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Thursday, September 24, 2020
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The greatest loss of all

Dear Editor,

It is with a heavy heart that I sit down to write these lines of the events of the past few days.

Usually the first thing I crave on getting up in the morning is a hot cup of coffee. Now that is from Monday to Thursday. On Friday that changes. On this day Friday, I want my Amandala first and I want it now!

After a few unsuccessful trips to my front door to pick up my Amandala I start to get real grumpy and I start to “bless” the newspaper man.  This happens religiously every Friday non-stop.

Finally I get my Amandala and I soon devour the headline story “The greatest love of all,” then the editorial and From the Publisher, Colin bh, and soon I have the newspaper covered.

When my grandchild David come visit, after a big hug, I show him the headline story of the Amandala  and explain briefly the meaning of the story of the love of a mother for her children, that she gave her life to save her kids. I soon get his undivided attention and like we do every Friday, he reads the article (David is in Standard Four and to help him with his reading, I let him read one or two articles of the Amandala every Friday.) “The greatest love of all” by Kareem Clarke, and he gets through the article after I help him with a few pronunciations.

“Dada (grandfather),” he tells me, “this is a sad story; how do they know how to write a story like this?”  I explain to him that they are journalists who cover stories by visiting the places where certain events occur. They ask questions of the family, friends and other people who witness these events. They take all this information and go home or to their work spots, sit down and come up with a story. I then comment to my wife, David’s grandmother, how David’s reading has improved.

Fast forward, to Monday morning, breaking news on Channel 5. “We regret to announce the death of our colleague, Kareem Clarke, journalist of the Amandala newspaper, who was brutally gunned down on Vernon Street …”

I am speechless, motionless.  I quickly retrieve the copy of the Sunday Amandala while hoping that there is some mistake … No mistake. This is the Kareem Clarke whose articles I have been reading every Friday for a long time.

I had never met him or seen him. I only knew him by name. I certainly thought that he was someone senior, then the picture starts to come in.

Kareem Clarke was only 27 years old, doing his Sixth Form studies, already a master with the pen. He had everything in front of him!

I called David Monday night and broke the news to him. He is shocked. “Dada, why would someone do this to him?”

I answered him, “David, the killings happening today in our country have no reason. I love you, son; take care of yourself.”

Let us pray.


Alfonso C. Ramirez

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