Sydney siege: Muslim bride Manal Kassem interrupts her wedding day to lay down bouquet in tribute to victims

Manal Kassem, 23, received applause from crowds in Sydney as she interrupted her wedding day to lay the flowers

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The Independent Online

A Muslim bride received applause on Sunday as she interrupted her wedding day to lay her bouquet in tribute to the victims of the Sydney siege at Martin Place.

Barrister and mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, 38, and café manager Tory Johnson, 34, were both killed in the siege in which lone gunman and self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis held people hostage in a Lindt café for 16 hours. He was killed when police stormed the area to end the stand-off.

Thousands of tributes have since poured in for Ms Dawson and Mr Johnson at Martin’s Place, where flowers and messages cover the ground.

Manal Kassem, 23, from Punchbowl, a Sydney suburb, had originally planned to have her wedding photoshoot in the city, but had been hesitant after the events last week.

But on Sunday, dressed in white, wearing a headscarf and a veil, Ms Kassem chose to visit the site before the pictures were taken for her wedding, and received applause from the crowds as she lay down her bouquet.


Ms Kassem’s wedding planner, Dina Kheir, told AAP: “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.

“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.”