Friday , June 9 2023

Funeral held for Aiia Maasarwe in Israel


The funeral of international student Aiia Maasarwe, who was murdered in Melbourne last week, has taken place in Israel.

One week after she was killed after getting off a tram near La Trobe University at Bundoora, the 21-year-old was buried in her hometown of Baka al-Gharbiyye, an hour north of Tel Aviv.

After arriving from Australia, her coffin was transported to the local mosque, where prayers were held for her.

Cars jammed the streets, many displaying black flags. A sign outside the mosque read "Violence is the language of filthy ones" in Arabic.

After prayers, Maasarwe's coffin was carried out by close family members draped in silver cloth and lowered into the ground just after 11am local time.

Relatives, including her father Saeed Maasarwe, had boarded a flight out of Melbourne on Tuesday.

As she made her final journey home, a small vigil was held near where she was murdered, with plans to plant a memorial tree and unveil a plaque at the site.

Ms Maasarwe's death is the second time in seven months that a young woman was killed on her way home at Melbourne, sparking outrage among the community.

One pizza parlor in Coburg North has offered to be a "safe haven", who is in danger, is being followed or attacked, can enter the store and tell staff who will notify police.

"If anybody feels unsafe, they're more than welcome to stay inside until they're at ease and feel comfortable in going back out," Newlands Pizza said in a Facebook post that has been shared over 1000 times.

The store's owner Faouzi Daghistani says he came up with the idea following Ms Maasarwe's murder.

"After all the news came last Friday, a lady came here in. She sat in here for about 90 minutes. I just got the feeling something was not quite right. She kept looking outside.

"I realized maybe there was a situation happening that she did not want to talk about. She was afraid. She wanted somewhere safe to go into.

"That's the reason I decided to put the post up, if you feel unsafe, if you feel insecure or there is danger out there feel free to come inside and let us know about it."

Codey Herrmann, 20, has been charged with Ms Maasarwe's rape and murder.

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