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The Faces of The Victims of Christchurch Shooting


The Faces of The Victims of Christchurch Shooting

The Faces of The Victims of Christchurch Shooting

They are fathers, mothers, grandparents, daughters and sons.

They are refugees, immigrants and New-Zealand born.

They are Kiwis.

These are the names of those who have died or are missing after the horrific acts of terror in Christchurch.

Mucad Ibrahim, 3

At just three years old, Mucad Ibrahim is thought to have been the youngest victim of the massacre.

The toddler had gone to the al Noor mosque with his father and older brother Abdi when the family were caught up in the deadly attack.

Mucad was lost in the melee when the firing started, as Abdi fled for his life and his father pretended to be dead after being shot.

The family searched in vain for the toddler at Christchurch hospital and later posted a photograph of Mucad, smiling with Abdi, along with the caption: “Verily we belong to God and to Him we shall return. Will miss you dearly brother”.

Abdi described his little brother as “energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot”, confessing he felt nothing but “hatred” for his killer.

Zulfirman Syah and son Averroes

Alta Marie said her husband Zulfirman Syah shielded their son during the attack at Linwood Masjid.

Syah’s brave actions caused him to receive most of the bullets and much more complex injuries than their son Averroes, she said.

“He is in stable condition following the extensive exploratory and reconstructive surgery he had earlier today.

“While he is still in the intensive care unit at this stage, he will be moved to the general ward whenever it is deemed appropriate – likely in the next day or so.

“While the road to recovery will be long, his condition has only improved since he arrived at the hospital yesterday.

“This afternoon he had a visit from the Indonesian ambassador, which lifted his spirits.”

Alta Marie said son Averroes sustained minor injuries, including a gunshot wound to the leg and backside.

“He is traumatised, but we are all alive,” she said.

“[He had surgery this morning to extract some shrapnel while checking for internal injuries.

“He is recovering nicely and has been cheerful while keeping the staff on the children’s ward entertained with his talkative and energetic nature,” she said.

“I am grateful that my family members are alive, as many lives were lost during these attacks. Please keep those people in your thoughts and prayers.”

Alta Marie said the family had just moved to Christchurch two months ago.

Abdullahi Dirie, 4

Abdulrahman Hashi, 60, a preacher at Dar Al Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, says his 4-year-old nephew was among those killed.

He received a phone call on Friday morning from his brother-in-law Adan Ibrahin Dirie, who was also in the hospital with gunshot wounds. Four of his children escaped unharmed, but the youngest, Abdullahi, was killed.

The family had fled Somalia in the mid-1990s as refugees and resettled in New Zealand.

“You cannot imagine how I feel,” Hashi said.

“He was the youngest in the family. This is a problem of extremism. Some people think the Muslims in their country are part of that, but these are innocent people.”

12-year-old boy

Heba Sami, whose father was shot and injured protecting his children, told Gulf News that she lost five family friends, including a 12-year-old boy, in the attack.

Sayyad Milne, 14

Sayyad’s father has spoken through tears of his “brave little soldier”, who died at the Al Noor Mosque.

The Year 10 Cashmere High School student was at the mosque with his mother and friends. He attends every Friday.

His father John Milne said through tears: “I’ve lost my little boy, he’s just turned 14. I’ll get it together again.

“I haven’t heard officially yet that he’s actually passed but I know he has because he was seen.

“[I’m] keeping it together and tears are helping. People are helping. Just by being here, it is helping.”

He said he was told Sayyad was lying on the floor in the mosque, bleeding from the lower parts of his body.

He said Sayyad had been a keen football player.

“I remember him as my baby who I nearly lost when he was born. Such a struggle he’s had throughout all his life. He’s been unfairly treated but he’s risen above that and he’s very brave. A brave little soldier. It’s so hard … to see him just gunned down by someone who didn’t care about anyone or anything.

“I know where he is. I know he’s at peace.”

Milne said he has been carrying around a sign in Christchurch which reads “everyone loves everyone”.

The principal of Cashmere High was going to visit the family soon.

“The community is shattered,” Milne said.

“The Muslim community just don’t know what to do, where to go, what’s happened. They’re finding it very hard to accept but there is so much support from so many different people, people who aren’t Muslim. Support across the board.

“But we are the most beautiful city rising out of the dust. We will go forward. This won’t bring us down. It will make us even stronger. United we stand, divided we fall … the city is going to be a symbol of what it can do after it has been hit and hit and hit.”

Milne’s other son usually went to the mosque but had been on a school trip. His twin sister was at school when the attacks happened.

Khaled Mustafa and son Hamza, 16

The family of Khaled Mustafa had also thought they had found safety in New Zealand after fleeing the bloody chaos of Syria only a few months ago.

But he too became a victim of hatred when he was shot while praying with his two sons, Hamza, who is now missing, feared dead, and Zaid, 13, who is recovering from a six-hour operation on his wounds at Christchurch Hospital.

Ali Akil, a spokesman for Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, said Mr Mustafa’s wife and daughter, who were not at the mosque on Friday, were in “total shock, devastation and horror”.

He added: “They survived atrocities and arrived here in a safe haven only to be killed in the most atrocious way.

“They were just looking for a safe place. Unfortunately we can’t claim that New Zealand is a safe place any more.”

Naeem Rashid & son Talha, 21

Naeem reportedly died at Christchurch Hospital, after he tried to wrest the gun from the shooter at the Al Noor mosque. His son Tahla was also shot and killed.

Naeem was from Pakistan, where he had worked at a bank before moving to Christchurch to work as a teacher.

His brother-in-law Dr Khursheed Alam confirmed to ARY News that the pair had been killed in the attack.

