“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.