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Iraqi woman fatally beaten in El Cajon buried in native country

April 2, 2012 |  7:39 am

A 32-year-old Iraqi immigrant fatally beaten in her home in El Cajon was buried in her native country over the weekend.

Shaima Alawadi, who was found unconscious March 21 by her 17-year-old daughter, was buried in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, south of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

"Oh God, take revenge on those responsible," Nabil Alawadi screamed in anguish, according to the Associated Press, during the funeral for his daughter. "We are shocked by this criminal act against my daughter who called for love and tolerance."

Shaima Alawadi's daughter allegedly found her on the floor in the dining room with a "threatening note" by her side, El Cajon police said. Three days later, her family opted to end life support.

El Cajon Police Chief Jim Redman said last week that one window in the house the victim shared with her husband and children had been broken, and confirmed that a note was found near her body but would not reveal specifically what it said.

"Based on the contents of this note, we are not ruling out the possibility this may be a hate crime,'' he said. "At this time we are not revealing the contents of the note, but it was threatening in nature."

Redman called the killing an "isolated incident." Police have sealed the San Diego County medical examiner's report about the death, but Redman said the victim died of head injuries.

Alawadi wore a traditional Muslim hijab, or headscarf, and had lived in the home only a few weeks, having just recently moved back to El Cajon from Dearborn, Mich.

In addition to her husband and 17-year-old daughter, Alawadi is survived by four other children, the youngest of whom is 7.

In the wake of the slaying, a Facebook campaign was started in honor of Alawadi. It calls on women of all races all over the world to wear a hijab for at least one day in April.


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Photo: Relatives gather at the funeral in Iraq for Shaima Alawadi. Credit: Associated Press