he went to the Safar Barlek (wartime mobilization). The war ended in 1918 and Ali never returned
My grandfather, Ali’s only son, went with his mother to Palestine where she’s originally from Bassa near what became later the borders with Lebanon.
After the Nakba in 1948, my grandfather had to leave his mother’s village in Palestine and return to Lebanon to Nakoura. Yet, he continued to wait news from his father, he always thought that his father was alive
Despite the fact the house changed, grandpa had a ritual every evening, he decided that he won’t close the doors of our family house, he thought his father might come one day. This continued till I was 12
Our village was under Israeli occupation, and it was impossible in every situation that our great grandfather was alive, but Grandpa never lost hope, until we went to Istanbul in 1992 for a visit
When we were there, my mother, my brother, and myself heard of several people from the Hashem family in the city, we didn’t meet any of them. When we came back I joked with grandpa saying that his father seem to have had a family and Turkey, he was very upset
Few years later, grandpa passed away. Yet, I continued to think about his father, whom I was named after. In the past few years I tried to search for lists and names, but didn’t reach anything.
In 2016 I saw an article written by a Turkish diplomat in Beirut, I contacted the embassy but still there was nothing about him, he’s not among the names of those who were killed in the war…
In one of my visit to Istanbul I contacted @gurselgoncu editor of @tarihdergi I told him about the story and he was helpful to suggest where our Ali might have fought, still we weren’t able to solve this mystery
My great grandfather, 100 years after the WW1, is still lost in history, I’m writing these tweets about his fate while having his youngest descendent, Loujain near me. Maybe, one day she might reach the truth that I didn’t reach. May our great Ali’s soul rest in peace
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