He bred animals, played piano and loved soccer

I spent a few hours this evening with the family of Laith al-Khaldi, the teenaged boy who was killed by the Israeli military on Friday in the protests that erupted after the arson murder of 18-month old Ali.
Laith was not 17 as the media reported–he was only 15 years old. He loved animals, and bred dogs, cats and rabbits. He loved to play soccer with his friends, and was good at all subjects in school but was especially good at math, and at music. He played piano.

I was talking to two of his aunts this evening, about the important role they will be playing (and already are playing) in supporting Laith’s sisters and brother.

I started to say, “I’m an aunt, too, and I can’t imagine…”

And then something happened in my throat, and  I couldn’t finish the sentence.

My nephew is also 15 years old.

Here is a photo of Laith as a small boy-he’s in the middle, and his older brother and sister (who are twins) are on either side of him.

Each time a child is killed, his future is killed, along with his dreams, and his family’s dreams for him.laith small child

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