'You never offended anyone in anyway, you were only praying': Father-of-one who came to NZ for stable life remembered for generosity

"You never offended anyone in anyway, you were only praying," a friend said while remembering Atta Elayyan (pictured).
"You never offended anyone in anyway, you were only praying," a friend said while remembering Atta Elayyan (pictured). Photo credit: Supplied.

A father-of-one will be remembered by his good friend as the "nicest person anyone could meet" and for his generosity to others.

Atta Elayyan was praying at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque next to Hagley Park when he was shot and has been confirmed as one of 50 people killed in the Christchurch terror attack.

The 33-year-old Kuwait-born Elayyan was a respected member of the Christchurch tech industry and a goal keeper who had played 19 internationals for the Futsal Whites.

Speaking to Newshub, a man who knew him well but didn't want to be named, said Atta came to New Zealand for a "better, stable" life. He leaves behind his wife Farah and his two-year-old daughter Aya.

The man said it is amazing how Atta become such a good part of his life two years ago.

Atta, who leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old, was a goal keeper for the Futsal Whites.
Atta, who leaves behind a wife and a two-year-old, was a goal keeper for the Futsal Whites. Photo credit: Supplied.

"You are already truly missed my friend. You never offended anyone in anyway, you were only praying... practicing the thing that motivates you and encourages you to become a better person every day for those who are around you.

"What happened was traumatising and a tragedy that no one will forget. May your soul rest in peace good friend."

New Zealand Football Chief Executive Andrew Pragnell said he was thinking of all the people involved in the tragedy as well as those who knew Atta and his family.   

"It is still hard to comprehend what happened in Christchurch on Friday afternoon," said Pragnell.

"My heart goes out to the futsal community. They are a very tight-knit group and this news of Atta's death will be devastating for all involved in the game. We feel their pain and their grief."

Others who knew Atta echoed sentiments like he was "always a happy champ no matter what".

Another says he was "one of the best"; known to many as "a dedicated Muslim and friendly Kiwi".

"I hope you're in a better place now Atta."

Newshub.  

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