Aya Hachem would have graduated this week
The family of a University of Salford law student who was murdered in a “senseless” drive-by shooting have received her degree during what would have been her graduation ceremony.
Aya Hachem, 19, had just passed her second year law exams when she was shot dead in a feud between two rival tyre firms in May 2020.
The aspiring lawyer, who was just metres from her home in Blackburn, Lancashire, at the time of the attack, was rushed to hospital but could not be saved. She was not the intended target of the shooting.
Some 18 months on her mother Samar and brother Ibrahim have collected her degree in her honour.
Her brother Ibrahim told BBC News: “We are very sad as we would rather she was here with us. We knew she was going to graduate. It was going to be easy for her. She was very hard-working and an amazing individual. Seeing all the families here with the graduates is heartbreaking.”
Seven men were jailed for life for her murder while a woman was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. She was jailed for 15 years.
“In this circumstance, Aya’s life was tragically cut short before it should have been,” said Charles Knight, the associate dean of Salford Business School. “It was really important for us as a community to allow her family to come and join us and celebrate her life.”
In October, the Law Society named one of its awards, junior solicitor of the year, in Hachem’s honour.