Stockholm: Largest ever Muslim memorial ceremony for fire victims

Stockholm: Largest ever Muslim memorial ceremony for fire victims

Pictures from the ceremony available on Aftonbladet.

Hoda Sunyare desperately tried to save five of her seven children from a fire this past Saturday night in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby.  All five daughter died: Nasra (9 months), Hanna (7), Hibo (10), Najma (12) and Huda (16).  On Tuesday the children's cousin, Naimay Ahmed (13) succumbed to her injuries.  Naimy had been in Sweden for just a few months.  Her father died in the war in Somalia.  Her older brother had also sought asylum in Sweden but was rejected and was deported from the country a few hours before the fire. 

All are Muslim and according to their tradition the burial was to take place as fast as possible after death - preferably within 24 hours.  They were buried in the Muslim section of the Råcksta cemetery in Stockholm.

The father, Yuusuf Mohamoud Mohamed, and his two sons, survived.

Extra buses brought in residents of Rinkeby and Tensta to the Råcksta cemetery.  "It's so beautiful with all the people," says Faisa Ahmed, a close friend of Hoda.

Mona Shalin, head of the Social Democratic Party, and integration minister Nyamko Sambuni of the Liberal Party, came to the ceremony, together with police agents, firemen and representatives from the municipality.  "I'm here to show my solidarity," says Mona Sahlin.

The family asked that the funeral be open for everybody.  It's the biggest Muslim memorial ceremony to have ever been held in Sweden.  It's estimated that 1000-2000 people attended.  People were watching from around the cemetery.

"We belong to God and to him we return," said Dr. Eng Ben Mahmoud Rahmeh when he led the ceremony.  He first read a prayer from the mother.  The event was held in Somali, Arabic and Swedish.

Where the ceremony was over, the caskets were carried from the wooded shady area to the three graves.  Dr. Rahmeh said that the three graves are reaching out, and the siblings will share their resting place.

Faisa Ahmed was one of the women who followed the burial form the side.  When Aftonbladet spoke to her she tried to keep her tears in check, but they kept on coming.  "She had the world's sweetest kids, I'll miss them," she said.  Faisa comes from the same city in Somalia as Hoda Sunyare.  "I'll remember her as a close friend.  She was there for me, now I'll be there for her children who are still alive.  I'll always hug them we we meet."


The government will check how they can better inform about fire-safety and to see that it reaches all groups in society.

the inquiry into the accident is ongoing, but regardless of the cause, it's clear there's a need to do more to make sure that the information gets out, said Defense Minister Sten Tolgfors (Moderates). 

The Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) was additionally tasked to investigate how the protection against accidents law is working.

For example, will the informative material for property owners about fires in rental houses be available in several languages?  Today it's only available in Swedish.  An informative film on fire-safety which is about to be produced will be translate to several languages and distributed to associations were immigrants are active.

A special working-group will check how much immigrants are represented in fire-accidents.  Sten Tolgfors says that they've discussed swimming accidents in the past, as immigrant children are over-represented in drownings and know less about swimming.  He says it's obvious this is needed in more fields.

Sources: KVP, Aftonbladet, SVT, Expressen (Sweden)

No comments: