Dr. Jacqueline Casale Taylor Basker
Cengiz Songür was from Konya, Turkey. When he told his family he would board the Mavi Marmara to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza, one of his daughters put a note in his pocket, that he did not notice until he was on the ship. When he found the letter, he proudly showed it to his fellow passengers. He owned a small textile shop and was the father of seven children. Cengiz was a man who cared deeply about families, and had spent most of his life trying to help other families in need in charities that addressed problems around the world from London to Somalia, Haiti to Sierra Leone. He was an avid reader, and collected novels as well as encyclopedias and atlases.
He was shot once in the neck. When his daughters heard of his death they wrote ““Israel, you should be afraid. . . This time ababil birds are on their way swimming through the sea.” Ababil birds are described in the Koran sent by Allah to drop bricks on the elephants of the King of Yemen attacking the city of Mecca. She concluded, “I am now sure that you are free, Dad. We are free. Gaza is free!”