The usually peaceful nation of New Zealand was left stunned after a gunman killed 50 and injured another 50 at two Christchurch mosques. The Muslim community all over the world has been mourning the tragedy for the past three weeks as mosques are supposed to be a safe and peaceful place. The victims came from all different backgrounds and ranged from the ages of 3 to 78. Their innocent lives were taken too soon and they deserve to be remembered forever.
Khaled Mustafa, 44, was killed at Al Noor mosque. Ms. Mustafa told Stuff that her family’s lives have completely changed and that her husband was “a very nice father and a very caring person.” Mustafa’s son, Hamza, was also killed in the attack.
Sayyal Milne was only 14 years old and was one of two Cashmere High School students killed in the attack according to the school’s principal. Milne was a soccer player and “proved himself to be not only a truly outstanding goalkeeper, but a great friend and colleague,” St Albans Shirley Football Club said in a Facebook post.
Ansi Alibava, was an Indian national. Her husband told CNN that they moved to New Zealand together in 2018 and she had just completed a master’s degree in agribusiness management.
Syed Jahandad Ali
Syed Jahandad Ali, 34, worked at a software company called Intergen. According to a fundraising website started by the company, he had a wife and three children and was a “kind and gentle man.”
Husna Ahmad, 47, led a number of women and children to safety after the shooting at Al Noor Mosque began, according to her husband. Mr. Ahmad stated that “she was busy with saving lives, forgetting about herself.”
Haroon Mahmood, 40, was a tutor at Lincoln University in Christchurch according to Radio New Zealand and worked in banking in Pakistan before he moved to New Zealand. Mahmood left behind a wife and two children.
The youngest confirmed victim of the attack was 3-year-old Mucad Ibrahim, who was killed at Al Noor Mosque. His family said in a statement that “he is remembered in our community as a young boy who emanated nothing but the representation of God’s love, peace and mercy.”
Naeem Rashid tried to tackle the shooter when he began attacking in Al Noor mosque according to witnesses. His family described him as an intelligent, ambitious and devout father of three.
Farhaj Ahsan, 30, lived in New Zealand for 10 years after coming from Hyderabad, India and worked as an electrical engineer. According to BBC, he was married with two young children: a three-year-old daughter and a six-month-old son.
Lilik Abdul Hamid
Lilik Abdul Hamid, 57, was originally from Indonesia and worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer with Air New Zealand for 16 years. Hamid left behind a wife and two children.
Osama Adnan, 37, was born in Gaza and raised in Egypt. He was a civil engineer and had a wife and three children. One of his children was born in Christchurch. His brother stated in a Facebook post that Osama thought he found the safety and security he desired in New Zealand.
Hamza Mustafa, 16, called his mother at Al Noor mosque as the shooting began. According to Stuff, his mother reported that he said ‘Mum, there’s someone come into the mosque and he’s shooting us.’” Hamza was also a student at Cashmere High School and was “the most wonderful boy. Hamza’s 13-year-old brother Zaid was wounded in the attack.
Atta Elayyan, 33, was a new father, a technology entrepreneur and a goalkeeper. According to the New Zealand Football Association, he played for New Zealand’s national football team. The New York Times published an article dedicated to Elayyan’s story.
Amjad Hamid, 57, was a cardiologist who worked with Taranaki DHB for three years, according to their statement. They stated that he “was well liked for his kindness, compassion, and sense of humor and was deeply committed to caring for his patients.”
Haji Daoud al-Nabi
Haji Daoud al-Nabi, 71 was a central figure in Christchurch’s small Afghan community. He was a leader who welcomed everyone.
Maheboob Khokhar, 65, an Indian engineer reportedly was on his first trip to New Zealand visiting his son. His wife stated that he was at Al Noor mosque the day before they had planned to leave.
Mojammel Hoq, 30, moved to New Zealand from Bangladesh a few years ago and was studying in Christchurch, according to Radio New Zealand.
Areeb Ahmed, 27, was an employee of PwC New Zealand from Karachi, Pakistan. The company wrote a statement on Facebook that said that “his smile, warmth, dedication, respect and humor will be deeply missed.”
Tariq Omar, 24, was a soccer player who coached for several of Christchurch United Football Club’s junior teams.
