12:38 PM PDT, May 22, 2021
Randa Aweis, an Arab Christian born in Jerusalem, spend the last nine years of her life on dialysis after her kidneys failed. As CNN explains, she recently got a call that a donor kidney was available. So the 58-year-old had surgery earlier this week at Jerusalem’s famed Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem.
At the time, she knew nothing about where the kidney came from but would soon find out that it once belonged to Yigal Yehoshua. Per CNN, Yehoshua was “a Jewish Israeli man who died in the wave of violence between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli town of Lod.”
This comes at a time when violence between Arabs and Jews living in mixed communities is at an all-time high. And it’s all part of the conflict between Israel and Palestine militants.
Yehoshua, 56, was critically injured after being attacked by a group of young Arab Israeli men. He fought for his life for a week before passing away.
When Aweis found out where the kidney came from, she was understandably shocked. She explained to CNN, saying, “I said, ‘What? How can that be? How did I get the kidney?’ They told me I got a present. It is a kidney that was a present from Yigal. I said, ‘Good.’ I was moved. In a war, a Jew gave a kidney to an Arab.”
She added, “The poor man, what did he do? What did he do to them? Why did they kill him? What is his wife going to do with his kids?”
Her Palestinian surgeon, Dr. Abed Khalaeileh, explains that he and other hospital staff treat everyone as equal humans. “We deal with everyone equally. There is no black and no white. Everyone is equal in the medical attention they receive.”
According to Randa Aweis, she grew up in a community in Jerusalem that was mixed with both Arabs and Jewish people. “There was no racism. Not from the Jews, not from the Arabs,” she states. “I grew up with the Jews. Our kids grew up with Jews.”
Since getting the new kidney, Aweis has spoken to Yehoshua’s family and will also visit them when she’s discharged. “I will tell Yigal’s family thank you,” she said. “They should not feel any more suffering. Yigal is going to heaven where it is better than here.”
And addressing the Jews and Arabs of the region, she said, “We should live together. We should have peace. We should be happy.”