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Loss and hope in Christchurch represented in new mural

A new mural was unveiled in the heart of Wellington at Civic Square last week, acknowledging the grief over the tragedy that happened in Christchurch on 15 March 2019. Weaving Hope represents a unified, accepting and diverse Aotearoa.


Muslim Wellington delighted with new mural.

Tahir Nawiz, President of the Association that cares for the Kilbirnie mosque, spoke at the unveiling of the work – a collaboration of over forty people.

“He (the terrorist) wanted to sow hatred and division but what happened instead was truly remarkable, including the creation of this mural.”

Nawiz said the busy city-centre location will allow many passers-by to have the opportunity to pause, read, and reflect as they view the mural, with the victims of Christchurch in their thoughts.

The mural was woven together by local mural artist Ruth Robertson-Taylor, with the vision and key elements coming directly from the Muslim community. Ruth said of the project that it was a great opportunity for her and the Muslim community to start to create relationships between them, wider New Zealand and other outside groups “and create a more coherent society that hopefully doesn’t have horrible things happen in it.”

Local furniture maker Mahmoud Shagouri worked with the artist to carve out 51 flowers. Each one represents the 51 lives lost in the tragedy. The flowers come from around the world, a reminder that Islam is diverse and global. Half a year on from the coming together post the terrorist shooting, Nabil Adam who helped with the mural said this “is a good way to bring us back to all of those positive emotions that we had, all of those goals we might have set.”

Weaving Hope is a group creation alongside the Muslim Students Association VicMuslim, the International Muslim Association of New Zealand’s Committee, members of the Kilbirnie mosque community, and Vodafone New Zealand’s Muslim Society, the Salam Network, with site support from the Wellington City Council.

Tahir, as president of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand, said he wished to thank every one who gave their time, skill and support to this wonderful project.