The cousin of a woman killed in a savage murder is hoping to bring together the families of people who have died in tragic circumstances for a memorial event.
The Table of Love and Loss is being organised by the cousin of Mihrican Mustafa, a Canning Town woman whose body was found in a freezer in 2019.
Mihrican, also known as Mary Jane and Jan, was murdered by Zahid Younis, of Vandome Close, Custom House, who also killed Ilford rough sleeper Henriett Szucs.
Jan’s cousin, Ayse Hussein, has organised The Table of Love and Loss at East Ham Town Hall on December 4 from 1pm to 4.30pm.
She has invited families from all over the country to share their experiences of the loss of their loved ones at the free event.
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Ayse said: “I have found the event comforting to put together because I know how imporant it was for my cousin, Jan, to help people. After she passed away, we came across a lot of her diaries [where] she’d put little quotes like, “if anyone’s suffering, don’t suffer in silence”.
“It’s like Jan’s voice is out there, like I’m granting her wish and her wish is coming true. That’s really special for me.”
Also attending will be the family representatives of Sabina Nessa, the 28-year-old schoolteacher who was murdered in Kidbrooke in September 2021, and Zara Aleena, the 35-year-old law graduate who was murdered in Ilford in June.
Ayse said: “We’ve got families and friends [coming] and some charities and agencies are going be be attending the event. They’re a mixture of domestic abuse charities, honour killing charities and people that help the homeless.
“It’s really good to raise awareness at the moment with some of the families still going through trial and to make them aware of things that are going to happen after because sometimes you don’t get told about stuff like that.
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“People think when the person who’s killed your loved one is convicted – once the trial’s ended and he’s locked up – that that’s the end of it but that’s not even the beginning. It can be an ongoing thing for years and years.
“It’s really important to share the knowledge because we’re all still in the same position when our loved ones have been lost through certain tragic circumstances.”
Mayor of Newham Rokhsana Fiaz OBE will be at the event, as well as representatives from the charity London Black Women’s Project.
Director of the charity Meril Eshun-Parker said: “Ayse is saying, ‘look, there is an aftermath for the families left. What about the families?'”
“Often families are just left. It’s in the newspaper, you get the last article in the media about the sentence that the perpetrator gets and that is it.
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“Ayse’s event asks what happens to the family? How do they survive? How do they continue breathing in life when this really horrific and tragic thing has happened to a key member of their family that they loved?
“I’m hoping that [this event] will bring that question of thinking about those extended family members and what support we can offer them [to our minds]. I think it’s good to reflect on the families left behind.”