Arab Women Media Watch Centre in UK mourns Saudi PhD student Nahid Almanea who was stabbed to death.
Almanea who was living with her brother, was walking alone on Tuseday because her brother’s lectures start early, when she was ambushed and knifed to death shortly before 11am.
Arab News, a Saudi Arabian newspaper, said that Almanea’s body arrived at Al-Jouf airport to a “large crowd” before being moved to the Khadem Al Harmain Mosque for a prayer and then laid to rest at Al-Laquait cemetery.
The pictures of her casket within a hearse, thousands participating in receiving her body at the airport, her funeral, the grief-stricken mourners, the comments, Images circulated on Twitter, blogs and obituaries buzzing on Saudi cyber sphere are beyond any description of grieve. The mourners who accompanied her body to the grave yard are all men; relatives, friends of the family, dignitaries and people who believe in Saudi women’s achievements and courage against all the odds.
Director of AWMWC in UK, Iqbal Tamimi expressed deep grieve for losing University of Essex PhD student, Nahid Almanea.
‘She was stabbed 16 times as she walked to campus. What a shocking ruthless way to end the life of an innocent woman after going through all the social and educational hurdles to reach UK as an aspiring educated professional who seeks to improve the lives of other women when she returns home’ she said. Tamimi described Almanea as ‘an ambassador of Saudi women seeking change and empowering other through perusing higher education’.
Tamimi warned that this attack might hinder other Saudi and Muslim families from sending their daughters to continue their higher education in UK fearing for their safety. ‘This would be a huge setback for our efforts to encourage more women to seek education. I hope the criminal will be found soon and justice takes its course’. She added
The body of the English Language student was found that morning on a footpath near a nature reserve in Essex. She was wearing her abaya and hijab. This fact has reflected on the messages of condolences, written in Arabic and posted online that read: “Goodbye… she was killed due to the hijab – and through purity she faced the sword of this reason – Goodbye… by God we are healed – and from our silence, without any shame.”
In another tweet, a picture of an elderly man with text edited over the top describing pain falling from the eye of her father and about the Lord’s duty breaking and binding his heart. While in London the Muslim community walked in a demonstration protesting against such brutal attack.
Officers from Essex, Suffolk, London and Kent are working alongside the National Crime Agency in the investigation into Almanea’s death.
Police said they are keeping an open mind about a motive but are also looking into the possibility that she was targeted due to her Muslim dress.
Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Worron appealed for witnesses to come forward and help with the investigation into Nahid’s murder.
Saudi ambassador to the UK, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al-Saud has spoken with the family, the embassy confirmed.