There is a lot you can tell about a person through a quick glance at his Facebook profile.
Mubeen Shah Afridi’s profile is no different. It provides insight into his interests and hobbies. Unfortunately, the comments and photos which the 15-year-old posted are the only standing testament to his life as a regular teenager.
On Tuesday morning, Mubeen, who was a class ten student of Army Public School (APS), fell victim to the terrorists’ gun and became another among the many children who lost their lives.
Since then, two Facebook pages have sprung up to pay tribute to the young martyr. One of the pages has received over 59,000 likes, while the other has over 51,000 likes.
However, these pages are only filled with condolence messages and testimonials and do not tell us much about Mubeen as a person.
Yet, Mubeen’s profile is our only portal into his heart and mind. Through a quick glance at his interaction with friends and family, we begin to see how witty, outgoing he really was.
He also appeared to have taken a keen interest in the problems which plagued his country and province. He had posted pictures condemning Israeli terrorism in Gaza. In a status update, Mubeen expressed earnest hope that one day the smiles on people’s faces will ultimately thwart the sound of the gun. At this stage, we take a moment to ponder over how cruel and unpredictable life can be. The young martyr’s profile picture draws us into his world. Mubeen appears to be a confident, extrovert and outgoing boy. What could the terrorists possibly have achieved by killing him?
Like many people of his generation, Mubeen seems to be a fan of Argentinean footballer Lionel Messi. Pictures of the footballer have been posted all over his profile.
As we scroll down further, we find a set of pictures of Mubeen — baby pictures, photographs from his early school days and some recent selfies.
Mubeen has also posted some video clips taken in the same auditorium where he and his friend were slayed in cold blood. In one of the clips, titled ‘Auditorium’, he has captured footage of students dancing to a Pashto song in a place that would become the playground of their death.
There is a message inscribed on his cover photo. He shared it on June 3, over six months before he died. It reads: “We are a nation of beauty and great grief. Our smile is much stronger than your gun.”
Through a single Facebook share, Mubeen has left us with an unforgettable message. As the country struggles to cope with the loss of its children, it must never forget that the ideology of militants should not be allowed to become an excuse for murder.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2014.