Osama Abu Kwaik, was a man of Palestinian origin who had grown up in Egypt where he had earned a masters of engineering. He worked as a project manager but had lost his job after the Egyptian Government ordered all companies to let go of Palestinian and Syrian workers. To support his family, Osama worked in a low-paying job for two years before deciding to emigrate to New Zealand. It would cost him his entire savings, but “he loved New Zealand so much he wanted to live, die and be buried in,” said Osama’s brother, Youssef. “He also wants his children to grow up [there].”
“He was truly one of a kind. I’m not saying this because he is my brother. He never used foul words. He was always praying. Always doing the right thing. Always helpful to others. He never cared about politics, but always cared about people,” said Youssef.
The Abu Kwaik family was no stranger to being a victim of hate. Osama’s father had become an orphan at four-year old when his father died defending their city in Palestine. He walked from Lydda to Gaza to live and be raised by family.
Youssef emphasized that “Terrorism does not belong to a specific religion. You have to stop hate, take action and be active, don’t let it spread”