Family pays tribute to mother killed in Nice attack
As the first year anniversary of the horrific attack on Nice approaches, the French city is still grappling with the 86 victims who lost their lives – as a truck driver rammed people celebrating Bastille day.
Ali Charrihi was one of those enjoying the festivities with his family.
But their night out came to a sharp end when his mother Fatima was struck down- she was one of the first to die on the Promenade des Anglais.
“Our family is still in pain, still in limbo, since July 14. We’re slowly trying to climb back up, we’re drawing strength from our children, from the struggle for life that we’re having right now, against radicalisation and the rest of these phenomena which pollute our lives.”
The attack was carried out by Tunisian-born Frenchman Mohamed Bouhlel and claimed by Islamic State.
This Muslim family, originally from Morocco, say they experienced anti-islamic sentiment as horror descended on their city.
“On the first night, there was a woman who came while my mother was still on the ground, with all the blood, the ambulances and all of it, she stopped and she said, ‘Band of terrorists, well done, you. It’s your turn.’ And then while my sister and I were trying to mourn together, it was the first time I went to the site, there was this man who said, ‘We no longer want this here, we no longer want you here.’ And ten minutes later, a man in front of a cafe said to us, ‘That’s well and good, you’re going around in a pack.’ And when we said, ‘Leave us alone, we just lost our mother,’ he said, ‘All the better, that makes one less of you’.”
Determined to prevent extremism, the Charrihi siblings have founded an association reaching out to people vulnerable to radicalisation.
The family are pinning their hopes on new President Emmanuel Macron to find solutions to extremism.