Eight words which touched nation
IT WAS the shoes Noor Maasarwe first noticed.
Aiia Maasarwe's sister had been watching the news in Israel when she saw a young woman had been found dead on the street in Melbourne.
She didn't want to believe it, and she hoped it wasn't true, but when she saw those white volleys she knew.
That's because Noor has the same shoes. The sisters bought them together on a shopping trip but now they represent so much more.
"This is not just a pair of shoes, this is a pair of shoes with a meaning, this is the same shoes Aiia was wearing when she got murdered," she wrote in an Instagram post with hashtags to stop the violence against women.
Noor then went on to write a longer post about how her sister, who was allegedly raped and murdered in an attack on January 16, was "living a dream" in Melbourne.
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This is not just a pair of shoes, this is a pair of shoes with a meaning, this is the same shoes Aiia was wearing when she got murdered, and her sister Noor has the same shoes, they bought them together. لهاظ الحذاء في معنى كبير، فهو مش مجرد حذاء، زي هاظ الحذاء كانت ايه لابسته وقت قتلها، وفي زيه عند اختها نور.. זה לא סתם נעל, אלו הנעליים שאיה הייתה נועלת בזמן הרצח שלה, ויש לאחותה נור את אותו נעל 这不仅仅是一双鞋子，这双鞋子有意义的。 同样的鞋子AIIA 被杀害的时候穿着，她的姐姐Noor 也有这款鞋子，是她们一起买的。 #my_life_metter #women_life_matter #stop_the_violence_against_women #we_have_the_right_to_live #Bring_Aiia_home
Her post came after the Maasarwe family prepared Aiia's body for her journey back to Israel today.
The 21-year-old was studying in Australia when she was attacked on her walk home.
After her body was released by Victorian authorities and her family washed and prepared it according to Islamic funeral rites to be returned home for burial, Noor shared a painting of Aiia's from 2014.
"She was living a dream in Melbourne, a dream that ended up being worse than a nightmare," she wrote.
"Violence against women is not a women issue, it is a men issue.
"We tell women if they feel unsafe to make a call so that they can feel safe. but Aiia was on the phone with my sister Ruba when all that happened."
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She asked to make the world a better place for the next generation and thanked Australia and people around the world for their support.
Last night more than 100 Muslim men and women from around Melbourne gathered at a mosque in Dandenong to pray for Aiia before her coffin was carried out by a sea of worshippers.
"I am safe here with these people and they care about me, and they are beside me, and they support me," said her father, Saeed Maasarwe, according to The Age.
He said he hoped his three daughters would continue "just to see the light in the dark".
"This I study from Aiia, it's not from me, this is Aiia's words but this is my voice. To see the light in the dark. I wish all the people see the light, to go to the light and not be in the dark, and to think positive."
Ms Maasarwe's funeral will take place tomorrow in Israel.
Her father and sister Ruba travelled to Melbourne after the death last week.
As is tradition in Islam, Aiia will be taken straight to her home where the family will be able to pay their last respects.
At noon on Wednesday, she will then be carried to the local mosque where the community will give prayers and blessings.
Finally she will be taken to the family plot in Baqa al Gharbiyye's cemetery, where she will be laid to rest.
After attending a comedy show in the Melbourne CBD, Aiia boarded the route 86 tram last Tuesday night and was attacked on the short walk home from her tram stop in the northern suburb of Bundoora.
Her body was found about 7am the next day near a shopping centre car park.
Aspiring rapper Codey Herrmann, 20, appeared in Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday charged with rape and murder.
He has been remanded in custody to face court again in June.
Another vigil will be held from 6.30pm on Tuesday evening outside the Polaris shopping centre, where Aiia's body was found.
The city of Darebin plans to plant a memorial tree at the site with the family choosing words to be inscribed on a plaque.
- with AAP
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