I am not ready to speak about Shireen in the past tense. Not today. Perhaps not ever.
Shireen has covered the cruelty of the Israeli occupation for decades, only to be the victim of its utter bloody madness; madness she spent a lifetime exposing.
Ms Abu Akleh is a household name in the Arab world. Faraway but omnipresent in countless homes from Rabat to Riyadh.
A seasoned journalist, she has been that brave voice from Palestine echoing through the world. Where seasonal reporters come and go, she has been there day in day out, year after year, face to face with the occupiers of her homeland, giving a voice to voiceless Palestinians.
Shireen has had that steady voice – a soothing, credible voice. Always calm, cool and collected even when faced with the most horrific circumstances and bloodiest scenes.
Which is more often than is imaginable, alas.
There is something modest but magical about the way she has strolled down the streets of Palestine and gone through the alleys of its refugee camps, talking to the world with such eloquence; such clarity and confidence.
Always factual and objective. And yes, always measured. Never losing her nerves.
A war journalist, she nonetheless has a charitable aura about her. Incredibly humane in the midst of an inhumane setting. She is a passionate reporter, where her passion reflects an enviable mélange of love and pain for her suffering homeland.