The Kenyan shopping mall siege may be over but the suffering may last a lifetime for those who mourn the dead and others who were badly injured.
Desperate to survive, some victims tried to reason with the militants.
“I just told them to leave me alone,” said survivor Syed Ibrahim, who urged the attackers to spare his life because he had already been injured. “They said: ‘We won’t do anything to you. Go, because you have been shot already,’ “ he recalled.
From their hospital beds, other victims sought to reassure prospective visitors to Kenya.
For Shameem Marloo, what is important is “giving out good news to the world that Kenya is at peace. This can happen to any country anytime. As in Britain, it can happen anywhere.”
Seema Manji was running a children’s cooking competition at the mall with her husband Aleem when the attackers struck. A bullet just missed her head. A grenade blew up in his eye.
The couple survived after telling the militants that they were Muslim and despair at Islam being used as a cause by those wielding guns.
“This is not Islam” said Aleem. “ Islam is something else altogether. Islam is peace. Islam is about togetherness, humanity. What I saw there was not Islam and if you ever think for a minute that those people represent us, they don’t. They never will and please don’t let them win by thinking it.”