Photos: Shmaly was a gem

Editorial Staff

May 25, 2023

“He was a gem. He was always respectful and who can forget that smile,”. The words of a woman who said she knew Roudi Shmaly for just a few months. “He spoke highly of his family in Syria. He was a nice person”

The woman who wanted to be called simply “Ann-Maria” was only one of the hundreds of residents who showed up at Shmaly’s workplace to pay respect to him during a candlelight vigil last night

Syrians and residents alike comforted each other and talked about their last memory of Shmaly, who died from a single gunshot to his head during a robbery at the Pick N Mix Superette on DeSouza road that dreadful Monday afternoon

The incident sent the entire nation into shock, especially Shmaly’s family in Antigua and Syria

“He was a brother. We are not blood related but all Syrians in Antigua look out for each other. We looked out for our brother Shmaly. He was gone too soon,” an elderly Syrian man told our news reporter barely holding back the tears

Shmaly was only 26 years and he reportedly came to Antigua and Barbuda during the Covid-19 pandemic to work, with hopes of saving enough money to marry his fiancé and start a family.

Unfortunately, his life was cut short but “Shmaly lives on. In our hearts, in our memory, in our conversations, he is in a better place”,

Some of the major Syrian stores like Cool and Smooth closed their does early on Thursday to attend the Candlelight vigil

A 16-year-old has been arrested, charged, and remanded to prison for killing Shmaly.

When asked by a Syrian who attended the meeting how they felt about the news, he said “I feel sorry for this young man. If he indeed killed Shmaly he will have to answer to God. Shmaly is gone but we are here. I hope this is a warning for everyone in Antigua that they should always be on their guard”, as he struggled with the English language

Dissuasions are being held about flying Shmaly’s body to Syria to be buried.


  1. Man on the sea

    Wait a minute , that’s the only person got murdered in Antigua ? What happened to other people who got murdered around here , none of them were gems , I’m fed up of this thing every day , shmly shmly ,shmly everyday since Monday, it’s sickening, is it because he’s syrian that makes him a gem ?

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Friend,the Syrians take responsibility for their own, when Antiguan get hurt or kill do we protest!we don’t have self love.

    • FrankS

      If his friends said he was special, why are you angry? You letter is absolutely senseless. Who are you vexed with? Such stupidity should not be published.

      • Anonymous

        I totally agree. Some ppl just make comments because they can type. What foolishness. If his friends said he was a “Gem”, why get angry…SMH..


    • Antiguan

      Why you so upset with people showing love? Perhaps you have hate in your heart.

    • Mar

      Man-On-The-Sea, you need to blame yourself in not marching or candlelight when a black Antiguan and Barbudan get gunned down. We the native can do the same like the Syrians community. That is their culture not ours. We black people are selfish and we only care for ourselves, not about anyone’s problem.

    • Anonymous

      Lmaoo, please let that man rest in peace!!! 😀


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Antigua and Barbuda