‘An empty seat at the table’: Christmas without Shireen Abu Akleh

She was a renowned journalist, but to her niece, Shireen was a Christmas-loving aunt and the ‘backbone’ of the family.

Each year, as Christmas approached, Lina Abu Akleh would look forward to spending time with her aunt.

Lina and her siblings – an older brother and a younger sister – would get together with their parents and their father’s younger sister at the family home in occupied East Jerusalem, where they’d enjoy a big Christmas lunch.