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Now, we must support affected families and surviving victims in Christchurch

, / 3 months ago
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We pray for the 51 innocent lives taken away in Christchurch; Now, we must support and stand with their families and surviving victims. 

 

Ahmed Feroz, one of the survivors of the Christchurch mass shooting, with Islamic Relief Australia’s CEO Salwan Ameen

On Friday the 15th of March the world was shocked to witness the horrific mass shooting and terrorist act that took place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. 

As the event unfolded, the gravity of the situation became clear and Islamic Relief realised there would be serious long-term impacts for the survivors and victim’s families – such as the  physical recovery and rehabilitation process, the loss of income, and dealing with the loss and trauma connected with the attack.

On behalf of the Islamic Relief Family, Islamic Relief Australia CEO, Br. Salwan Ameen, alongside Islamic Advisor, Shaykh Khamis, travelled to New Zealand to stand with the survivors and families of the victims of the shooting. The pair visited the hospital and interacted with dozens of victims and their families. Br. Salwan said:

“We met with many families, spoke with them and also spoke with other organizations operating on the ground from Australia and New Zealand. The Muslim community here is very small and fragile” 

 

One week later and many victims remain in intensive care

There are at least five patients who remain in the intensive care units, one of them being Brother Hisham al-Zarzour.

 Six months ago, Hisham and the Khaled family travelled from Syria to New Zealand. Hisham and Khaled together attended the Jumah prayer in Al-Noor Mosque on Friday. Sadly, Khaled passed away with his son during the terrible incident. Hisham, who has a wife and three children and has been left in a state of paralysis after being shot three times, said:

“I am not sure how I survived. I got three bullets and the doctors cannot remove the one close to my spine” 

The need for support is clear

Islamic Relief Australia stands side-by-side with our brothers and sisters in Christchurch, and in our shared humanity with all those who reject such hate and extremism. Our team on the ground has been meeting with survivors. The team met Brother Fawad Sharzai, who had injuries on his left shoulder, lower limb and a bullet which cut at the back of his head. They also spoke with Brother Ahmed Feroz, who was a man in high spirits despite going through three massive injuries. Ahmed is a single father of two daughters and a son and spoke admirably of his community who are looking after his kids while he is recovering and he longs to return to them soon.

The numerous stories of grief and pain are difficult to hear but also inspire our compassion and generosity, and Islamic Relief is looking at ways to provide long-term support to the survivors, the families of the victims, and the whole community. Our team is on the ground carrying out a needs assessment and is considering the best options to provide both immediate support for the families of those who returned to Allah (SWT) and the survivors of the attack.

While we are deeply saddened by this disaster, our resolve and compassion to assist the community is very strong  and we invite you to help us do that by donating to our Christchurch Appeal.

 

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Your donation, big or small, will impact the lives of the victim's families affected by the horrific Christchurch Attack that occured on the 15th of March, 2019.

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