Confidence knocked but will resurface

Pine Hill former refugees Nisrine (36), Kasem (14) and Mohammad (5) Zarzar in their garden after the Christchurch mosque attacks with a picture of dead relatives including children Lamar, Samei, Basal and father Mohammad. Photo: Christine O'Connor
Pine Hill former refugees Nisrine (36), Kasem (14) and Mohammad (5) Zarzar in their garden after the Christchurch mosque attacks with a picture of dead relatives including children Lamar, Samei, Basal and father Mohammad. Photo: Christine O'Connor
On Monday, Nisrine Zarzar ventured off her Pine Hill property for the first time since the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Her family moved to New Zealand less than two years ago to flee war in Syria.

Now she is having flashbacks to those times.

Through an interpreter, she explains how her husband and three of her children were killed in a bomb attack more than five years ago.

The attack took her son Kasem's right leg.

''Because of the war we decided to come to a safe place, a safe country. But now I feel like we're back in the war in Syria.''

After the Christchurch attack she felt at any moment someone could come through her door.

''Because I live alone I don't feel secure. The attack happened quickly, no-one knew about it.

''My husband is not here to take care of us so I have to take care of the family.''

She gathered enough strength yesterday to walk her son to school in the morning.

''When we got there the principal hugged me and everyone was very supportive.''

Neighbours were doing their best to make them feel safe.

Kasem did not feel too bad, but said the attacks were ''a bit scary''.

Mrs Zarzar is getting support from the Red Cross. A volunteer is giving her driving lessons.

Deep down, she knows the country is safe, but that will take time to resurface.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

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