Sydney woman Manal Kassem got married yesterday.
But instead of rushing off after the ceremony to eat copious amounts of cake and dance the night away, the 23-year-old Muslim woman took a detour: she visited the Sydney siege memorial site at Martin Place in Sydney’s CBD.
There, alongside new husband Mahmod Homaisi, Ms Kassem lay her wedding bouquet amongst the thousand of other floral tributes to the siege’s victims, 38-year-old Katrina Dawson and 34-year-old Tori Johnson.
As the bride lay her bouquet down, curious onlookers burst into spontaneous applause.
Today, pictures of the touching moment — which feature Ms Kassem wearing a beautiful white wedding dress that included a traditional white hijab — are going viral.
“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,” the couple’s wedding planner Dina Kheir told AAP.
“But she made it a priority to visit the memorial site as the first pit stop,” Ms Kheir said.
After a week of heartbreaking news, this newlywed’s quiet gesture is a story we needed to hear.
Thank you, Manal Kassem, for reminding us the world is still a beautiful place.
Some more tributes to the victims of the Sydney siege:
More social media tributes: