istanbul victims from bollywood producers to club owners
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Last Updated : GMT 05:21:58
Arab Today, arab today

Istanbul victims: From Bollywood producers to club owners

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Istanbul victims: From Bollywood producers to club owners

Young people leave from the scene of an attack in Istanbul
Istanbul - ArabToday

Abis Rizvi made a Bollywood action film about tigers. Leanne Nasser insisted on travelling with other teenagers from her Palestinian hometown, even though her father was worried about her safety. Haykal Mousallem, a businessman, came from Lebanon with his wife to ring in the new year. Also there to celebrate was Nawras Assaf, who owned a lounge and bar in Jordan.

The four people were among an estimated 39 victims killed early Sunday morning in a rampage by a gunman who entered a nightclub in Istanbul, on the shore of the Bosphorus, and opened fire on a New Year’s Eve celebration.

Even after a year in which Turkey has been pounded by a coup, an assassination and multiple terrorist attacks, the Reina nightclub was a buzzing oasis, frequented by Turks and foreigners, many of them from the Middle East or South Asia.

Clockwise from left: Mohammad Al Azzabi and Sanad Al Azzabi (Tunisia), Rita Al Shami (Lebanon), Abis Rizvi (India), Leanne Nasser (Palestine) and Lubna Ghaznawi (Saudi Arabia).


The patrons ranged widely in nationality and religion. What they tended to share was a zest for looking good and having fun, and the ability to afford an expensive evening on the town.

At least 24 of the people killed were foreigners, according to the semi-official Anadolu news agency. According to media reports and government statements, the dead included citizens of Belgium, Canada, France, India, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

Partly because of restrictions on news coverage, little information about the Turkish victims of the attack was immediately available on Sunday, although a young police officer and a travel agent were said to be among those slain.

The death of Rizvi, the Bollywood producer, was confirmed by Sushma Swaraj, the foreign minister of India, who said she was arranging for his family to go to Turkey.

Rizvi came from a prominent real estate family based in Mumbai; his father, Akhtar Hasan Rizvi, is a former member of the upper house of the Indian parliament. A younger brother of Abis Rizvi died of cancer in 2009, a cousin, Rashid Rizvi, said in a phone interview.

Abis Rizvi was passionate about environmental conservation and produced a 2014 film titled Roar: Tigers of the Sundarbans, set in a Bengal region famous for its mangrove forest. In the film, a young photojournalist rescues a white tiger cub ensnared by a poacher’s trap. The tiger’s vengeful mother, in a failed search for her cub, kills the journalist, and then commandos are called in to pursue the tigress.

Members of Mumbai’s creative communities took to Twitter to express their grief on Sunday. Rouble Nagi, an artist and collector, called Rizvi a good friend whom she had seen a few days ago. Shagufta Rafique, a screenwriter, wrote that she was “speechless” on learning of his death.

“This time it hits home straight home!” Nora Fatehi, an actress who played in Roar, wrote on Twitter. “I never imagined I would lose someone from these evil attacks that u hear of day to day!” She denounced the attack as an act of “inhuman savagery”.

Nasser, the young Palestinian citizen of Israel who died in the attack, was from Tira, a Palestinian town inside the Green Line. A friend from the same town, who travelled with her, was hospitalised with gunshot wounds. Two other friends were reported to have escaped unharmed.

Clockwise from left: Ahmed And Mohammad Abdul Wahhab (Saudi Arabia), Adil Amrallah (Kuwait), Haykal Mousallem (Lebanon) and Elyas Wardini (Lebanon).


Nasser’s father, Zaher, told the Israeli news site Ynet: “I know that the security situation in Turkey is not simple. Before she left, I asked her not to go but, to my regret, she insisted.”

The death of Mousallem, the Lebanese businessman who had gone to Istanbul with his wife, was confirmed by their relatives, according to Reuters.

Standing in front of a forensic institute on the outskirts of Istanbul on Sunday night, Stephanie Deek, a Lebanese woman, said that she knew Mousallem and his wife. They had married only five months ago, she said.

“He went to the toilet and his wife was waiting inside for him when the attack happened,” Deek said as local officials offered tea to grieving families. “She ran outside but couldn’t find her husband.”

Deek said: “I am so sad. I cannot describe how I feel. I did not expect to find him here. I thought he was just missing.”

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said that two citizens of Jordan were among the dead.

One of them was identified by friends as Assaf, the owner of the Pi Lounge & Bar in Amman, the Jordanian capital. He was a father of three and a brother-in-law of the country’s water and irrigation minister. His wife was injured.

“You are cowards and traitors,” one of his friends, Yazeed Massarweh, wrote on Facebook. “May God rest your soul Nawras, my smiling, laughing friend and may your family have patience.”

Another friend, Jamal Lattouf, wrote on Facebook: “Very sad for the death of my friend Nawras Assaf in the savage, barbaric attack in Istanbul. Rest in peace.”

The other Jordanian confirmed killed was Mohammad Sarraf, a businessman.

At least two people killed in the attack had dual citizenship. One was a French citizen of Tunisian origin, who died with her Tunisian husband, according to the French Foreign Ministry. Another was a Belgian citizen of Turkish ancestry, according to the Foreign Ministry of Belgium.

The other Indian national killed was identified as Khushi Shah.

Foreigners, including many nationals of Arab countries, made up the majority of the victims in the New Year shooting rampage at an Istanbul nightclub, officials said. The Anadolu news agency, citing unidentified Turkish justice ministry officials, said 11 those killed by a gunman who escaped were Turkish nationals and one was a Turkish-Belgium dual citizen. Sixty-nine people were also wounded. Anadolu says one victim remains unidentified.

Relatives of the victims and embassy personal were seen walking into an Istanbul morgue to take the bodies of the deceased.

Turkish officials haven’t released the names of those identified

Below is a list of victims by citizenship:

 

Saudi Arabia: 7 killed, 11 injured

Lebanon: 3 killed

Iraq: 3 killed

Tunisia: 2 killed

India: 2 killed

Morocco: 2 killed, 4 injured

Jordan: 2 killed, 4 injured

Libya: 1 killed, 3 injured

Kuwait: 1 killed

Canada: 1 killed

Israel (Palestinian): 1 killed

Syria: 1 killed

Russia: 1 killed

source: GULF NEWS

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