Shaima Alawadi, a 32 year-old Iraqi-American women was taken off life support Saturday after she was severely beaten. She was discovered beaten in her home four days ago by her daughter.
The family stated they moved to the United States for a better life; to get away from violence, and live safely and free. Alawadi, a mother of five, moved to the United States in 1993 with her parents and siblings to live in Michigan. She then moved to the San Diego area in 1996, where she attended high school and became a house wife. Alawadi, her husband, and five children moved into their home in El Cajon, one of the largest Iraqi communities in the United States, just two months ago.
"I want to stress there is other evidence in this case that we are looking at and the possibility this is a hate crime is just one aspect," El Cajon Police Chief James Redman said Monday in a statement.
According to the victim's oldest daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, Alawadi had been beating repeatedly in the head with a tire iron and a note which reads "Go back to your country, you terrorist" was left next to her. Her daughter also reports that a note was previously left at the house in the last month with similar content, but it was not reported to authorities.
The victim’s father, Sayed Nabeel Alawadi, said "everybody is outraged. This is too evil, too criminal." Sayed is a Shiite cleric in Iraq and a Muslim leader in Michigan.
Redman says they are investigating all aspects of the crime, but they do not have any conclusions as to who was responsible or what their motive was.
Neighbors report that the Shaima Alawadi was a very nice person, and families who lived near their home often spoke with them and expressed no negative views on the family. On the Facebook page "One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi ", supporters share photos of themselves wearing headscarfs and are currently planning community events to raise awareness.
Permission for use of image given by the Facebook group created in memory of Shaima Alawadi :
One Million Hijabs for Shaima Alawadi