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Vigil held in Dublin for Noor Mukadam by former classmates

Friends and former pupils arrange a vigil in remembrance of Noor Mukadam in Dublin where everyone expresses their shock over her murder and pray for justice for the 27-year-old.

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Over 70 former classmates and friends of Noor Mukadam recently gathered at Our Lady’s Grove school in Goatstown, south Dublin, on Monday evening to offer their condolences to her family and ask for justice.

The vigil was attended by most of Noor’s past classmates and pupils that she studied with during her time in school. Noor lived in Ireland for over 12 years since her father was posted to the Dublin Embassy of Pakistan.

Most of Noor’s friends remembered her as someone who “lit up a room”. The mourners walked from Our Lady’s Grove past Clonskeagh Mosque to the grounds of University College Dublin, carrying placards for justice.

Nihed Medbou (27), who went to school with Ms Mukadam, described her friend as a “kind, loving, caring soul and a really good friend”. Ms Medbou read aloud a verse from the Quran that teaches how women should be “treated with respect”. This brutal death is “hard to process”, she said. “I am still in shock.”

Kimberley Kearns, who organized the event, paid tribute to Ms Mukadam describing her as “kind and genuine” and “the best friend anyone could have.” She also added that Noor was a “beautiful” woman, who had “the sweetest heart”.

Read more: Noor Mukadam murder condemned by Association of Former Ambassadors

Ms Kearns, Ms Mukadam and another woman, Marilyn Egan, were “the three best friends” growing up, she said.

Ms Kearns said the past week had been a nightmare for those who knew her, adding that they have struggled to come to terms with her death.

When Noor was told as a teenager that her family had to move again and leave Ireland she was “heartbroken,” Ms Kearns said.

“We would always keep in touch. If I posted anything on Instagram she would comment on it, saying she was thinking of me, or missing us,” she said.

Both Ms Kearns and Ms Egan said they were shocked and devastated by the news of their childhood friend’s death and hoped that justice prevails.

“Ms Mukadam had campaigned against gender-based violence in Pakistan yet her own murder has left everyone shocked be it in Pakistan or abroad. Since Noor moved around the world due to her father’s occupation, she had a lot of friends and everyone who met her described her as a lovely person.” Her friends commented.

Read more: A female student kidnapped, friend left injured in a horrific incident in DHA Karachi

“She was standing against violence… It is crazy because now people in Pakistan are standing against violence against women for Noor,” a friend commented.

“Violence against women is a problem across the world and Noor herself was a champion against it in Pakistan,” Ms Egan said.

The tribute walk from their old school to a pond on the University College Dublin campus was planned by her friends as they remember Noor saying that she would like to go to UCD if she had stayed in Ireland.

Condolences all around

Ever since the incident occurred on Eid, #JusticeforNoor has been trending on social media. Celebrities like Mahira Khan, Meesha Shafi, Muniba Mazari amongst many others had voiced their condolences and hoped for justice for the 27-year-old.

Hollywood’s actor and model Jameela Jamil has also spoke up on the matter. Jamila wrote about her feelings regarding the incident on her Instagram story where she expressed her anger saying that “I am disgusted to learn the details of what happened to Noor.”

Read more: Afghan envoy’s daughter not abducted: Pakistan

She also pointed out how such news does not surprise her anymore amidst the ongoing gender based violence in India and Pakistan.

Case proceedings

In the latest development of the Noor Mukadam case, the accused Zahir Jaffer has confessed on committing the crime. Police sources confirmed this news and also revealed that the investigators had found footage from CCTV cameras installed in the neighborhood.

“The footage shows the girl trying to escape from the house by jumping from the first story and rushing towards the main gate,” police elaborated.

They further said the woman hides herself in a guard’s room after finding the gate locked, adding that later the accused can be seen breaking into the room and dragging her back into the house.

The US embassy had also met Zahir Jaffer on Monday. The embassy had requested the police for a meeting with the accused as he was a dual national of the US and Pakistan.

Read more: Afghan protesters attack Pakistanis outside Pakistan High Commission London

The officers said police high-up’s discussed the matter and gave permission to the embassy staff for the meeting, which took place in the office of a senior police officer where the accused was brought from the Islamabad district and sessions courts.

The initial discussions were held in the presence of the police officers, however later, another round of discussions was held in the police officers’ absence.

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