Muslim bride's unique Martin Place tribute

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December 21, 2014 By Gemma Najem

As the Sydney siege memorial grows, a Muslim bride has made a pilgrimage to Martin Place on her wedding day.

Manal Kassem was adorned in a white dress, hijab and veil when she laid her wedding bouquet on the river of floral tributes to the fatal Lindt cafe siege victims.

After watching the wedding party approach, the city crowd broke into applause.

The 23-year-old bride had chosen the city for her wedding photoshoot, but was hesitant after the siege, says her wedding planner.

"She was going to cancel [the photoshoot] because she didn't want to be judged ... celebrating her wedding in a scarf while people were terrorised," wedding planner Dina Kheir told AAP.

"But she made it her priority to visit the memorial site as the first pit stop.

"She did it out of respect for her country, that will one day be the country of her children and grandchildren."

The bride from the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl approached the expanding floral tribute on Saturday with her groom, Mahmod Homaisi, as onlookers stared, a witness said.

When Ms Kassem laid her wedding bouquet onto the ground, they applauded.

Muslim bride's unique Martin Place tribute

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard also joined the steady stream of visitors to pay her respects.

"Deeply moving to pay tribute to Katrina and Tori in Martin Place in Sydney today," she tweeted on Sunday.

Ms Gillard has recently joined the board of mental health organisation beyondblue, where Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson's family have directed funds raised in his name.

Condolence books will be moved from the city centre to the Opera House and state parliament on Monday.

They will stay there until the end of January.



Written by

Gemma Najem


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