BEIRUT: The burial of Aya Hachem, the 19-year-old law student killed in a drive-by shooting in Blackburn in the north of England on Sunday, May 17, is scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 23 in her family’s hometown of Qlaileh, near Tyre in Lebanon.
Hachem’s father, mother, two brothers and sister have returned to Lebanon from Blackburn — where they currently live — with her body on a flight operated by national airline MEA.
Hachem — who was in her second year as a law student at the University of Salford — was hit in the chest by one of several bullets fired from a vehicle as she walked to a supermarket near her home. She is not believed to have been the intended target of the drive-by.
Hachem’s uncle, Hassan, told Arab News that his brother Ismail, Hachem’s father, decided to emigrate to the UK and seek asylum after retiring from his position as a first sergeant in the Lebanese army. Another of their brothers was already living in England at the time.
“(Ismail) loved the country and submitted an application in which he requested asylum for the … security reasons prevailing in Lebanon. His request was approved and he is unemployed till now,” Hassan said, adding that family members are “heartbroken.”
“Her father left Lebanon to protect his family, but he lost his eldest daughter,” he said. “My brother called me on the day of the crime to say ‘Aya is gone,