A memorial service for the victims of the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery was organised by WINGS Bangladesh at Baridhara Diplomatic Enclave Club in Dhaka on Friday evening.
Family members and friends of Abinta Kabir, Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain, Ishrat Akhond, Tarishi Jain and the others who were brutally killed in the attack on July 1, 2016 broke down in tears as they remembered their loved ones.
The programme commenced with a speech by WINGS Bangladesh President Tootli Rahman.
Afterwards, the grieving family members and friends lit candles on the stage and shared the loving memories they had of the victims.
“Time flies... a year has passed already, but I can spend 19 more years talking about Abinta,” said WINGS Bangladesh Founder Nilu Murshed, Abinta's grandmother. “We love to talk about her, think about her… We will make her dreams come true.”
The grief-stricken grandmother further said: “It is not about my granddaughter only. I wish no one had died in this incident... I pray no one dies in this war that they [the militants are] involved in, because of their religion or nationality.”
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Families and friends paid a tear-filled tribute to Faraaz Ayaaz Khan, Tarishi Jain, Abinta Kabir and Ishrat Akhond, four of the victims of the terror attack on July 1, 2016, at an event in Baridhara Diplomatic Enclave Club, Dhaka on July 7, 2017 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
Later, on behalf of Abinta Kabir Foundation, Nilu Murshed handed over a cheque of Tk313,600 to WINGS Bangladesh to support the education of meritorious underprivileged female students of Dhaka University.
Artist Kanak Chanpa Chakma also shared her memories of Abinta, while Rokia Rahman, a friend of Faraaz's family, spoke about him. Sankalita Shome and Ajwad Khan, who were friends with Tarishi when she went to school in Dhaka, also shared their memories of her.
Safina Rahman, a friend of Ishrat's, urged the well-off families and friends of Holey Artisan victims to personally take an initiative that will keep the memories of all the victims, including those who did not come from well-off families, alive as the government cannot do it alone.
Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Annisul Huq, who attended the event as the chief guest, said: “I had seen Abinta, Faraaz and Ishrat before, but I never noticed them or thought of remembering their faces. Now, the way I have seen their faces, I will not forget them until I die.”
Even after the greatest tragedies, life never stops, the mayor said. “It goes on, so we have to as well.”
Fahim and Dahlia Nawshin performed songs, and Dr Mahbubur Rahman Chowdhury recited a poem to pay homage to the Holey Artisan victims.