Sky Tower lit up for Iraqi bomb victims

By Nicole Barratt

The Sky Tower lit up with a giant poppy, the Tri-Colour after terror in Paris, rainbow colours after the Orlando shooting and the Belgian flag colours after Brussels terror attacks.
The Sky Tower lit up with a giant poppy, the Tri-Colour after terror in Paris, rainbow colours after the Orlando shooting and the Belgian flag colours after Brussels terror attacks.

Auckland's Sky Tower was lit in the red, white and black colours of the Iraqi flag last night in honour of last week's Baghdad bomb victims.

Kiwi-Iraqi Raina Alani expressed her frustration to SkyCity that the landmark was not lit up after a suicide bomber killed 175 people and wounded almost 200 on Sunday.

SkyCity acting general manager Matt Ballesty said lighting the Sky Tower was a way to support the Iraqi community. "We have many people in our Iraqi community who are hurting and are deeply impacted by this tragedy, and this is a small way that we can express our love and solidarity.

"The Sky Tower is an iconic structure that Aucklanders love. We light it for many different reasons including national holidays, in support of charity, and to show our solidarity and support with other world landmarks following certain global events."

He said the Sky Tower could never reflect all the disasters and tragedy in the world, nor all the celebrations.

"But we do our best to help mark key moments that the public wish to show their support for and we are pleased to be lighting it this evening."

The Iraqi community held a candlelight vigil in Mission Bay last night in solidarity with the victims and their loved ones, as well as to support one another in a time of grief.

In June, the Sky Tower was lit up in rainbow colours to commemorate the 49 victims of the Orlando nightclub massacre.

The landmark was also lit up in red, white and blue for France following the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed more than 120 people.

And tomorrow the Sky Tower will switch to rainbow lighting to mark the 30th anniversary of the Homosexual Law Reform Bill.

Ms Alani posted her letter on SkyCity's Facebook page Tuesday morning.

She said she was "very happy" they would light up the Sky Tower, but "it was never about the lights. It's about compassion.

"I was disappointed that they didn't acknowledge the attack. It broke my heart a bit.

"The thing is, if they're going to acknowledge Paris, why not Iraq? It was families killed, mainly women and children, at a shopping mall."

Ms Alani said she had been flooded with comments and messages on Facebook, positive and negative. Some of the comments were extremely offensive and threatened her personal safety.

- NZME.

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