Ruya Kadir was at her third birthday party — complete with a pink doll-shaped cake and a Disney princess banner — Saturday evening when a man armed with a large knife attacked.
By Rebecca Boone (The Associated Press) |
BOISE, ID—Little Ruya Kadir had sparkling eyes, a few basic belongings and not much else when she arrived in Boise, Idaho more than two years ago.
But at just six months old, she had the most important thing: A mother who loved her so fiercely that she left behind her homeland, her husband and everything she knew so Ruya would grow up in a safe place.
Ruya Kadir was at her third birthday party — complete with a pink doll-shaped cake and a Disney princess banner — Saturday evening when a man armed with a large knife attacked. Ruya and five other children were badly injured, along with the three adults who tried to protect them.
Timmy Kinner, a 30-year-old homeless man who had briefly been a guest at the apartment complex where Ruya lived, has been charged with first-degree murder and several other felonies in connection with the attack.
And Ruya’s mother Bifituu Kadir is mourning her little girl, slain in the very community that was supposed to keep her safe.
Police say Kinner had recently been asked to leave the apartment complex because of bad behavior. They say the attack does not appear to be a hate crime.
“I remember Ruya when she was just a little bundle in my arms,” said Megan Schwab, an employment specialist with the International Rescue Committee who befriended Bifituu and Ruya when they first arrived in Boise as Ethiopian refugees in December 2015.
“It was a very long journey, not something she talks about a lot but I do know she was fleeing violence,” Schwab said. “She was alone with her little baby and very strong … she had a lot of resolve to protect her baby and create a new life for them.”
From the very first meeting, Bifituu and Schwab would pass baby Ruya back and forth as they filled out job applications and other paperwork aimed at getting the Kadir family properly settled in. When Schwab realized Bifituu had virtually no baby gear in her one-bedroom apartment, she found them hand-me-down furnishings and clothes.
Bifituu’s home was “always a monument to Ruya,” full of things the child loved, Schwab said.
“She loved shopping and dressing up very fashionably just like her mother,” she said. “Disney princesses were her favorite, and anything at all that was pink.”
Schwab saw Ruya just a month before the party, and was struck by how much she had grown. No longer toddling, Ruya flitted through the room where Schwab and Bifituu were talking. She stopped a moment, fixed her big, long-lashed eyes on Schwab and smiled. Then she dashed off in a game of chase with neighborhood kids.
Continue reading this story at Global Voices
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