Obituary of a patriot: When Noel William became the story

The college student wrote against the Mardan church attack; a year later he died in the blasts at All Saints’ Church.

Photo Muhammad Iqbal/asad Zia September 24, 2013
Memorial services were held across the province for the 83 who died in Sunday’s attack. PHOTO: MUHAMMAD IQBAL/EXPRESS


“Congratulations Pakistan! Today we destroyed American property and killed lots of Americans on the streets of Pakistan, and the economic loss to America due to this “controlled” protest is the sign that we are “true” Pakistanis. The “true” PAKISTAN destroyed motorbikes and cars of “Americans”. Salute Pakistanis.

P.S:  Mardan perhaps inflicted the most damage to ‘America’ by burning down St. Paul’s Church & Christian houses. Well Done Again!” reads a status update on September 22, 2012 from the Facebook page of Noel William, a final year medical student who was among the victims of Sunday’s twin suicide attacks on All Saints’ Church.

The past hauntingly repeated itself exactly a year later on September 22, 2013, when Noel, his father William Ghulam and his sister Merib fell prey to a suicide attack on the church, while his mother sustained critical injuries.

Noel, 24, was a final year student of MBBS at Khyber Medical College (KMC), Peshawar. He obtained his Secondary School Certificate from St. Mary’s High School in 2006 and intermediate from Edwardes College Peshawar in 2008. He was admitted to the KMC in 2009.

Noel’s friend and classmate, Noman Shaukat described him as an honest and hardworking man. “We never heard Noel saying anything offensive to anyone in our class,” Shaukat said. He added Noel always carried a smile on his face.

Reminiscing over their friendship, Shaukat said on August 14 Noel told him he went to church to pray for Pakistan. “He would get very upset whenever there was a bomb blast in Peshawar,” Shaukat said, adding he will never be able to forget the times they spent together.

Shahryar Khan, another classmate, said he was a very honest and hardworking young man. “He was a brother to me,” Shahryar said.

Noel’s uncle Shaukat Ghulam, who is also a Peshawar High Court (PHC) lawyer, said three of his family members died in the church attack, while three others were injured. Ghulam said his brother’s entire family perished in this attack, except Noel’s mother, who is injured.

“My brother was a great man and Noel also carried his character. This is the greatest sorrow I have ever known.”

KMC remembers its student

On Tuesday, KMC’s faculty and students paid a tribute to their fallen fellow. The administration arranged a condolence reference for Noel William at the main auditorium of the college.

Students and faculty members, including Vice Principal Professor Dr Jamshed Ali and Professor Dr Ijaz Khan, attended the reference that was addressed by KMC Principal Dr Noorul Eman.

Participants strongly condemned the heinous attack on the church, which killed at least 83 people and injured nearly 130.

Dr Eman said Noel was an intelligent student and the faculty had never received a complaint about him. “Our whole faculty presents our tribute to Noel,” he said, adding: “His memories will forever stay with us.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2013.


Sincere | 9 years ago | Reply

Good students but bad teachers, thats the problem there

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