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  • Koreen Liew-Young


Updated: Oct 4, 2021

People gather outside the mosque
Māori songs are sung outside the Mt Roskill Mosque

Friday 22 March.

One week after.

Door car opens. Door closes.

Head, arms and legs covered.

Walking, feel self-conscious towards the Mt Roskill Masjid e Umar Mosque.

Māori songs sung and guitar strums filled the air with hope.

Fresh flowers, windmills, kid's illustrations and paper hearts line the fence.

Signs that read “We stand with you", "This is your home, you should have been safe.”

Sweets and bottled water handed out from the Muslim community.

Thank yous.

Embraces between ethnicities and religions.

Listening ears.

So many women with head scarfs.

Policemen with machine guns.

People spill across the footpath near the road.

Gates are opened.

Thanks and welcome from Muslim leaders.

Invitations inside.

Standing together.

1:30pm. Islamic call to prayer

1:32pm. National 2 minutes of silence

1:40pm. FB free for Christchurch. Fifty hours, one hour for every life that was lost. Too hard to deactivate FB profile. Of course it is. Will deactivate after.

People begin to move inside.

The human chain begins to form.

We show love and support.

One by one.

Arms link.

Strength and unity.

People pray in peace.

15 minutes pass.

No-one moves.

Feeling the heat.

15 minutes pass.

Feet aching.

No-one moves.

Muslims finish prayer.

They come outside.

They raise their phones to capture the human chain.

Nods and smiles.

Acknowledgement and appreciation.

“Thank you for supporting us.”


Walk back.

Heads held high.


Proud to be a New Zealander.

They are us.

We are one.

Deactivate Facebook.

Up the ante. Log off ALL social media.



Something is different in the air.

At GP. Muslim family sitting opposite me.

Want to say something.

Looking for the right moment.

Called to appointment.

I look into the mother's eyes.

"I'm so sorry for what happened on Friday."

The mother smiled.

Something is different in the air.


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