Muslim bride shocks audience
Hundreds of stunned onlookers in Sydney breaks into applause as newly-wed lays her wedding bouquet as tribute
This bride has caught international attention after laying her wedding bouquet at the memorial site of the Lindt Cafe siege site in Australia.
The 23-year-old, identified as Manal Kassem from the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl, made a pilgrimage to Martin Place on her wedding day – Saturday 20th December.
The site, where gunman Man Haron Monis held 17 hostages inside the Martin Place cafe, has been turned into a memorial site where thousands have laid tribute to the victims of the deadly siege.
Hostages Katrina Dawson, 38 and Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson, 34 as well as Monis were killed in the 16-hour stand-off which rocked the nation last week.
But at the weekend, all eyes were on Ms Kassem who was adorned in a white dress, hijab and veil when she laid her wedding bouquet on the river of floral tributes to the siege victims.
The bride from the Sydney suburb of Punchbowl approached the expanding floral tribute on Saturday with her groom, Mahmod Homaisi, as hundreds of onlookers stared, a witness said.
When Ms Kassem laid her wedding bouquet onto the ground, they erupted into applause.
The bride had chosen the city for her big day photoshoot, but changed her mind after the siege, according to her wedding planner.
Manal Kassem was adorned in a white dress, hijab and veil when she laid her wedding bouquet on the river of floral tributes for the victims.
After watching the wedding party approach, the city crowd broke into applause.
The 23-year-old bride had chosen the city for her wedding photoshoot, but was hesitant after the siege, says her wedding planner.
"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," wedding planner Dina Kheir told press.
"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.