Zara Aleena’s family described her as a “joy to all of us” as she demanded an end to violence against women and girls.
Zara, 35, beloved human, child, niece, cousin, granddaughter, friend to all, she was a joy to all of us.
She took care of her mother and her grandmother. Caring for others came so naturally to her. Zara was friendly, she was everyone’s friend. She was everyone’s daughter, everyone’s niece, everyone’s sister, everyone’s cousin. She was pure in heart.
She was a joy to all of us, her sparkling eyes and jet black curly hair. His glorious laugh and his soft, smiling voice. Her diminutive figure embodied a passionate spirit and indomitable energy.
Zara was raised by our whole family. She was our love in human form. At the age of five, she said she was going to become a lawyer. Screaming with joy when she saw the birds as a child, she laughed and made us laugh. She was always the greatest person in any situation.
She was genuine and refused to try to impress anyone, but she impressed us. She was the rock of our family. Zara was stoic and held everything together and never complained. She brought our community together.
“No one worked harder than Zara” is what we heard from everyone who knew her. Zara was happy and at a time in her life when her joy was radiating and blossoming. She was ready to start her own family. Her sense of justice and fairness led her to give and care for others – supporting refugees fleeing violence, giving voice to those with less power. She had this particular habit of noticing others in need and always putting their needs on her agenda. A carefree spirit, with the most caring heart.
Zara was happy and at a time in her life that she had worked hard for, she had completed her legal practice course so that she could practice as a lawyer. She only recently started working for the Crown Prosecution Service, completing her two-year probation to become a fully qualified lawyer. She was fierce: she not only survived, she thrived.
She walked everywhere. She put her evening shoes in a bag and put on her sneakers. She walked. Zara believed that a woman should be able to walk home. Now her family dreams are shattered, her future brutally taken.
Unfortunately, Zara is not the only one to have lost her life at the hands of a stranger. We all know that women should be safe on our streets. She was at the heart of her community, 10 minutes from her home.
We all need to talk about what happened to OUR ZARA, we all need to talk about this tragedy.
The past few days have been shocking and unimaginable.
In a savage and sickening act, she was murdered by a stranger. She’s not the only woman who lost her life like this. At the time of this tragedy, we express our deepest sympathy and love to the families of Bibaa Henry; Nicole Smallman; Sarah Everard; Sabina Nessa; Ashling Murphy and many other women.
We must PREVENT and STOP violence against women and girls.
Our loss is irreparable and the emptiness seems insurmountable, but the warmth and kindness our community has shown speaks to the power of Zara’s spirit. His life was stolen from us. It was stolen from all of us.
REST IN POWER ZARA NATASHA ALEENA.