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Talha Naeem

Talha Rashid was Naeem Rashid‘s oldest son. Aged 11 when the family moved to New Zealand, he had got a new job and was hoping to get married soon, the BBC has reported. Along with his father, he lost his life in the terrorist attack on Al-Noor mosque on March 15th, 2009. He was 21 years old and had his whole life ahead of him.  

Talha had just finished an engineering degree at university, according to a report from Al-Jazeera. The report mentions Khurshid Alam, Talha’s uncle and brother of Naeem, who said: “I spoke to my brother last week and he was planning to come to Pakistan to arrange his son’s marriage ceremony. But now we lost both of them,” Alam said.

Al Jazeera also reports that, according to Naeema Khan, his aunt, “When Talha got shot, he fell on another boy and whispered to him to stay still. When the gunman left, the boy got up, alive, from under him.”

Khan said Talha was a “role model for the younger generation.”

His family resoundingly and fondly remembers him as an ambitious young man who was willing to take risks to achieve his dreams. As Al-Jazeera reports that “Talha was also always at hand to offer guidance.

Abdullah, in particular, remembers long afternoons spent playing football together in the park while listening to his brother offer valuable snippets of life advice or roaring down hillsides together on their beloved mountain bikes.

‘My brother was there for me every second of my life,’ Abdullah says. ‘He loved taking risks and I was always very scared, but because of him I realised that sometimes you should take risks in life to achieve something more,’ he adds.”

He also loved mountain biking, and reportedly would bring his sister, Naeema, photos of the natural beauty of the countryside from his many cycling trips around the outskirts of Christchurch. “He would bring me pictures of the different sceneries, or of a beautiful leaf if he saw one,” she said, as reported by Al-Jazeera.

“My son and my husband are heroes,” Ambreen, Talha’s mother said, as reported by Al-Jazeera.

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