Ansi Karippakulam Alibava, 25

Alibava, a 25-year-old woman originally from India, is among the missing.

Vora Ramiz, 28

Ramiz is among the missing.

Farhaj Ahsan, 30

Ashan, 30, left the Christchurch home he shares with wife Insha Aziz, his 3-year-old daughter and 7-month-old son on Friday morning for prayer.

“I do not know where my son is,” his father Mohammad Sayeeduddin told the Herald from his home in Hyderabad, India.

“I have been in contact with his wife Insha in New Zealand since it happened and we don’t know anything.

“Please bring me good news on my son.”

Ashan is a software engineer who did his master’s degree at the University of Auckland in 2010 before settling in Christchurch.

Friends supporting Ashan’s wife at the couple’s Christchurch home said she did not accept he was among the dead in the mosque.

Mojammel Hoq, 30

Hoq, from Bangladesh, is among the missing, a friend told the Herald.

He has been in Christchurch for over two years, studying dentistry.

Atta Elayyan, 33

A national futsal player is among the victims.

Born in Kuwait, Elayyan, a goalkeeper, recently became a father and was a popular member of the Christchurch tech industry. He was a director and shareholder of a company called LWA Solutions.

The Futsal Focus Facebook page said he was undergoing surgery.

Syed Jahandad Ali, 34

Ali’s wife Amna Ali, currently in Pakistan, last spoke to her husband on Friday morning while having breakfast.

One of his colleagues told her they left work at 1pm on Friday to head to the Al Noor Mosque.

She had not heard from her husband since. She had spoken to friends and others but was not getting any information about his whereabouts.

Hussain Al-Umari, 36

Al-Umari’s parents Janna Ezat and Hazim Al-Umari have said they last spoke to their son on Thursday night.

They fear he is among the dead at the Al Noor mosque where he regularly attended Friday prayers.

The family immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1997.

Hazim Al-Umari told MediaWorks he did not attend the mosque and he advised his son not to go “because it’s not safe”.

Hussain worked in the tourism industry until he lost his job recently.

Amjad Hamid, 57

The heart doctor moved to New Zealand from Palestine because they wanted a better future.

Hamid hasn’t been seen since Friday and his family believe the Hawera Hospital doctor is dead.

His wife Hanan said she and her husband emigrated to Christchurch 23 years ago.

“It’s terrible … we were hoping to find a better future for us and for the children we were planning to have.”

She described her 57-year-old husband as a “very kind man”, but struggled to say more.

“It’s hard to talk about him.”

The elder of the couple’s two sons, 22-year-old Husam Hamid, said family had checked hospitals and with police but there had been no sign of his dad since the mass shootings began.

Amjad Hamid was known to go to the mosque to pray on Fridays.

“At first I thought he went to the Linwood mosque but he was most likely to have been in the Deans Ave mosque as he mostly goes to that one … we are presuming that he is dead, but we don’t know.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Hamid was a consultant in cardiorespiratory integrated specialist services at Canterbury District Health Board for 20 years, but his son said he had recently taken up a role in cardiology at Hawera Hospital in south Taranaki.

He rotated three weeks working at the hospital with three weeks at his Christchurch home, Husam Hamid said.

Family had gathered to support each other, but it was tough.

“This is meant to be a safe country. New Zealand is changing forever.”

His mother was “struggling”, he said.

“My mum, she loves him so much.”

Youngest son, Mohammed Hamid, 20, said they had checked everywhere but his dad couldn’t be found.

“We believe he’s dead.”

He told the Herald he only wanted to say one thing about his father and what had happened yesterday.

“I just really loved my dad.”

Abdelfattah Qasem, 59

The Muslim Association’s former secretary, who was born in Palestine, has not been seen since the gunman entered the Al Noor Mosque.

Linda Armstrong, 65

A friend told the Herald that Armstrong died in the arms of a lady who was shot in the arm and survived at Linwood Mosque.

The friend said Armstrong always took people into her home and was kind.

“She was like a child about everything. She was so happy. She was always excited to do a good deed. She was happy to do it.”

She sponsored a boy from Bangladesh.

Ali Elmadani, 66

Elmadani was born in Palestine.

His wife, Nuha Assad, has not heard from him since he went to the Al Noor mosque to pray.

“I asked people on the street if I could use their phone,” she told Stuff.

“I called my husband and he didn’t pick up, but I’m sure he didn’t want his phone at the mosque.”

Haji-Daoud Nabi, 71

Nabi ran the Afghan Association and was inside the Al Noor Mosque at the time of the shooting.

The 71-year-old was a refugee from Afghanistan and is thought to have died inside.

His son Omar Nabi went to court on Saturday, where the man charged with murder appeared.

He described the killing as a “cowardice act”.

“I need closure on this,” Nabi said.

“It’s outrageous to me. This is. It is not a good feeling man.

“Forty-nine people got killed – kids and grown ups shot in the back while praying. It is a cowardly act.”

Lilik Abdul Hamid

A Facebook appeal was issued for Hamid.

“A friend of one struggle … has passed away in New Zealand … the victim of NZ animal terrorist,’ a relative wrote on Facebook.

“All Muslims are grieving and pray for you.”

Ashraf Ali

Alie, originally from Fiji, is among the dead.

“We went to school together,” his friend Abdul Qayyum told Daily Mail Australia.

They were meant to go to a gathering in their home country in a few weeks.

Qayyum said he will always remember his quiet friend’s laugh.

“There was a game we used to play called Last Card.

“Every time I saw him I called him last card, and when he saw me he called me last card.”

Source: NZ Herald

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