Grand gunfire

Warning: some readers may find this article disturbing.

I never envisioned handling bullets in my role as a journalist.

It’s been eight years since I began my career, I am assured today that there would be a small body armor waiting for me if necessary.

Indeed, the world has undergone a radical transformation compared to 2016.

We find ourselves amidst two wars.

A hush fell over the training room as the screen displayed details of an array of weapons.

One segment presented the final vision captured by a journalist before being fatally shot on the streets of Bangkok.

In another, a group of reporters hastily exited a car in Kyiv, bleeding.

Growing up, I believed writing was about capturing the essence of existence, steering clear of echoing hatred or bitterness.

This was a legacy inherited from my parents — when my mother started dancing, my father sang.

As a teenager, I learned that my pen could be as powerful as a bullet. This idea truly hit home a decade later, as I started to write my reports.

When a bullet — a fact — is fired, the yearning for a facade of existence diminishes.

Now, equipped with a tourniquet and wound dressings, I am hoping one day I can venture into crises that lack coverage.

I recognise the privilege I possess, yet with each story I uncover, a growing sense of fear shadows me.

During a demonstration on treating gunshot wounds, I was critiqued for not applying enough pressure when inserting the dressing into the wound.

If I go soft, the victim may die.

“The bullet looks cuter than I expected,” I mentioned to a colleague.

“It’s intentionally designed that way,” she answered.

Never in my life had I tended to someone else’s injury, let alone witnessed a gunshot wound firsthand.

My coach was a renowned photojournalist who was miraculously released after being kidnapped for 15 months by Islamist insurgents in Somalia.

In his darkest moments, devoid of hope, he orchestrated a grand escape through a bathroom window, only to be dramatically recaptured in a mosque.

The physical punishments he endured morphed into psychological torment.

His experiences offered me a new lens through which to view my own fears and aspirations today.

Our world extends far beyond what’s right in front of us, if only we recognise that our pain is just a small piece of a vast tapestry.

Within this, there’s a spectrum from hunger, death, and hatred to love, bravery, and serenity.

This leads me to ask: do we still hold faith?

Our beliefs are often shaped by what we see.

We overlook that sometimes belief has to precede seeing.

That marks an impressive distinction.

For me, I don’t need a gun to tell a story.

I am the gun for those I cherish.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *