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New Zealand Massacre Victims Include Syrian Refugees, Toddlers and Teenagers

posted on: Mar 17, 2019

As the names of those killed in the New Zealand mosque shooting start to emerge, they paint a picture of ordinary families ripped apart by violence.

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Fifty people have been confirmed dead and dozens more wounded in a vicious attack by a white supremacist who shot up two mosques in New Zealand during Friday prayers. As names of the victims begin to trickle out, they paint a grim picture of ordinary families ripped apart by senseless violence: a Syrian refugee who fled his war-torn country with his family; a woman who bravely protected her wheelchair-bound husband from the shooter; a new father who played ball for a local team; and little toddlers who were praying with their families. The Daily Beast will be updating this list throughout the day as more names are released.

Mucad Ibrahim

Mucad Ibrahim, age 3

Three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim is the youngest victim in the mosque attack after his death was confirmed by local police to the Associated Press. The boy was praying at the Al Noor mosque with his father and older brother, according to theNew Zealand Herald. His brother, Abdi Ibrahim, says he ran out of the mosque and straight to the hospital after heard shots. His father, who survived, survived by pretending he was dead. The toddler had not been seen since the attack and his family feared the worst. “We’re most likely thinking he’s one of the people who has died at the mosque,” Abdi told the website Stuff. “At this stage everyone’s saying he’s dead. It’s been pretty tough, a lot of people are ringing me asking if you need help. It’s been hard at the moment, [we’ve] never dealt with this.”

Abdullahi Dirie, age 4

The family of 4-year-old Abdullahi Dirie says the young child was also killed in the attack. His uncle, Abdulrahman Hashi, 60, who ministers at the Dar Al Hijrah Mosque in Minneapolis, confirmed to the Washington Post that his young nephew was among the dead. The boy was worshiping with his father and four brothers, who all survived. “You cannot imagine how I feel,” Hashi told the Post. “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.”

Sayyad Milne, age 14

The father of 14-year-old Sayyad Milne confirmed to the New Zealand Heraldthat the teen had died while he was holding a sign that said ‘Everyone love everyone.’ “I’ve lost my little boy, he’s just turned 14,” John Milne said. “I haven’t heard officially yet that he’s actually passed but I know he has because he was seen.

The grieving father, who has twin 15-year-olds, called his missing son “a brave little soldier.” “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 said “It’s so hard to see him just gunned down by someone who didn’t care about anyone or anything.”

A family relative, Brydie Henry, earlier told the Herald that the boy had been seen “lying on the floor of the bloody mosque, bleeding from his lower body.”  She added that he was “a regular, typical, Kiwi kid.”

Khaled Mustafa

Khaled Mustafa; Hazma Mustafa, age 14

The refugee group Syrian Solidarity New Zealand confirmed that Syrian refugee Khaled Mustafa was killed along with his 14-year-old son Hazma at the Al Noor mosque. His other teenage son who was praying with him was badly injured, according to the group, which says Khaled and his wife and three children came to New Zealand in 2018 to escape war in Syria.

Haji Daoud Nabi

Haji Daoud Nabi, age 71

Atta Elayyan

Atta Elayyan, age 33

New Zealand news site Stuff reports that Kuwaiti national Atta Elayyan, 33, a new father who was the goalkeeper for the Canterbury men’s futsal team, also perished in the terror attack.

Naeem Rashid

Talha Rashid

Naeem Rashid, age 50, Talha Rashid, age 21

Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed Saturday that six Pakistani nationals were among the victims, including Naeem Rashid, 50, and his son Talha. Naeem reportedly tried to wrest the gun from the shooter’s hand before he was fatally shot. He was a local school teacher. “He was a brave person, and I’ve heard from a few people there… they’ve said he saved a few lives there by trying to stop that guy,”  Rashid’s brother, Khurshid Alam told the BBC .

Husne Ara Parvin

Syed Jahandad Ali, age 34

Syed Jahandad Ali, 34, was also confirmed dead by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ali’s wife Amma told the website Stuff that she had last spoken to her husband Friday morning while eating breakfast.

Syed Areeb Ahmed, age 27 

Shortly after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the death of Syed Areeb Ahmed, the 27-year old was mourned on Facebook. “My Beloved cousin ‘Syed Areeb Ahmed’ has been decalred (sic) ‘Shaheed’ in the Christchurch Terror Attack, one user wrote. “May Allah give him the highest place in Jannah.” GeoNewsreports that Ahmed lived in Karachi, Pakistan, where he worked as an accountant, and that he had traveled to New Zealand for work. He was reportedly his parents’ only son.

Sohail Shahid, Mahboob Haroon

Sohail Shahid and Mahboob Haroon were also confirmed dead by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No further details were available.

Husne Ara Parvin, age 42

One of the few women so far who is said to have died in the twin attacks, Husne Ara Parvin, 42, was allegedly shot as she tried to protect her wheelchair-bound husband Farid Uddin, who survived, according to The Daily Star. She had left the mosque area for men, where the attack occurred, to pray in the women’s area and ran back to protect her husband when she heard shots fired.

Ali Elmadani, age 66

The daughter of Palestinian Ali Elmadani, a retired engineer who emigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1998, confirmed to the New Zealand Herald that her father was killed inside the Al Noor mosque. His wife, Nuha Assad, had that earlier said her husband was missing. “I asked people on the street if I could use their phone,” she told the New Zealand website Stuff on Friday as she searched frantically for her husband. “I called my husband and he didn’t pick up, but I’m sure he didn’t want his phone at the mosque.”

Farhaj Ahsan, age 31

The parents of 31-year-old Farhaj Ahsan are reportedly struggling to get visas to travel to New Zealand after reports that their son could be among the dead, according to the First Post. The engineer was living in Christchurch with his wife, 3-year-old daughter and a 6-month-old son. Asaduddin Owaisi‏, president of the All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party, tweeted Saturday to announce Ahsan’s death. “It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform that Farhaj Ahsan, one of the two Hyderabadi #ChristChurch victims has passed away,” he wrote. Ahsan’s family in Hyderabad reportedly confirmed the death to India’s NDTV. Ahsan was one of nine Indian nationals missing and unaccounted for, according to the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen group, which tweeted his photo and asked for help for his family.

Hussein Al Umari, age 36

The mother of 36-year-old Hussein Al Umari confirmed on Facebook Saturday that her son had been killed in the Christchurch massacre. “It is with great sorrow we came to know our son Hussein Hazim Hussein Pasha Al-Umari is a martyr,” Janna Adnan Ezat wrote in a Facebook post cited by The National. “Our beloved son we are satisfied with you and the good deeds you have done in this life. We will miss you, in our hearts you will always stay, loved and remembered every day.” Al Umari reportedly migrated from the United Arab Emirates to Christchurch in 1997, and visited the Al Noor mosque every Friday to pray. Ezat told The National that Al Umari had planned to meet his family for lunch after his prayers.

Abdus Samad, age 67

Abdus Samad was among two people of Bangladeshi origin who died in the Christchurch attacks, according to Sahahriar Alam, the country’s state minister for foreign affairs. Samad was riginally from Madhur Hailla village in Bangladesh’s Kurigram district. He retired as a lecturer in Bangladesh’s Agricultural Development Corporation in December 2012 and moved to New Zealand with his wife and two sons the following year, according to a family member. After obtaining citizenship in New Zealand, Samad worked as a visiting professor at the Lincoln University in Christchurch. His brother, Habibur Rahman, told Al Jazeera that Samad used to lead prayers at Al Noor mosque.

Lilik Abdul Hamid

Indonesia’s foreign ministry confirmed that its citizen, Lilik Abdul Hamid, died in the mosque shootings. Hamid was a popular and respected father-of-two who worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer for Air New Zealand, The New Zealand Herald reports. Retno Marsudi, Indonesia’s foreign minister, conveyed her condolences to Hamid’s wife, Nina Lilik Abdul Hamid, the ministry said in a statement on Saturday. “”Lilik has been a valued part of our engineering team in Christchurch for 16 years… his loss will be deeply felt by the team,” said Air NZ chief executive officer Christopher Luxon. “… New Zealand is well known internationally for its warmth and acceptance of all people and this attack cuts to the very core of who we are.”

Matiullah Safi

Matiullah Safi was one of two men of Afghan origin who died in the attack, the Afghan Embassy in Canberra confirmed in a statement on Facebook. The embassy did not give additional details, but condemned the attack as “barbaric,” and said three other Afghan nationals were wounded.

Junaid Mortara, age 35

Mortara was the breadwinner for his family, supporting his mother, his wife, and their three children, ages one to five, according to his cousin Javed Dadabhai. Mortara had inherited his father’s convenience store, which was covered in flowers on Saturday. An avid cricket fan, the father of three, would always text relatives about when Canterbury faced Auckland in cricket matches. “… He’s leaving a huge void,” Dadabhai said.

Husna Ahmed, age 45

Ahmed was with her husband, Farid Ahmed, when the attack happened. The couple has split up to go to the bathroom when the gunman began shooting. Despite losing his wife, Farid says he will not turn his back on his adopted home of New Zealand. “I believe that some people… are trying to break down the harmony we have in New Zealand with the diversity,” he said. “But they are not going to win. They are not going to win.”