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May Peace Upon Us All

  • 2017/12/31

The grief of losing a father or a mother in one of the world's worst terrorist atrocity was complicated and for the KIDS children who mourn, October 12, 2017, was marked as 15 years since the bombing tragedy which took away their parents’ lives.

Imagine how difficult it is for these children to think of anything positive that comes from losing a parent like they had.

Every year, marked on 12 October, pictures of their deceased parents are on television and they don’t get to mourn in private. Suppose the commemoration day is a chance for these children to remember anew the parents who didn't live to see them grow up, how can we help them reflect on what's happened in a way that can help them move forward?

We share the following story from CNN Indonesia’s interview with one of the KIDS children last October:



"I am the son of my late father. I need to know the background of the family of the man who killed my father…,"

said Alief to CNN Indonesia newsman, Miftah Farid.

Alief is the son of late Imawan Sardjono who was killed in the Bali Bombing 2002. He is now a freshman studying law at Udayana University, Jimbaran, Bali. For the first time in 15 years on the anniversary of the Bali bombing tragedy, Alief agreed to meet Mahendra, the son of Amrozi, the terrorist bomber who killed his father and at least 201 other lives at Paddy's Irish Bar and the nearby Sari Club on the night of October 12, 2002.

The meeting was facilitated by CNN Indonesia and Yayasan Lingkar Perdamaian at the house where Alief lives with his mother, brother, and grandmother in Badung, Bali. Anyone who witnessed the meeting between Alief’s family and Mahendra inside that house would probably hate to say this, but it was too obvious that the discomfort was undeniable. The awkwardness filled the ambiance of the living room as they sat together and tried to make each other comfortable by starting a conversation.

It was hard at first but after Mahendra haltingly expressed his deepest regret and apology for the atrocious deeds his father committed fifteen years ago, it really did get easier. Mahendra said that it took him years to be ready to meet one of the families of Bali Bomb victims and he would never know when it would happen if Alief did not ask for it first. The conversation went deeper, and they even started to share their feelings and difficulties they have been through all these years. Mahendra, Alief, including Aldi, Alief’s younger brother, learned from each other’s experience and feeling that they all actually are survivors who were affected by the tragedy and shared similar awful experiences of the worst acts of terrorism ever happened on Indonesian soil to date.

Wonder how their day would end?

Everyone in that room was so relieved knowing how Alief and Mahendra were able to come to a conclusion that what happened in the past should stay in the past, and the hatred had to be stopped.

Hate doesn't cure hate.

All the pains should be transformed into a positive energy, a great force which can make this world a better place for living. And at the end of the day, Alief and Mahendra, they hugged each other tightly.

"I have a new brother now…,"

said Mahendra to Alief

"It feels like I have a new member of the family,"

said Alief later to CNN newsman.

Nothing is more beautiful than reunifying people who were involuntarily separated from each other by hatred.

And a few hours later in the evening, Alief, accompanied by his mom and brother, went to the Ground Zero Monument in Kuta. Mahendra came along with them as Alief invited him. After Alief and Aldi finished pay their last respects, the three of them, Alief, Aldi and Mahendra, put their arms on each other’s shoulders and prayed together, 

"...May peace upon us all."

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See also:

KIDS Goes To Campus in 2017

In 2017, five KIDS children continue their studies at universities in Bali.


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