The inquests into the deaths of Hashim Kedir, 44, and his 12-year-old daughter Firdaws Hashim were opened at Westminster Coroners’ Court on Friday, 4 August.
Tributes for Hashim by his sister and nieces:
Our dearest, smartest, soft-hearted and generous brother and uncle; and my best friend.
I used to be known not as me, but as "Hashim’s sister", a sister of the smartest boy in our school. It started since year 1 and followed me to university; "Hashim’s sister". I was proud, but it was not always that fun since most of the teachers used to expect the same from me. I used to get the comment: "You are Hashim’s sister after all". You were my role model.
You were my partner in discussing and solving family matters; you were the one I used to call when I had a problem that I couldn’t solve. You were the one I used to call when I had something good to tell. I don’t know what I am going to do without you.
Each part of my body and my brain have the problem of accepting the fact that you are gone and I cannot talk to you again. I keep forgetting now and then why it has been this long since we talked when so much is happening. Reality dribbles and hits me hard.
Smile and generosity had to be the characteristics that describe you most. You were a giver; you used to love to share whatever you had with others without bragging about it and worrying a lot about tomorrow. You were giving and sharing until your last day; your last call to the family (late afternoon on the 13th of June) was all about that.
You had the widest smile that a person could have. Smiling was always your first reaction to everything. You used to smile; even when you were irritated and you were trying to irritate others. I miss that smile so much.
You used to make friends so easily; age, gender, religion, ethnicity or social status didn’t matter. One can tell the kind of person you were from the diversity of people that are crying over your death. Your friends and people who knew you are so confused and don’t know what to do to express their grief and love for you; they are so confused as to what they could say to us.
You were everybody’s favourite in the family. Your love for the family, your softheartedness, generosity and ability to forgive anyone were the causes of that. You didn’t have the heart to stay mad at anyone for a long time. These things have made it impossible for the whole family to understand the way you were taken from us and the things you had to go through. These things have made it difficult for Abaye, our father, to accept the fact that you and your family were gone and he was living. He literally prayed to Allah to take him; and for a reason that is beyond our comprehension this part of his prayer was heard.
You were the favourite uncle to my daughters. In their own words:
Dear uncle Hashu,
I can’t even begin to list all the things that made you the best uncle, brother, father or friend one could possibly ask for. You were intelligent, smart, hardworking, hilarious, and caring. You were always there for everyone and anyone who needed help. You were different than all the other adult figures in my life. You let me share my thoughts with you and you made me feel like my opinions mattered (and as the opinionated person I am, I’ve always appreciated that.)
One moment we would have long and serious discussions, and the next one would be filled with nothing but jokes and laughter. I made fun of you and you made fun of me; that was the essence of our relationship.
Yahya, Firdaws and Yaqub were the most incredible children, and they’re proof of what an amazing father you were. Thank you so much for being there for my mom, me, my sister and our entire family. You made us all better people. I’ve learnt so much from you, and I’ll carry that with me forever. I will continue to be inspired by your hard work, your kindness and the way that you lived your life. You travelled around the world and you were never afraid to take risks and try something new.
So many people love you and rely on you. And so many people’s lives have been affected by the horrible fact that you are no longer here. We’ll have to carry on with our lives without you - and that will be more difficult than anything. But me and everyone else who has ever known you will cherish each moment we’ve been so lucky to share with you. We will miss you every day of our lives. I love you. Thank you for being the best uncle in the world.
No words can express the pain and grief that we have inside us over the loss of you and your whole family, the way you were taken from us, the things that you had to go through in that horrible night and the fact that we are left with nothing that we can say it is yours.
I am so sorry that you had to see the pain and suffering of your kids and your wife. I am so sorry that you were not able to help them. I am so sorry that we couldn’t share your suffering, your helplessness, your confusion, your pain and your fear. I am so sorry that you were let down like this.
"I hurt for you, for your beloved once beautiful, body, each twist or twitch, each reach and wrench adds to the fire in your flesh and bones; I plead to creator lover God for you, to ease your pain,
to mother you.”
We pray for Allah to grant you Jannatul Firdaws.
We all miss you so terribly. We love you and will miss you till the end.
+ Family tributes for Firdaw:
Firdaws, our intelligent, wise, eloquent and beautiful niece and cousin.
You were the most intelligent, wise and eloquent girl I ever knew. You had the voice of an angel. You were so smart and mature for your age that everybody had a lot to say about the type of future you were going to have; the future that was stolen from you.
From the words of your cousins that miss you terribly:
I was always in awe of you. You were so intelligent and so talented but still so kind and humble. Sometimes people tend to forget to show appreciation for their family and loved ones, but you never did. Whenever we talked on the phone, you were always the first one to tell us how much you missed us and that you couldn’t wait to see us again. You spread so much love and positivity and I always admired you for that.
One year we came to London while you and the rest of your family were on vacation in Ethiopia and I was really disappointed that we wouldn’t get to spend time with you that summer. Your parents let us stay at your apartment while we were in London. When we entered the apartment, we saw that you had left little gifts for me and my sister in the living room. These little acts of kindness were very typical of you – and made my sister and I so happy. It only reminds me of how caring and selfless you were.
It still blows my mind how talented you were. I remember the first time I heard you sing. We were all sitting in our cabin on a cruise to Denmark when you began singing. It still amazes me how beautiful and strong your voice was. When you speak, it is just as beautiful to listen to. You were so confident and articulate, it sounded as if you were reading from a book. I am so lucky to call you my cousin, my sister and my friend.
Thank you, for being so kindhearted and loving. Thank you for blessing me with your talent and intelligence.
Thank you for making me feel special, Firdaws.
Thank you so much. I love you forever.
+ Dear Firdaws,
You were the most talented and lovely person I have ever met. You had an amazing and beautiful voice and you were good at everything. You were not only my niece, but my best friend too.
I remember when you were in Norway last time. You were looking forward to play in the snow. We played a lot and at the end of the day you told me that it was so cold and you don’t want to do it again. Every night when we were going to bed we used to tell each other we had to sleep right after we turn off the light, we always ended up talking for a long time….
I will always love you.
+ Firdaws, my love,
I am so sorry that your bright future was stolen from you. I am so sorry that you had to leave this way. I am so sorry that you had to go through so much. I am so sorry that we weren’t there to alleviate your pain. I am so sorry that you were let down like this.
Although my ignorant mind couldn’t see anything good or positive about this tormenting tragedy; one tiny thing that gives me some type of comfort now and then is knowing the fact that you were/are together with your family that you loved most. I have no choice but to accept the fact that you are in a better place now.
May Allah grant you and your family the Jannah that you were named after.
We love you to the end and will miss you forever.