Home Feature News Palestinian-American boy fatally stabbed close to Chicago had celebrated his sixth birthday simply 8 days earlier | CNN

Palestinian-American boy fatally stabbed close to Chicago had celebrated his sixth birthday simply 8 days earlier | CNN

Palestinian-American boy fatally stabbed close to Chicago had celebrated his sixth birthday simply 8 days earlier | CNN



Within the {photograph} that launched thousands and thousands of individuals to Wadea Al-Fayoume for the primary time, the kindergartener is seen celebrating his sixth birthday at his house close to Chicago.

With one hand on a blue “Completely satisfied Birthday” hat on his head, Wadea stands within the heat mild of the house, surrounded by presents. On a shelf behind him sits a picket signal proclaiming “house.” A birthday video is seen taking part in on the lounge TV.

Inside that very same house – and simply eight days after that picture was snapped – Wadea was stabbed 26 occasions by his household’s landlord as a result of he was Muslim, authorities have mentioned. The “ongoing Center Jap battle involving Hamas and the Israelis” was why the boy and his mom – who additionally suffered greater than a dozen stab wounds however survived – had been focused, in line with the Will County Sheriff’s Workplace.

The 71-year-old suspect has been charged with homicide and hate crimes, amongst different fees, and was ordered to be held with out bond throughout a courtroom look Monday.

However Wadea knew nothing concerning the causes that in the end led to his brutal killing on Saturday, group advocates mentioned this week.

As an alternative, they described him as a heat, form youngster who targeted on having fun with life together with his buddies and taking part in exterior, and who liked his dad and mom and household deeply.

In his ultimate moments, Wadea provided phrases of consolation to his mom, a member of the family revealed Monday.

“His final phrases to his mother: ‘Mother, I’m superb,” Wadea’s uncle, Yousef Hannon, advised reporters. “You realize what, he’s superb. He’s in a greater place.”

Wadea Al-Fayoume seen here in an undated picture.

In his quick life, Wadea “liked every thing” – from his dad and mom, to Legos to spending time with buddies – mentioned Ahmed Rehab, govt director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Chicago workplace, throughout a Sunday information convention.

“He liked all people,” Rehab mentioned. “He liked his dad and mom, he liked his household and his buddies, he liked life and he was wanting ahead to a protracted, wholesome, affluent life.”

And, like most different kids, Wadea liked to play, the director mentioned.

“He liked his toys, he liked something with a ball, basketball, soccer, he liked to paint, he liked to swing round,” Rehab mentioned.

Wadea Al-Fayoume seen here in an undated picture.

Wadea’s dad and mom are from a village within the West Financial institution, Rehab mentioned. His mom moved to the US 12 years in the past and his father moved to the US 9 years in the past. Wadea was born within the US.

“The kid’s Palestinian Muslim household got here to America searching for what all of us search—a refuge to stay, be taught, and pray in peace,” US President Joe Biden mentioned in a press release in response to the killing. “This horrific act of hate has no place in America.”

As an alternative of returning to class Monday and spending time together with his buddies, Wadea was buried.

Exterior the mosque the place the kid’s funeral companies had been held, Wadea’s father, uncle and group leaders gathered for a information convention Monday.

Hannon, the uncle, spoke of Wadea in current tense throughout a short deal with to reporters.

“He’s a 6-year previous child,” Hannon mentioned. “He’s a really form child, he likes to leap up and down.”

Wadea’s mom, Hanaan Shahin, couldn’t attend the companies as she remains to be recovering within the hospital, Rehab mentioned.

Whereas she sits alone in a hospital room, Rehab mentioned, the kid’s mother is “coping with her accidents, coping with her emotional trauma and coping with the most important gap that may by no means be stuffed, the most important hole of all, the lack of her youngster.”

Community members pray during a funeral service for Wadea Al-Fayoume at the Mosque Foundation on October 16, 2023 in Bridgeview, Illinois.

Moments earlier than the assault unfolded, the suspect advised Shahin he was indignant at her for what was occurring in Jerusalem, in line with a courtroom submitting. She mentioned they need to “pray for peace” and the suspect attacked her with a knife, the submitting states.

The mom locked herself within the toilet to get away, however was not fast sufficient to get her son. By the point she reached 911, “her son was being stabbed,” in line with the submitting.

Deputies responded to the house at roughly 11:38 a.m. Saturday. Wadea was pronounced useless at a hospital at 12:19 p.m., courtroom paperwork say.

Odey Al-Fayoume, boy’s father, has requested for accountability within the killing and mentioned Monday he hoped one thing good may come from the tragedy.

“I’m right here as a result of I’m the boy’s father, not as a result of I’m a politician or a spiritual cleric. I’m right here as the daddy of a kid whose rights had been violated,” he mentioned, talking in Arabic.

And native, state and federal leaders condemned the assault on the household and the the explanation why they had been focused.

Mourners surround the casket of Wadea Al-Fayoume being carried by his family out of Mosque Foundation where mourners attended a funeral prayer.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson referred to as the killing a “shameful reminder of the damaging function Islamophobia performs in our society.”

“We grieve alongside his household and the Muslim, Arab and Palestinian communities in our state as we reckon with this unthinkable loss,” Johnson mentioned on social media.

“Each single Palestinian youngster is simply as stunning, has simply as a lot of a proper to be mourned and after we mourn Wadea, we’re mourning all of these kids and after we condemn the hate that killed Wadea, we’re condemning the hate that has killed all of these kids,” mentioned Imam Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Analysis, and an adjunct professor of Islamic research within the graduate liberal research program at Southern Methodist College.

“What kind of hate needs to be manufactured within the head of a person for him to face over a 6-year-old boy and stab him 26 occasions?” he added. “I need each single certainly one of us to take a step again and to really assess our personal humanity within the second.”



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