29 Dec 2022

Hundreds attend funeral prayers for Christchurch terror attack survivor

8:19 pm on 29 December 2022
Al Noor Mosque

Janaza or funeral prayers were held for Abu Fadi Al Seenawi at Al Noor mosque today before a burial ceremony. File photo Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Hundreds of people have attended funeral prayers for a survivor of the Christchurch terror attacks.

In a statement, the Muslim Association of Canterbury said it received news of Abu Fadi Al Seenawi's death yesterday.

More than 200 people attended janaza or funeral prayers for him at Al Noor mosque today before a burial ceremony.

Fellow terror attack survivor and long time friend, Farid Ahmed, spoke at Al Seenawi's burial.

He described him as a positive man.

"I used to call him young man because he used to smile like a young man and he had a young man's spirit," he explained.

The pair had known each other for years and used to sit next to each other at Friday prayers.

During the 2019 attacks, Ahmed was able to talk with Al Seenawi while he lay bleeding on the floor of the mosque.

"It was very, very emotional. Even in there, he was so amazing. He saw me and he said 'Thank God Brother Farid you are still alive. I was worried about you because you were the only person in a wheelchair.'

"He was feeling so much pain but when he was talking to me, he was amazingly calm and very, very peaceful. And so patient [waiting for the ambulance]," he said.

Ahmed, who lost his wife in the attack, said Al Seenawi was the best example of resilience in the years since.

"He used to smile back [at me] and say now Brother Farid ... when I see you and you are smiling, I forget all my pain."

Al Seenawi touched a lot of people's hearts in the Al Noor community, he said.

"We carried him to the burial and we buried him with respect. We go there together ... Everyone comes as a sign of unity, of inclusivity."

Al Seenawi died at home with his family following a period of ill-health, Ahmed said.

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