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Cruel murder of Saudi student in UK haunts…

Essex police in a press conference
Riyadh,(Saudi Arabia): The number of stabs were 16. And these frenzied knife wounds spread over her body and up to her face. The pain of getting stabbed on a soft body is beyond words. Now all Saudi students, especially girl students wearing Abaya and Hijab (traditional attire of Emirati women), lives in UK and other European countries are in the grip of grave fear.
Nahid Al-Maneas bag she wears during the time of her murder

Many of them are reaching at their Universities for regular classes by walking. The college may be a little distant from their living place. Most of them may be walking alone. So the heartbeats of fear are inexplicable. Nahid Al-Manea, 32-year old Saudi student girl, was brutally killed at Cochester, Essex, while she was going to college by walk.

One Arab girl student, Yazar Al-Wazir, wrote in her column in a website explains: “What is scary is how much Nahid and I have in common. I too am an Arab Muslim woman who came to the UK to pursue a degree in science. I too live in a small town, and walk to university each day, and I too take a shortcut past a small lake on my way to class. As if it was not intimidating enough to be a woman studying a degree in science, I now feel that I have even more to be worried about.”

Nahid al-Manea was a Saudi Arabian national who had been in the UK(England) for less than a year and was studying at the University of Essex. She was pursuing an English language programme before pursuing a PhD in Life Sciences.

CCTV images of Ms Almanea's last movements have been issued in the hope of encouraging witnesses. A picture of the bag she was carrying and a map of the route she was likely to have walked have also been released. Appealing for witnesses to come forward, Hawkings said that “there is a high likelihood” people would have been near the location of the “brazen, reckless attack” where she died.

Religiously motivated murder

UK police suspects that the killing may have been religiously motivated. The police line of inquiry is directed around Manea’s distinctive clothing - reportedly an abaya (a black cloak worn by some Muslim women) and a colored headscarf.

“I am proud of who I am and my identity, however, I am also scared. I am so scared that as much as I contemplated wearing the hijab while growing up in the Middle East, I never once considered it whilst living in the UK for fear of yje looks I’d get while walking down the street.

This is not to say that Muslim Arab students like Nahid or I live in a perpetual state of fear, but it is to say that my identity has been shaken in the UK.”- says Yazar Al-Wazir, another arab student in UK in her column written in a website.
CCTV image of the murdered Saudi student Nahid Al-Manea

Mystery clouds
Still Essex police, UK could not find any evidence. Only wild guessing remains. They compare this murder with another one happened few weeks back in the suburban. Police has released a 19 year old boy who was arrested immediately after the murder.

“Both victims sustained frenzied knife wounds,” said Detective Superintendent Tracy Hawkings. Both were on secluded paths in parks used by members of the public. But there are differences such as gender and we can’t discount the possibility of hate crime,” she added.

“We are conscious that the dress of the victim will have identified her as likely being a Muslim and this is one of the main lines of the investigation but again there is no firm evidence at this time that she was targeted because of her religion,” the superintendent said. The investigative officials also could not answer about the motive of the killer as she was not robbed. Her all possessions were still with her when the police found her body. Her yellow bag found from the premises was least touched by the murderer.

Student of King Abdullah Scholarship programme
The University of Essex says that Manea was due to finish her studies in August. And authorities describes her as “very hard-working and conscientious.”

Manea hailed from Saudi Arabia’s Najaf region and had traveled to Britain six months ago as part of the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program. It is said that Manea is a paternal cousin of a former Saudi minister.

In response to her killing, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the UK Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz said that his embassy was maximizing all efforts to follow up with the case. In a telephone call to one of the woman’s brothers, the Prince Nawaf said he would be personally dealing with the case, and that his embassy was doing everything it could to speedily repatriate her body. "Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf expressed in a telephone call on Tuesday to the brother of the deceased his sincerest condolences to her family, affirming the embassy's speed in taking all the procedures for the transfer of the body of the deceased to the kingdom. He also asserted that the case is in his personal attention," the embassy said in a statement.

Omar Ali, president of the UK Federation of Student Islamic Societies, on Wednesday paid tribute to Manea.

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