[Image: A smiling woman with a sunflower behind her]
Part 21 of a series of posts honoring the Grenfell Tower victims.
Mariem Elgawahry, from the 22nd floor of Grenfell Tower
Mariem Elgwahry, 27, was embarking on a career in marketing when she
died. She had a degree in business management and was rising up
the ranks in the company Quidco. Just hours before she died, she had booked an interview for another job she wanted.
Mariem enjoyed sports and challenges, and had once completed
an endurance course even after suffering an asthma attack. She also loved
tennis, and after she died the club where she played dedicated a bench to her. She adored her family – she cared for her mother Eslah in their shared flat, and was a doting aunt to her nephew. She had also long mourned the death of her father, who died of cancer when she was still a child.
The one surviving member of the family, Ahmed Elgwahry, delivered extremely distressing testimony to the Grenfell inquiry about his
sister’s and mother’s final moments. On losing them, he said, he “felt like my father died again and a large part of our life, important memories were wiped out, erased in a matter of minutes.”
Mariem, he said, might have been able to escape the fire but
had instead chosen not to leave their mother behind. She was, he said, “beautiful, an ambitious, talented young woman who wanted to succeed in her marketing career and start a family.”
“My sister was confident and strong. She wasn’t afraid to
speak up or speak her mind and was very secure in her words. She had an inner confidence and had grown into a strong and ambitious woman.”
Along with Nadia Choucair, Mariem had protested the poor conditions in Grenfell Tower. Both women were threatened with legal action for doing so.
“There was the misconception that those living [in Grenfell] were uneducated and should be simply grateful for living in the Royal Borough
of Kensington,” Ahmed said.