I have been trying to ignore the Christchurch terrorist attacks, which killed 49, not because I did not care, but because I wanted to avoid the impotent rage which would result from hearing how so many defenceless people were slaughtered by some-one warped by racist ideology.
Unfortunately, the terrorist managed to find a way into my safe bubble, and that of all ex-Windows Phone users, with the news that one of those taken away so cruelly was Atta Elayyan, the CEO of Lazyworm Apps, and the developer behind the popular MetroTube UWP YouTube app.
With the absence of an official YouTube app, 3rd party apps like MetroTube were particularly important for the early success of Windows Phone. At WMPU we also had a professional relationship with Atta, as he advertised several of his apps on our old website.
Those who know him better report he was kind, caring, calm and considerate. The 33-year-old had recently become a father and was a goalkeeper for the national and Canterbury men’s futsal teams. He was a Palestinian, born in Kuwait, considered New Zealand home, and likely thought it was the safest place in the world.
Of course, every person killed by the gunman likely have similar stories and meant something important to someone. It behoves us to know that even in our grief, the best response to terrorism is not anger and fear, which the terrorist expect, but tolerance and forgiveness, which restores some of the humanity which each of these atrocities erode each time they occur.
Those willing and able can donate to the New Zealand-based Victim Support Group, which has already raised more than $2 million to provide resources to support victims and relatives, here.