Pain grips family of Saudi man killed in Christchurch terror attack

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Feras Al-Harbi said his father Mohsin Al-Harbi died eight hours after sustaining injuries in the massacre. (Supplied photo)
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Christchurch residents are struggling to deal with the aftermath of what is thought to be the worst act of terror against Muslims in the West. (AP)
Updated 17 March 2019

Pain grips family of Saudi man killed in Christchurch terror attack

  • Mohsin Al-Harbi, from Madinah, worked in water desalination and had lived in New Zealand for 25 years
  • “My father lived a full life. It was a good life,” Mohsin’s son Feras Al-Harbi tells Arab News

RIYADH: “My father lived a full life. It was a good life,” Feras Al-Harbi told Arab News.

Saudi national Mohsin Al-Harbi lived in New Zealand for 25 years. He worked in water desalination.

Feras said his father was a good man - a devout Muslim and a part-time imam, who sometimes gave the Friday sermon at one of the mosques where Friday’s terror attacks took place.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called the massacre an unprecedented act of violence, a terrorist attack and “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

Moshin was not giving the sermon on Friday – but he was in one of the mosques as the attack began which left 49 dead and dozens injured – including Moshin.

A photo circulated on social media that captured the moment Mohsin was carried out of the mosque on a stretcher. He was being loaded into an ambulance, his finger pointing to the sky.

At first Feras was told his father had been injured in the massacre.

“Eight hours later he passed away,” Feras said.

“We accept his destiny and Allah’s will. I’m grateful and thankful to Allah in all situations and circumstances.”

Amid the chaos, Mohsin’s wife Manal had searched for her husband in the mosque where earlier worshippers had been praying.

Overwhelmed by the horror which lay before her - bodies strewn across the blood-soaked carpet - she collapsed having suffered a heart attack.

“The foreign ministry called me and informed me that I must come to the hospital to identify my brother-in-law’s remains,” Jordanian media reported Moshin’s brother-in-law Bader Dukhan as saying.

“I then found out what happened with my sister (Mohsin’s wife). She’s in a critical condition at the moment after her heart attack.”

Bader said New Zealand authorities contacted Jordan’s foreign ministry to help their mother and brother be by her side.

Now people have started paying tribute to Moshin – many of whom experienced his kindness, including student Moshari Sa’ad.

“Last January, I visited the mosque in southern New Zealand. It is considered one of the most important mosques there with the vast social activities it holds,” he wrote on social media.

“One day, at 10 a.m. in the middle of the week, I found Uncle Mohsin with his sleeves rolled up and in sweatpants sweeping the mosque himself. He smiled and welcomed me warmly.”

Moshin’s body has been taken to Saudi Arabia where he is buried in Al-Baqi cemetery in Madinah.

 “I want to thank King Salman for his support and Prince Faisal bin Salman, governor of Al-Madina, for his assistance and swiftness in helping us to return our father’s body and bury him,” Feras added

Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia

Updated 24 July 2019

Muslim World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia


MOSCOW: The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has awarded the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammad bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his efforts to strengthen the relationship between the Islamic world and Russia.

Prof. Vitaly Naumkin, the director of the institute, who represents one of the most well-known academic institutions in the world over the past 200 years, talked about Al-Issa’s career, noting that he has contributed to the promotion of cultural rapprochement among nations through his visits to countries and his connections with different cultures and religions.

Naumkin said that the principles of moderation adopted by the MWL and its secretary-general contributed to the establishment of security in the world, noting that these principles addressed extremism and violence.

The honorary doctorate was given to Al-Issa for his services in the development of Islamic jurisprudence and improving official and popular relations between Russia and the Islamic world, he said.

The MWL secretary-general said that he was proud to receive the honorary doctorate from an institute that is well-known for its dedication and neutrality.

He also praised the Russian Federation’s care for Arab and Islamic culture and its keenness to communicate with the Muslim world, learn its language and understand its culture.

Al-Issa considered the award to be motivation to work on promoting cultural communication and exchange between the Islamic world and Russia.

He said that the institute has contributed to changing the stereotype of Orientalism in the Muslim world and has encouraged cultural communication between nations and peoples.

The ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian presidency, the Duma and the Senate, as well as high-ranking diplomats, senior academics of Orientalism, religious leaders and a group of researchers and students.