Life they say is sweet, but a life spent making impact in the world is well spent. It lingers longer even after you are long gone. The Kenyan Muslim teacher, Salah Farah who died shielding Christians during a bus attack in Kenya will always remain a hero not just for Kenyans but for the entire world.
Three months after the tragic incidence that led to his death, the Kenyan government, through president Uhuru Kenyatta appreciated Farahs’ courage by awarding him one of the highest recognized honors in the country – Order of the Grand Warrior of Kenya.
The honor which is usually given to individuals who have exhibited a ‘distinguished and outstanding services to the nation’ in various capacities and responsibilities, was to be awarded by the president himself.
Announcing this to the parliament on Thursday’s State of the Union address, President Uhuru said Farah will remain the nation’s hero for his deep act of courage and love which cost him his life.
The President said:
“He died defending people who he did not know. This is because he believed in their right to freedom of worship and he knew that every single life – irrespective of faith – is sacred.
“He is a powerful symbol of our country’s ambition to attain the full expression of secure and cohesive nationhood, and he is a costly reminder that we all have a role to play in protecting our freedoms.
Kenyatta however promised the family of the diseased that the country will will always admire the sacrifice Farah made for the country.
December 21, 2015 will always remain memorable in the hearts of Kenyans. It was the day when Farah and about 60 other passengers were intercepted on their way to the town of Mandera by Somalia-based al-Shabab militants who began firing shots at the bus.
The al-Shabab militants who were known for their usual execution of Christians ordered that the people in the bus where Farah was in, separate the Christians for execution which the Muslim passengers refused. Instead they they demanded that the insurgents to kill all the passengers or leave them alone.
Farah, who was shot in the hip and suffered shrapnel wounds to his arm in the process, died while undergoing surgical operation one month later.
Prio to his death, the Muslim teacher related to the media, all that happened in the bus. He also reminded the nation’s citizens and the world to always embrace unity and peace.
“People should live peacefully together…we are brothers. It’s only the religion that is the difference, so I ask my brother Muslims to take care of the Christians so that the Christians also take care of us. … and let us help one another and let us live together peacefully,” the Muslim teacher told Voice of America from his hospital bed in January.
Meanwhile, 26-year-old activist Abudallahi Derow acknowledged the honor given to Farah saying he deserve to be honored for his bravery.
“Salah died serving the country, defending his Christian brothers. He chose to die and save the lives of his countrymen. He is a symbol of unity and strength and his action is an inspiration to many.”
Derow started a social media campaign in January to raise money for Farah’s family. The campaign was able to gather about the sum of 600,000 Kenyan shillings ($5,900) mainly through the M-Pesa money transfer service.