Boiseans from nearly every corner of the community gathered Saturday to pay their respects to the family of 3-year-old Ruya Kadir, killed in a horrific knife attack
during her birthday party at a Boise apartment complex. Nine people, including six children, were attacked in the June 30 attack at Wylie Street Station apartments in northwest Boise. All nine are refugees who had been resettled to Boise.
Saturday's memorial service at the Boise Centre included readings from the Quran reflections from Dr. Ahmed Abdelnaby of the Islamic Center of Boise, heartfelt and personal recollections from a friend of the Kadir family and highly emotional messages from Boise City Council President Lauren McLean and Boise Police Chief Bill Bones.
"Even though her life was cut short at a young age under tragic circumstances, in our faith tradition we believe that when somebody's life ends on earth, it is also restored of a new life, " said Abdelnaby. "We need to remember that life on earth, no matter how long it is, will come to an end. This life is the shortest journey in a human being's life. Whenever it ends, an eternal life starts; and this is where Ruya's soul is now.
Boise City Council President Lauren McLean
McLean reminded the many parents in attendance that, "In our kids, we see ourselves of yesterday and sense the power of optimism we once had, and want again."
"We must, in Ruya's name, welcome all people seeking a better home for their children," said McLean. "We must stand with all members of our community to ensure they feel welcome, safe and supported, so that together, we build a city that is bright, with good futures for all of our kids and all of our families."
Perhaps, the most emotional words of the memorial service came from Chief Bones, who spoke in the softest of tones:
Boise Police Chief Bill Bones
"Ruya was, most of all, the center of her family, an incredible, wondrous, little girl who always brought smiles to the lives of others. But she has also become the center point of an entire community, continuing to bring others together today, as she did so often in life," said Bones. "Ruya is embedded in our hearts. We have not only lost an incredible, beautiful girl and the joy that she brought to each life that she touched, [but] in losing Ruya, we have lost a piece of the best of ourselves, a piece of who we are, a piece that exists deep down inside the core of our being. The loss of Ruya, the emptiness we feel, that's something we can never fill, never replace. Even in her passing however, Ruya has planted seeds of possibility. She has become a daughter, not only for her mother and father, but a daughter to our community and our nation. A little girl who has become tied to the hearts of so many that were never blessed to meet her. She has kindled the light in thousands of souls across the world, a light of hope for a better tomorrow and the unity of people from so many lives. We've been united, not just by the empty place left within us by the loss of Ruya, but by how she brought us together."