Aucklander killed in Afghan bomb strike a 'tireless community advocate'

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Mon, 29 Jan 2018, 5:54AM
Refugee Council of New Zealand Dr Arif Saeid said the voluntary work of Slaimankhel will be irreplaceable. (Photo: NZ Herald)
Refugee Council of New Zealand Dr Arif Saeid said the voluntary work of Slaimankhel will be irreplaceable. (Photo: NZ Herald)

Aucklander killed in Afghan bomb strike a 'tireless community advocate'

Author
Alex Braae,
Publish Date
Mon, 29 Jan 2018, 5:54AM

The refugee community of New Zealand has lost a tireless servant and advocate.

Hashem Slaimankhel, an Afghanistan-born New Zealander, was killed in a Taliban terrorist attack while visiting family in Kabul.

Slaimankhel fled the war-torn country in 1978 and worked as an educator with the refugee health service.

Refugee Council of New Zealand Dr Arif Saeid said the voluntary work of Slaimankhel will be irreplaceable.

"I told him many times, 'Dr Hashem, you need to look after yourself', but he always served the community. He hardly took time off for himself."

He said Slaimankhel's background had a strong influence on his life's work.

"He was also trained as a medical doctor and as well as [being] a community orientated person.

"He just responded to the call, whatever the call was."

Saeid said he hopes others will follow the example set by Slaimankhel, and the Afghani community in New Zealand is devastated at the loss.

Secretary of the Ponsonby Mosque Firoz Patel told Newstalk ZB yesterday that Slaimankhel was widely respected

"He will support the community at any risk and he was a man who would help anybody at any time."