- Title: Sister remembers brother killed in NZ shooting, one year on
- Date: 13th March 2020
- Summary: CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND (MARCH 13, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AYA AL-UMARI, SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI WHO WAS KILLED AT AL NOOR MOSQUE LOOKING AT TRIBUTES IN FRONT OF THE MOSQUE TRIBUTES IN FRONT OF AL NOOR MOSQUE READING (English): "WE LOVE YOU!!" AND "WE MAY BE SMALL BUT WE ARE STRONG" VARIOUS OF AYA AL-UMARI LOOKING AT TRIBUTES MESSAGE ON ROCK READING (English): "I'M PRAYING FOR YOU" (SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI, AYA AL-UMARI, SAYING: "It really feels like yesterday, the emotions are still raw. We live it day in and day out. But this year-on anniversary, it's just an opportunity for us to come together as a country and reflect on the hate that happened which caused the loss of lives, and ultimately my brother as well." EXTERIOR OF AL NOOR MOSQUE WITH POLICE TRUCK PARKED AT SIDE ROOF OF MOSQUE WITH CRESCENT MOON SIGN READING (English): CANTERBURY ISLAMIC CENTRE EXTERIOR OF MOSQUE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI, AYA AL-UMARI, SAYING: "I was at work on the 15th of March and when I heard about it I got a tap on the shoulder asking me if I have any friends or family that go to the mosque, at that instance I didn't think that any of my family would go but then I remembered that Hussein my brother was between jobs so he potentially was going to the mosque. So I gave him a call, he didn't answer and then I gave my parents a call, they had just come to know the news as well and they couldn't get a hold of Hussein. And so I went to Hussein's house and my parents went to the masjid to try and find him. We couldn't find him there and then we met up in the hospital, waiting and waiting and waiting to hear back of the news." VARIOUS OF AL-UMARI LOOKING AT TRIBUTES TRIBUTE (SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI, AYA AL-UMARI, SAYING: "We just knew that 48 hours after, even though it wasn't officially announced, we just knew that he was no longer with us. My mum and dad, obviously, my mum had a mother's instinct and she just knew he was no longer with us. My parents knew that Hussein wouldn't sit still and so yeah, we started grieving after 48 hours and then we got the official identification six days later. But we started that process early because we knew in our hearts that he was no longer with us." VARIOUS OF ENTRANCE TO AL NOOR MOSQUE WITH LOCK ON DOOR (SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI, AYA AL-UMARI, SAYING: "For me personally it's already hard enough losing my one and only sibling, so I cannot begin to imagine how it is like to lose a child, even though Hussein was 35 he is a child in a parent's eyes. It's still very raw for mum and dad. I'm trying to keep it together and I'm trying to embrace Hussein's personality and live on his legacy. So in terms of my work life, I just started to be more active, and hopefully looking into a career in the police and I signed up for classes in martial arts, I used to be a couch potato. So it's really an inspiration, Hussein was really an inspiration to me and I just embraced his personality. For mum and dad I want to be, well, I feel like I am, Hussein and Aya." VARIOUS OF POLICE OFFICERS OUTSIDE MOSQUE SECURITY CAMERA OUTSIDE MOSQUE
- Keywords: Al-noor mosque Christchurch New Zealand mosque shooting
- Reuters ID: LVA001C4VVMTJ
- Location: CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
- City: CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND
- Country: New Zealand
- Duration: 00:04:17
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Editors' Choice
- Story Text: A year after New Zealand's deadliest mass shooting, Aya Al-Umari returned to Al Noor mosque on Friday (March 13) to pay tribute to her brother Hussein who was killed during the attack.
Aya Al-Umari, whose brother Hussein, 35, died in the attack looked at flowers and message of support outside the Al Noor mosque, but could not bring herself to go inside.
"It really feels like yesterday, the emotions are still raw," she told Reuters of the pain of losing her sibling.
"Though Hussein was 35 he is a child in a parent's eyes. It's still very raw for mum and dad," Al-Umari said, "I'm trying to keep it together and I'm trying to embrace Hussein's personality and live on his legacy."
Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national, faces 92 charges in relation to the attacks. He has pleaded not guilty and faces trial in June.
Hundreds of people gathered at the two mosques and at a closed prayer service at a community center on Friday.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that engagement with the Muslim community had grown since the massacre at the Al Noor and Linwood mosques year ago, but the country needs to continue calling out racism and challenging the growing threat from far-right groups. Ardern said more than 60,000 prohibited firearms were handed in under a gun amnesty.
Officials have stepped up security for the memorial events, which are expected to be attended by thousands, after a new threat was reported last week against the Al Noor mosque.
(Production: Stefica Nicol Bikes)
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