M'sian Daughter Of MH17 Victim Forgives Those Responsible For Mother's Death

"I hope they (the perpetrators) will never feel the pain I felt," said Diyana, the daughter of Dora Shahila Kassim, the chief stewardess onboard MH17.

Cover image via Diyana Yazeera Yazli/New Straits Times

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In a remarkable display of compassion, the daughter of Dora Shahila Kassim, the chief stewardess onboard the ill-fated flight MH17, has chosen to forgive those responsible for bringing down the plane

On 17 July 2014, the flight was tragically brought down by a Buk missile fired from rebel-controlled territory in Ukraine, claiming the lives of all 298 people onboard. Nearly a decade later, Dora's daughter, Diyana Yazeera Yazli, has found it in her heart to let go of her anger and extend forgiveness to those responsible.

The 24-year-old expressed her decision to forgive, stating that while it has been a difficult journey, she has chosen to let go of her anger and forgive those who caused the death of her beloved mother.

"I hope they will never feel the pain I felt," Diyana said while addressing the perpetrators.

"And I wish that you have time to repent and I forgive all (of you) because I don't think I will be able to carry this hate and vengeance and revenge in me because that's not the way I want to live my life. I want to be able to make my mum proud and I don't think being vengeful or hateful is going do it," she said.

She reflected on the impact the incident had on her life, saying losing her mother was a tragedy that she will carry with her forever

However, at the same time, Diyana shared that she has also come to realise that forgiveness is a powerful force that can heal wounds and promote peace. She added that forgiveness does not mean forgetting or condoning what happened but allowing a person to free themselves from the burden of anger.

While speaking to New Straits Times, she said the MH17 tragedy is still vivid in her mind.

"I believe that it is the result of trauma ... I can remember every single thing from (that day)," Diyana said, adding that she was at an assembly in her boarding school that day, when a teacher announced that Malaysia Airlines had been hit by another tragedy, just four months after the disappearance of flight MH370.

"I was at the far end and noticed some teachers onstage pointing in my direction. At that point, I got a little anxious because (my mum) had a flight that day," the English daily quoted her as saying.

According to Diyana, she rushed to her class to look for her mother's working schedule, which Dora usually provided every month, but that day, she had left the roster in the dorm.

Diyana Yazeera Yazli.

Image via Aswadi Alias/New Straits Times

"I was shaking, I couldn't breathe, and I was anxious," she said, adding her worst nightmare came true when a teacher offered her condolences and her grandmother turned up at school to break the news

"I remember breaking down, I screamed and cried. I refused to follow her home as I wanted to believe that my mum was going to pick me up that Sunday for buka puasa and Hari Raya shopping," she said, adding that she suffered bouts of depression for years afterwards.

For the next few years, the immense tragedy of losing her mother would go on to affect Diyana academically, physically, and psychologically, before she finally found her footing.

"My grades fell, and I lost a lot of weight as I was not eating. I was also self-harming and went to many psychiatrists for help. It took me a few years to get back on my feet and do something with my life," she said, adding that the turning point for her was when she realised this was not who her mother had raised her to become.

Diyana was reunited with her mother's remains on 22 August 2014, when they were brought home, along with the other Malaysian victims' remains

While at the airport, the plan was for the victims and their family members to travel in separate cars. However, upon spotting her mother's hearse, Diyana instinctively sprinted towards it and hopped inside.

"I was determined to be with my mum then, as that would be the closest I could ever be with her again," she reminisced, emphasising that the value of humility is what Dora's words instil in her daily life.

Diyana is now doing her master's in the UK.

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