A Christian Arab, born in the Old City of Jerusalem, she relied on regular dialysis sessions due to her kidney failure.
Then the call came: a donor kidney was available. Aweis was operated on Monday at Jerusalem’s famous Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Kerem.
When she went under anesthesia, she didn’t know who the donor was.
It was only after the fact that she found out it was Yigal Yehoshua, an Israeli Jew who died in the wave of violence between Jews and Arabs in the Israeli town of Lod.
Yehoshua, 56, was seriously injured on May 11 after being attacked by a group of young Israeli Arab men in Lod.
He fought for his life for almost a week before he died on Monday and was buried on Tuesday.
For many here, the explosion of violence between Arab Israelis and Jews who had lived in mixed communities for years was one of the most shocking results of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attacks as “unacceptable”, saying in a statement: “Nothing justifies the lynching of the Jews by the Arabs and nothing justifies the lynching of the Arabs by the Jews”.
Yehoshua’s brother Efi spoke at his funeral, saying his brother “believes in coexistence.”
“You told me that wouldn’t happen. You thought if you lower your head it will be okay: ‘They know Yigal.’ And the worst thing has happened, ”he said.
He watched over his brother’s hospital bed for six days.
“I waited for you to wake up. Day after day. A finger, an arm, a leg, a word. You never did anything wrong. You paid with your life. Said Efi Yehoshua.
Calls for peaceful coexistence
Aweis, who received Yehoshua’s kidney, is now grappling with the same questions Efi encountered at the funeral.
“The poor man, what has he done? she asked for her hospital bed after the operation. “What did he do to them?” Why did they kill him? What is his wife going to do with his children? ”
Aweis said she grew up in a mixed Arab-Jewish community in Jerusalem itself.
“There was no racism. Neither Jews nor Arabs, ”she said. “I grew up with the Jews. Our children grew up with the Jews. “
His surgeon, Dr Abed Khalaeileh – a Palestinian born in Jerusalem – said he and his colleagues treated everyone like human beings.
“We treat everyone the same. There is neither black nor white. Everyone is equal in the medical care they receive, ”he said.
In his profession, as head of Hadassah Ein Kerem’s transplant unit, grief over death brings new life
“The world of transplantation is the world of humanity and it is important to remember this,” he said. “People are born again. “
He is inspired, he says, by the spirit of Yehoshua’s family.
“I turn to the family and I feel some of their pain and I say thank you for everything you have done. You can’t take it for granted that a person will get up and donate an organ during this time, ”he said.
Aweis hopes he can try to help ease some of the family’s pain.
She said that she had spoken to Yehoshua’s family before, but that one of her first visits when she is released from the hospital will be to Yehoshua’s family to thank them and give them strength.
“I will say thank you to Yigal’s family. They should no longer feel pain. Yigal goes to paradise where it’s better than here, ”she said.
And she has a message for Jews and Arabs in the region: “We must live together. We must have peace. We must be happy. “
Richard Allen Greene of CNN in Jerusalem contributed to this report.