Daoud Nabi, 71, whose last words were 'Hello, brother', had escaped Afghanistan to New Zealand: 1st Christchurch mosque victim

His sons confirmed that their father sacrificed himself for fellow mosque worshipper.

Belmont Lay | March 17, 2019, 02:57 AM

Who is Daoud Nabi, the hero grandfather?

Daoud Nabi was a 71-year-old grandfather of nine.

His family identified him as one of the 49 victims of the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand on March 15, 2019.

Not only did this public revelation make him the first confirmed victim, he has been widely reported as the first one killed in the terror attacks on two mosques.

His death was confirmed by his sons, Yama Nabi and Omar Nabi.

Authorities have not yet released a list of the victims’ names.

Nabi was an Afghan refugee

Nabi père has lived in Christchurch since 1977.

He fled Kabul, Afghanistan that year with his two sons to move to Christchurch, New Zealand, which he has called home for more than 40 years.

The refugee was escaping the Soviet Union invasion of Afghanistan then.

"Hello, brother" greeting

There have been multiple accounts of a narrative about Nabi greeting the 28-year-old white nationalist gunman, "Hello, brother", at the door of the mosque, only to be gunned down.

One of it goes like this, for example:

Those who have watched the livestream video of the shooting claimed Nabi was overheard in it saying, "Hello brother," as the gunman approached the entrance of the New Zealand mosque.

Another account, according to witnesses of the incident, was that the "Hello, brother" greeting was said by one of the first people to see the gunman at the mosque -- which was presumably Nabi as it was his practice to greet worshippers as they arrived at the Masjid Al Noor mosque.

Sons' accounts of what Nabi did

One of Nabi’s son, Omar Nabi, 43, told NBC News how his dad died a hero and helped refugees during his life.

And moments before he was killed, Nabi was also helping others.

Accounts of Nabi's actions have been reported in various mainstream media in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Yama Nabi, Nabi's other son, said his father gave up his life to protect another worshipper.

Yama Nabi was informed twice about his father's selfless actions by a friend and another worshipper, who managed to escape the mosque.

Yama Nabi had to be told twice as he said he did not register the fact that his father was killed helping another person, as he thought his father had helped the person escape.

Watched video repeatedly to confirm his father was killed

Sydney Morning Herald reported that Yama had to watch the gunman's livestream video to make sense of what happened to his father.

Yama Nabi had to watch and re-watch the gunman's video until he found his father lying dead on his back.

Yama Nabi said: "I had to go back and forward and back and forward a lot, but I knew it was him."

Yama Nabi said he believes his friend back at the mosque had not wanted to tell him that his father had stepped in front of a bullet to save others.

Yama Nabi also implied that it was his father's instinct to help others as this was what he used to do: "He normally pushes somebody out of the way if anything [happens] like this - 'get away, go' - because he's used to Afghanistan."

Threw himself in front and got shot

Omar Nabi, a mechanic, told NBC News that he was also told by others that his father, “had thrown himself in front of another worshipper and been shot”.

Omar Nabi also separately confirmed to NBC News that his father sacrificed his life for that person.

Omar Nabi wasn’t at the Masjid Al Noor mosque when the gunman arrived as he was at work.

Omar Nabi's brother, Yama, was also running 10 minutes late and was not at the mosque. He arrived to witness the carnage in the aftermath.

Facebook post by son

On Facebook, Omar Nabi shared a picture of his father and wrote: “Please Dad. Come home.”

Helped fellow refugees in New Zealand

Nabi was known for his outreach to refugees newly arriving to New Zealand.

NBC News described Nabi as "devout and community-minded".

Nabi himself was a refugee.

His work when he was alive is now being recognised.

Omar Nabi also described how helping other people was his father’s way: “He’s helped everyone who’s a refugee,” and that Daoud Nabi “went to the airport to greet refugees, and help get them started in their new lives”.

Having successfully settled in Christchurch, Nabi helped found a mosque and became president of a local Afghan association.

According to NBC News: “The work of Daoud Nabi on behalf of refugees was linked to the family’s experience emigrating from Afghanistan to NZ in the wake of the Soviet Union invasion in the 1980s.”

On Facebook, Daoud Nabi was known as Haji Daoud Nabi.

His publicly available posts showed a photo of him with a young child, who has been identified as his granddaughter.

Standing outside the court where the white nationalist shooter was charged with one initial count of murder, on Saturday, March 16, Omar demanded justice for his late father, who he said had believed New Zealand to be a "slice of paradise."

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