MOST people only notice a bride’s wedding bouquet when there are a gaggle of screaming women vying to catch it.
But this bride caught the attention of the whole nation after laying her wedding bouquet at the memorial site of the Lindt Cafe siege site. The 23-year-old, identified as Manal Kassem from the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, made a pilgrimage to Martin Place on her wedding day.
The site, where gunman Man Haron Monis held 17 hostages inside the Martin Place cafe, has been turned into a memorial site where thousands have laid tribute to the victims of the deadly siege. Hostages Katrina Dawson, 38 and Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34 as well as Monis were killed in the 16-hour stand-off which rocked the nation last week. But at the weekend, all eyes were on Ms Kassem who was adorned in a white dress, hijab and veil when she laid her wedding bouquet on the river of floral tributes to the siege victims.
After watching the wedding party approach, the city crowd broke into applause. The bride had chosen the city for her wedding photoshoot, but was hesitant after the siege, according to 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 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. The gesture earned her a raft of support on Twitter, with many applauding her move… see more