18 Mar 2019
Today I remain in a state of disbelief that anyone could deliberately kill 50 people and leave many others injured.
These were ordinary Muslim believers worshipping in their own mosques. I am holding in my heart and my prayers those Muslim families, their friends and supporters, and the community of Christchurch. I am sure you are too.
I will never understand the extreme hate and intolerance, the bigotry and prejudice that would drive someone to such acts of violence. There is no place for this in New Zealand. As Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put it, “you may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you”. That applies to both the individual and the extremism.
We stand in support of all welcomed into this country, many of whom are engineers and members of our profession. We do so irrespective of their ethnicity, religion or gender. This diversity makes us stronger and healthier as a nation, as a people and as a profession.
We pride ourselves on being a safe, fun and welcoming country, and now we need to double down and protect that. And at the same time, we need show compassion and love, practical support and unity for our Muslim friends and colleagues and those affected in Christchurch, whether that is at work, home or across our different communities in New Zealand.
I am so sad to tell you that two of our members were among the victims, as were eight other people described in media stories as engineers.
- Mounir Soliman CMEngNZ CPEng, originally from Egypt, was a design engineer and quality manager at Scotts Engineering.
- Talha Naeem, one of our Student Members, had just finished studying for his BEngTech. He and his father, who was also killed, were planning his spring wedding.
- Farhaj Ahsan, a software engineer, was also killed. After moving to New Zealand from Hyderabad, he had obtained a masters degree from Auckland University, before shifting to Christchurch. He was a father of a baby aged 7 months and a 2-year-old.
- Zakaria Bhuiyan, who was about to move to Auckland to take up an engineering job, is currently listed as missing. Friends and family haven’t heard from him since Friday’s attack.
- Ali Elmadani, a retired engineer, who had immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1998, was also killed.
- Lilik Abdul Hamid, who had worked as an aircraft maintenance engineer for Air New Zealand for 15 years, was also killed.
- Osama Adnan Youssef Kwaik, a civil engineer who studied at the American University in Cairo, before moving to Christchurch in 2017 with his wife and two children, and they have since had another child. He was in the process of applying for New Zealand citizenship.
- Haji-Daoud Nabi, an engineer, moved from Afghanistan to New Zealand in 1977 as an asylum seeker. Mr Nabi was a husband, father and adoring grandfather who loved cars and Harley Davidson motorbikes. Mr Nabi’s son has said he had been told his father saved the life of others in Al Noor mosque before he died.
- Zeeshan Raza, a mechanical engineer who had moved to New Zealand from Karachi last year, is another victim. He had lived in Auckland before moving to Christchurch for work in December. His parents, Ghulam Hussain and Karam Bibi, were also killed.
- Shahid Suhail, an engineer from Pakistan working as a production manager at resin manufacturer Hexion, in Christchurch. He moved to New Zealand in 2017 and lived in Auckland for a year before moving to Christchurch with his wife Asma and two young daughters aged 2 and 5.
As a profession, I know we will stand together.
Engineering New Zealand President