A permanent memorial is being planned at the site where student, Aya Hachem was shot and killed.

Today (May 17), the family were joined by people from across the local community on the third anniversary of her death. They visited the spot where Aya was tragically shot to lay flowers and to remember her life.

Aspiring law student Aya, 19, was murdered during the month of Ramadan on Sunday, May 17, 2020, as she walked by Quick Shine Car Wash on Whalley Banks. She was struck by a stray bullet, shot from a passing Toyota Avensis.

Aya’s mum, Samar Salame visited Blackburn and was joined by some of Aya’s friends.

New pictures were also released of the student by the family.

The family have said it is very difficult to return to the town following the events of 2020 having moved to London.

Mrs Salame spent time putting flowers around a pole which has become a focal point for commemorations each year. She had to be supported by friends who had come to pay their own respects to Aya.

On occasions passers-by would stop to say dua (prayers) and others came to lay their own flowers at the spot.

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Aya’s mum, Samar Salame visited Blackburn on the anniversary of the death

Speaking today Mrs Salame said found it hard to return to the town since the death of her daughter.

Holding back tears she had to be comforted by Aya’s friends as she spoke.

She said: “It is not fair. For those people to be breathing and alive and my daughter she under the soil in her grave.

“Still her brothers and sisters are suffering. Our life is damaged. They smashed us. They killed us.

“I hope their prisons will be their graves.”

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New pictures of Aya have been released on the third anniversary of her death (NQ/Aya Hachem Family)

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Permanent memorial to remember Aya

It has also been revealed there are plans to make a permanent memorial at the site where Aya was killed.

This will be in the form of a plaque or the pole, which has become a focal point for people to pay their respects would be painted the colour green.

The family are said to be looking producing their own plaque which would be a permanent reminder of that fateful day and also celebrate the life of Aya.

The pole is owned by broadband company 6G Internet and the firm said they would work with the family in ‘whatever way they could’.

Simon Jones from 6G Internet said: “This is an extremely sombre time for the family, the local community and the whole town.

“If the family wish to commemorate the life of Aya Hachem at the site with a permanent memorial we will do whatever we can to assist them.”

The company also said it would pay for any costs incurred for the memorial.

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Who was Aya Hachem?

Aya was an aspiring lawyer who was studying at the University of Salford, and her family had moved to Blackburn 10 years before her death, fleeing from violence in Lebanon.

Five years after arriving in the country, a 14-year-old Aya Hachem and her parents went to a charity event to help traumatised refugees settle into life in the county.

In the decade she lived in the town, Aya thrust herself into British life, learning English and excelling at school. She became one of the Children’s Society’s youngest ever trustees at 16. 

Aya started at the University of Salford when she was 18 and was in her second year when she was murdered.

What happened on the day

Aya Hachem was walking home from Lidl, passing Quick Shine Tyres in Blackburn on May 17, 2020, when a hit which had been organised to kill the business owner, Pachah Khan, tragically saw her shot and killed.

The assassination attempt was organised by one of the owners of RI Tyres, Quick Shine’s neighbouring business, because they were angry about the fact Quick Shine had started to sell tyres.

Feroz Suleman masterminded a plan to have Mr Khan killed, bringing in trusted friends and allies to help carry out the shooting.

Feroz Suleman, Zamir Raja, Anthony Ennis, Louis Otway, Ayaz Hussain, Kashim Manzoor, Uthman Satia and Abubakr Satia have all been found guilty of murder and attempted murder.

Judy Chapman was found guilty of manslaughter.

Suhayl Suleman, brother of Feroz stood trial for the murder of Aya and attempted murder of Pachah Khan but was acquitted.