Al Noor Mosque imam Gamal Fouda due to join community board

11:29 am on 13 October 2019

The imam of Christchurch's Al Noor Mosque is set to join his local community board.

Al Noor Mosque imam elected to community board

Megan Woods helped Gamal Fouda during his campaign and says his election sends a great message about Christchurch as a city. Photo: Supplied

Gamal Fouda received 1033 votes to join the Halswell-Hornby-Riccarton Community Board.

This puts him into third place for two seats on the board - but the top candidate, Catherine Chu, has secured a spot on the Christchurch City Council.

Mr Fouda was widely praised for his response in the aftermath of the 15 March mosque attacks. The mosque is located within the board's boundaries.

"I'm thrilled with the result… but it's still provisional," Mr Fouda said.

"I'm really excited about it and I would like to give back [to people] by continuing to build the bridges between all the communities."

As the results rolled in yesterday he said he was playing soccer with the police.

He will remain imam while serving on the board.

Megan Woods, MP for Wigram and Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, is among those who are thrilled with Mr Gouda's success.

"So happy that Imam Gamal Fouda has been elected to Community Board in Riccarton in Christchurch - it has been a pleasure to work with him on his campaign - this sends a great message about who we are as a City," Ms Woods said.

Mr Fouda said he was prompted to stand because of the terror attacks which made him realise the need to get out in the community and start maintaining links with different people within communities.

"Tolerance and understanding of other cultures is very important and that will create cohesion and harmony in our society," he said.

No caption

Gamal Fouda (front row, fourth left) with Megan Woods (front row, third from the left) during the local body election campaign. Photo: RNZ / Eleisha Foon

Mr Fouda said he wanted to work and represent all people, listen to their ideas and "combat racism within the neighbourhood".

Mosque attack survivor

Mr Fouda had just begun delivering his sermon when the shooting started at his mosque where 42 people died.

At the remembrance service in Hagley Park a week later, he told the crowd New Zealand was unbreakable.

"We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken. We are alive, we are together, we are determined to not let anyone divide us.

"To the families of the victims your loved ones did not die in vain, their blood has watered the seeds of hope. Through them the world see the beauty of Islam and the beauty of our unity.

"To the people of New Zealand, thank you for your tears, your haka, your compassion."

He came to New Zealand in 2003 from Egypt and is a primary school teacher although he now works as the imam for the mosque.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs