Christchurch mosque attack survivor recalls pain of losing wife in shooting

Farid Ahmad lost his wife, in the Christchurch terrorist attack Credit: Mark Tantrum/New Zealand Government/PA

A survivor of the Christchurch mosque attacks whose wife was killed in the tragedy broke down as he recalled his heartbreak to the Duke of Cambridge.

Farid Ahmad lost wife Husna in the shootings after a gunman opened fire during Friday prayers last month.

His wife had led a group of people, including children, to safety before being shot when she returned to help her husband.

Mr Ahmad was choked up with emotion as he told of his pain during a speech welcoming William to the Al Noor mosque.

“Right now my heart is aching,” he said. “I’m feeling the pain. I lost my wife, I lost many people here.

“I would like to say to the victims, you are not alone. We share your pain and we are together. The whole world is with you.”

Urging the community to work together for peace, Mr Ahmad added: “Our mission is to save innocent lives from being lost”.

He also thanked prime minister Jacinda Ardern for “showing the world that if you work together then you can turn the tragedy into hope”.

Turning to the duke, Mr Ahmad spoke of how William was an “inspiration” across the world.

“We pray for you, that may Allah make you a shining light to inspire the people in the world towards peace, security and safety and hope,” he added.

Earlier, Imam Gamel Fouda had described the Al Noor mosque as a “place of love”.

“To all the Muslims around the world, and to all the world, this is a place of love,” he said.

“This is the place of compassion and kindness.”

Speaking after the duke’s speech, he added: “New Zealand is unbreakable. We love this place, we love our prime minister, we love New Zealanders.”