Abdelaal Selim Furious After Seeing Her Father’s Grave In Christchurch


    A Christchurch woman is appalled and disgusted at the state of her father’s grave.

    Sabrina Abdelaal Selim​ said she was heartbroken when she saw her father’s grave site on Saturday overgrown with weeds and long grass.

    “It just looks like a dumping ground.”

    Her father, Dr Al Abdelaal​, who worked as an oncologist at Christchurch Hospital for 30 years, died nine years ago and was buried in the Muslim section of the Christchurch City Council-owned Memorial Park Cemetery in Bromley.

    “When I got there on Saturday I started bawling my eyes out. I was just so sad.”

    The Christchurch City Council has admitted its contractor has not met the expected maintenance standard at the Memorial ...

    Abdelaal Selim said it was not just her father’s grave that was a mess, it was all the graves in the Muslim section. Other parts of the cemetery seemed well-maintained.

    “I am trying not to make this about race and religion, but it’s hard not to feel this way when every other section of Memorial park and Ruru Lawn is perfect.

    “These families have paid for these plots and pay rates so the council can maintain these sites – and this is the quality of care our loved ones receive. I’m absolutely heartbroken.”

    Abdelaal Selim’s husband mowed her father’s plot.

    “It’s just so sad. I’ve never felt so hurt in my life.”

    She wanted the council to give the Muslim section of the cemetery as much care and attention as the rest of it.

    The overgrown Muslim section of Memorial Park cemetery.

    This was not the first time the area had not been maintained properly, she said. She complained to the council in February and, despite never receiving a response, the levels of maintenance did improve for a while.

    She rang the council on Saturday and was still waiting on Monday for a response.

    Council neighbourhood and sports parks operations manager Al Hardy said staff investigated the mowing of the Memorial Park Muslim burial area and found its maintenance contractor had not delivered to the standard required.

    “This is being remedied over the next few days.”

    He said areas throughout the entire cemetery, not just the Muslim burial area, were not up to the required standard.

    “This has been discussed with our contractor and remedial action is being undertaken.”