Silence Falls Across Home Town As Family Farewells Aiia Masarwa
Bearing flowers and hand-written cards, hundreds of mourners flooded the streets to farewell murdered international student Aiia Masarwa in her home town in Israel.
People were silent but for the soft humming of prayers. The other sound punctuating the stillness was a shovel pouring dirt into her grave.
Aiia, 21, who was murdered in Melbourne last week as she walked home from a comedy club, was repatriated to Israel on Tuesday.
In line with the Islamic faith, Aiia should have been buried by sunset on the day after she died. But these were extraordinary circumstances.
In memory of Aiia -- described by family as an adventurous and fun young woman -- hundreds of people in her home town of Baqa al-Gharbiyye in northern Israel flooded the streets to farewell her as her coffin, draped in silver cloth, was moved through throngs of mourners to the local mosque.
Cars displaying black flags of mourning followed the procession, jamming the streets.
With the mosque full, hundreds more men lined the nearby car park and surrounding streets as prayers were performed.
All of the men in attendance solemnly walked to the adjoining cemetery, lowering the coffin carefully in the ground just after 11am local time.
Male family members cried and prayed as dirt was shovelled into the grave.
A sign outside the mosque read "Violence is the language of filthy ones" in Arabic.
The official grieving period is now underway and Aiia's family told 10 News First they hope they can create a better world so the 21-year old's death wasn't in vain.
"I pray that she is in a place that is better than this world with the angels there and she looks at us that we do something positive for the people and I hope ... that we can plan with Australia a better future and a better place," Aiia's father Saeed told 10 News First.
The family has also expressed their thanks to the people of Australia for their outpouring of grief and support in the wake of Aiia's death. They have also extended thanks to the Australian government and Victoria Police.
Featured Image: Getty Images.
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