Mohammed Omar Faruk
Mohammed Omar Faruk, 36, came to New Zealand from Bangladesh about two years ago, a friend told Stuff. His pregnant wife remained in Bangladesh, the friend said.
Muhammed Abdusi Samad
Muhammed Abdusi Samad, 66, from Bangladesh, was a lecturer at Lincoln University who often led prayers at Al Noor mosque, Stuff reported.
Suhail Shahid, 35, was an engineer from Pakistan who worked for a resin manufacturer in Christchurch according to Stuff. He had a wife and two young daughters.
Originally from Fiji, Ashraf Ali, 61, lived in Christchurch for 17 years, Stuff reported.
Ghulam Hussain was 66 years old. He and his wife, Karam Bibi, came to New Zealand last month to visit their son, Zeeshan Raza.
Kamel Darwish, 38, had moved to New Zealand only 6 months ago from Jordan. His brother states that “he was a caring, honest and loving person.”
Ahmed Abdel-Ghany, 68, emigrated from Egypt with his wife and son in 1996, Stuff reported. His son, Omar, called him “a great man with the purest of hearts” in an Instagram post.
Musa Vali Suleman Patel
Musa Vali Suleman Patel, 60, an imam in Fiji for about 25 years, had traveled to Australia and then New Zealand to spend time with children and friends, the Fiji Muslim League said in a statement. He “served selflessly as an imam, teacher, mentor, and was much sought after as a powerful orator and speaker.”
Zeeshan Raza, 38, a mechanical engineer, moved to New Zealand last year from Karachi, Pakistan, Stuff reported. He and his parents were killed at the Linwood mosque.
Linda Armstrong, 64, was a third generation New Zealander who converted to Islam in her 50s, according to her nephew. He stated that she “had a huge heart and what little she had, she was more than happy to share with her family and Muslim community,”
Talha Naeem, 21, had just graduated from college and started working. He was Naeem Rashid’s eldest son. His family states that his father was especially proud of him.
Abdelfattah Qasem, 60, was “like an elder for the community,” a relative told Stuff. He had three daughters and was about to become a grandfather.
Muse Nur Awale
Muse Nur Awale, 77, had been living in Christchurch for about 30 years, Stuff reported. He was married and had no children.
Hussein Moustafa, 70, was originally from Egypt, according to Stuff. His daughter-in-law stated that “he loved the mosque, he loved tidying it, he loved nourishing it and he was always a welcoming face there.”
Mohsin Al Harbi
Mohsin Al Harbi, 63, had lived for 25 years in New Zealand, where he worked in water desalination. After the shooting, his wife, Manal, was hospitalized with a heart attack while searching for him, Stuff reported.
Abdukadir Elmi, 78, came to New Zealand with his family about 10 years ago, Stuff reported. In a Facebook post, his son said he was “a giant among his community.”
Ozair Kadir, 25, was originally from Hyderabad India and dreamed of being a commercial pilot. The International Aviation Academy of New Zealand stated that “Ozair’s presence will be sadly missed by all staff and students at the Academy.”
Asif Vora, 58, was an Indian national. Radio New Zealand stated that he and his son were killed at Al Noor mosque.
Ramiz Vora, 28, was Asif Vora’s son and according to Radio New Zealand, had become a father just days before his death.
Ali Elmadani, 65, emigrated to New Zealand from the UAE with his family in 1998 according to Stuff. In a statement, his daughter said “My dad always told us to be strong and patient so that’s what we are all trying to do. For his sake.”
Mohammed Imran Khan
Mohammed Imran Khan, 47, was originally from India and owned a restaurant and two other Christchurch businesses.
Junaid Ismail. 36, was a Christchurch native who worked at a dairy, a family business, according to Radio New Zealand. He had a wife and three children.
Ms. Bibi was 63, the police said. Her son and husband both died in the attacks according to Stuff.
There is not much more information about all of the victims, but it’s important to remember that they were all loved and cherished by someone and they were all an essential part of New Zealand’s community. We must move on with empathy and compassion for others and stand united regardless of any religious differences. May God help the families of the victims heal.
Click here to donate to the victims’ families.